It’s good to know Gov. Jared Polis reads this column. He asked me to correct a line in my last one where I said he wants to use your TABOR refunds to plug a hole in the unemployment fund.
Polis wants you to know he wants to use federal bailout money, not TABOR refunds, for that. Fair enough, but whatever. Money is fungible. The more the state spends, the less you keep.
He can do this because the state government is drowning in money. So much so the Legislature (and wrap your head around this) can’t spend it all.
Agencies are asking to pocket the money to use in future years because they, the David Copperfields of making your money just disappear in front of your very eyes, can’t figure out how to get rid of it all.
Where did all this money come from? Well, it came out of thin air. It’s Monopoly money.
And the very same reason why Colorado’s state purse is bursting at the seams is the same reason why Jared Polis could lose reelection.
From any current standpoint there is no way Jared can lose. If need be, he can just write himself another campaign check for $25 million. There is nobody I see running on the other team that can do that.
Thanks to Colorado’s crony campaign limits, a Republican candidate would have to get 8,000 donors to give the maximum of $1,250 each to match every $10 million Polis gives himself.
Jared is wildly popular. The press would take a bullet for him. He is a shoo-in, except for one tiny but snowballing issue. It’s called inflation.
When you print money out of thin air, it eventually leads to inflation. And Washington has been printing it in a couple of big ways. First by pumping out stimulus packages that are completely financed by debt, and second by expanding the money supply
Since Barack Obama was sworn into office, the Federal Reserve has grown the money supply by nearly 160%. Since COVID hit it’s gone up by almost 35%. At some point when those dollars finally find their way into the economy, prices are going to go up to match.
Congress can’t stop spending (birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim) and the Federal Reserve will not tighten the money supply for fear of triggering a recession. Inflation will continue to run rampant.
It is not out of the realm of possibility that we have double-digit inflation by the time the fall elections roll around.
I’m not suggesting Republicans are heroes when it comes to debt spending or monetary policy. I am saying that as inflation grows, working people are destroyed by it.
No amount of lip service from our new “affordability” governor will be able to make up for all the inflationary actions he and his administration has done.
In fact, his State of the State address, crowing about how he has made Colorado affordable, will be the “before” picture in every Republican ad about how his regulatory state is choking working families.
Republicans will simply need to lay out the facts. Facts like he committed us to the California automobile emission standards. Now that California’s Gavin Newsom decreed a ban on all sales of cars with internal combustible engines by 2035, it’s the rule in Colorado. Thank our affordability governor.
Our affordability governor’s Air Quality Control Commission is working to require employers to spy on their employees’ driving habits and force them into transit by gunpoint.
Putting activist vegans on boards to oversee ranching.
Outlawing take-home containers at restaurants and bags at stores.
Strangling the oil and gas industry (where blue-collar workers used to make great livings).
Requiring electrification in new homes.
Closing coal power plants and jacking energy prices.
Outlawing natural gas appliances. And so on and so on (without even mentioning all the “fee” increases).
Polis has made Colorado inflationary, even beyond what Washington has.
If inflation keeps roaring, I said if, Republicans will take the United States House and the United States Senate.
Here in Colorado, Republicans will easily take the State Senate and conceivably the House.
And if inflation is bad enough, no amount of money that Jared self-funds could save him.
This also presupposes an electable Republican candidate who spends more time talking about the current election than the last one.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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