We who live in Colorado get to pay an extra inflation premium for the privilege. Let’s call it the “Polis Premium.”
The US official Consumer Price Index, measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in January, was 7.5%. But in Colorado it came in at 7.9%, measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ urban-centers data.
Meaning it was considerably more expensive to live in Colorado in January compared to the rest of America, with a Polis Premium of .4% (7.9% for Colorado minus 7.5% nationally).
The BLS just released the March Consumer Price Index numbers. Nationally inflation hit a 40-year high of 8.5%, while Colorado hit it out of the park with a mind-boggling 9.1%. So now we’re paying a Polis Inflation Premium of .6% (9.1% – 8.5%).
This means the Polis Premium has grown 50% in just two months (.4% to .6%).
If we go back just three years ago, when Polis and team were just taking over, Colorado was a lot more affordable than the rest of the country. The March 2019 national CPI was 1.9% while Colorado’s was a mere 1.4%.
Or to put it differently, from March of 2019 to March 2022 the nation’s inflation rate rose 347% (1.9 to 8.5), while Colorado’s rate inconceivably shot up 550% (1.4 to 9.1).
Why? Because elections have consequences. Colorado progressives, controlling the state for years now, are implementing a tax-hiking, command-and-control regulatory regime.
One doesn’t need to understand the inner workings of government or industry to comprehend businesses don’t pay for taxes and increasing regulations. They pass those costs on to consumers.
While federal monetary policy is the rocket fuel for inflation nationwide, it’s state and local taxes and regulations that create the differences geographically.
All Americans must pay for the Federal Reserve recklessly printing money out of thin air and congress spending money it doesn’t have.
But not all states have been mandating crazy green-energy regulations. Not surprising then that, again according to the latest CPI data, electricity is up a bit more than 11.1% nationally but 15.1% in Colorado.
And that’s before Colorado progressives make natural gas furnaces, water heaters and stoves illegal. Yep, the insane “electrification” codes now in Lafayette, re-victimizing Marshal Fire survivors, is being proposed state-wide.
Year-over-year food prices went up faster in Colorado than the nation. Progressives are winning their war on the livestock industry. Prices in Colorado for meat, fish and eggs are up 14.5%. Congrats to Polis’s vegan activist husband and all his anti-meat appointees overseeing the industry. They are doing what they set out to do.
Remember how our “affordability” governor and his team touted how he’d bring health-care costs down? In the last year the cost of medical care in Colorado grew by 7.6%. Odd then that nationally it only grew by 2.9%.
Believe it or not inflation on used cars got a little better nationally in March, up “only” 35% from the prior year. But in Colorado it’s up 39%. (Data wasn’t available for new cars in Colorado).
“Recreation” inflation is up 4.8%, but in the best state for recreation (that’s Colorado if you haven’t been able to go skiing lately), it’s up 6.7%.
All “Services” are up 5.1% nationally, but 7.3% in Colorado, and that’s before the most expensive family-leave program in the nation, and the payroll tax to pay for it, even starts next year.
For the BLS’s line item of “all items less food and energy” it’s up 6.5% for the nation, 8% for Colorado. Shelter is up 5% nationally, but 7.1% in Colorado. Blah, blah, blah.
Because policy changes take years and years to take effect and grow into their full costs, we are only at the beginning of the growth of Colorado’s Polis Inflation Premium.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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