Columnists, Featured, Governor Polis, Jon Caldara, Politics, Uncategorized

Caldara: No, Jared Polis is not a libertarian


We must do this, again? Fine.

Jared Polis is no libertarian. Not in any stretched, tortured, convoluted interpretation of the word “libertarian” does he even come close.

This manufactured public-relations imagery has been largely put to rest in Colorado where we’ve learned his libertarian happy-talk just doesn’t match his statist actions.

But sadly, outside of Colorado his slick acting skills, and they are substantial, have kept this contrived fib alive.

Reason magazine is a flagship libertarian magazine. Their Nick Gillespie, a friend and occasional drinking partner of mine, should have known better when he did a pattycake interview with Polis. But libertarians are desperate to believe a politician who can talk their talk.

Even libertarians forget actions speak louder than words.

The title of Nick’s interview with Polis is truly fall-out-of-your-chair laughable, “Jared Polis wants to leave you alone.”

A guy who outlaws selling dogs in pet stores, who dictates what container you can use to bring your food home from the restaurant, who taxes your Uber ride, wants to outlaw your gas kitchen stove and water heater, who crushes the oil and gas, ranching and ag industries, who signs on to California’s nutty emission standards, who raised taxes by billions without voter approval by calling them “fees,” whose appointees want to force private employers to keep databases on how their employees commute and punish them if they drive a car, who raised gas taxes, who is allowing local government workers to unionize, well, is not a guy who wants to leave you alone.

Sure, Polis likes legal pot and now allows you to pay his massive, massive tax increases with Bitcoin. But don’t libertarians want more than dope and crypto?

Maybe real personal and economic liberty?

In this interview Polis said, “we’ve cut the income tax twice since I’ve been in office.”

So, he’s a liar too. Polis didn’t cut the income tax even once. Voters of Colorado did by voting for my citizen’s initiative in 2020, Prop 116, which permanently lowered the state income tax to 4.55%.

Polis could have done that legislatively. But he didn’t. And he didn’t campaign for my tax cut. But he did take credit.

The “second” income tax cut he’s talking about simply isn’t one. It’s not permanent and it doesn’t save taxpayers any money. This “cut” is paid for by lowering your TABOR refunds. It isn’t any more money in your pocket.

Polis went on to fib again saying, “we also cut property taxes for two years.” Again, he’s taking credit for giving you a temporary property tax cut instead of writing you a larger refund check.

Polis said his preferred state income tax rate is zero. But what he didn’t mention in his Reason magazine pillow talk was the new law he signed making future tax cut initiatives (like mine) near impossible to pass. It forces compelled language on the ballot to lie to voters, scaring them that voting for the cut will destroy healthcare and education.

Polis lied saying, “I support the Second Amendment.” He signed a faulty red-flag bill denying gun owners due process before being dis-armed, but that wasn’t his real gun control.

By signing the bill to end the state’s longstanding gun preemption on local anti-gun ordinances Polis opened the floodgates to gun grabs all over Colorado.

Denver has already limited concealed carry. I’ll soon be an outlaw for owning certain mean-looking guns and magazines in Boulder.

Polis’ Pontius Pilot fashion of washing his hands of his socialist decisions is too cute by half. He is the only reason gun rights are under attack throughout Colorado. Some libertarian.

He did the same to the libertarian value of consensual relationships. Minimum wage laws keep willing people from having relationships of their own choosing.

By letting municipalities raise, but not lower, the minimum wage, Polis is not only hurting small businesses but keeping apart free people who want to be together.

Same for smoking and vaping. He empowered local governments to raise, not lower, tax and even altogether ban tobacco and vaping products. Nanny towns across Colorado were quick to impose their new prohibitions, just like any libertarian wants.

In this interview Polis says, “I respect freedom.” Who knows? Maybe he does. But he certainly doesn’t defend it.

Regretfully, Polis is the most destructive governor in Colorado’s history when it comes to personal and economic freedom.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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