(Editor’s note: You can listen to this column, read by the author, here.)
Jared Polis and Heidi Ganahl endorsed Prop 121, my citizen’s initiative to permanently lower the state’s flat income tax from its current 4.55% to 4.4%. I’m grateful.
Jared’s endorsement certainly doesn’t sit well with his friends on his leftist team who hate Colorado’s flat tax and would rather a progressive tax like California’s, which would chase away businesses, job creators and the productive class — you know, like it’s doing in California right now.
Polis’s progressive allies must certainly hate the lip service he’s giving to ending the income tax completely. Though they likely know it is only lip service, it can’t help their cause of class-baiting when their leader is saying taxing income is counterproductive.
Polis isn’t serious about ending our income tax because for four years he has done nothing to move the issue other than say he’d replace it with a carbon tax. At the same time, he’s promising to make Colorado a zero-carbon state by 2040, leaving no carbon to tax.
So, he’s lying about replacing the income tax, or he is insane.
Polis’ rhetoric still leaves a little problem for Colorado’s left. They want to punish wealth, vilify success and redistribute income by force of government … all while their leader in Colorado is a very wealthy, successful man who publicly supports lowering our flat income tax and ending it all together.
So far, they have kept this clash of visions from spilling into public view. That is beginning to change.
It’s spattering onto this fall’s ballot in the form of a couple of referred measures from the legislature: Propositions FF and GG. Though disguised as free lunches and tax-bracket tables on ballot questions, both measures are only about fueling class hatred and envy.
During COVID, Washington unleashed a torrent of paper money and bought all school kids lunches so we parents wouldn’t have to pay for them or, heaven forbid, make our kids a sandwich.
Government giveaways are like fentanyl. People get addicted and fast. Assistance turns into entitlement, even for those not in need.
Even though about 42% of Colorado kids can get free or reduced-cost lunches, Prop FF would buy lunch for all kids, even rich kids. Since there is no such thing as a free lunch, who pays? Evil rich people do.
FF penalizes nearly 114,000 families who are repulsive enough to make more than $300,000 by limiting their tax deductions, like charitable donations.
So not only are we teaching middle- and upper-income kids that rich people are personally responsible for buying their food (again ALL poor kids already get free food at school, and should), equally dangerously, we’re teaching wealthy people not to give to charity.
Stretch these kinds of policies to their desired endpoint and 95% of the population votes not to be responsible to provide for themselves. In turn, those with means see no reason to contribute to worthy causes. It’s hard to feel charitable to those who just took your money.
FF likely will pass. And those of you voting “yes,” remember your kid’s field trips to museums — the ones that have evil rich guys’ names plastered on them because they donated to build them. Same with the hospital you bring your kid to. Hope not making your kid a sandwich is worth the consequences.
Proposition GG is the other little legislatively referred ballot measure with the only goal to remind you just how oppressed you are. It will force future tax changes questions, like my little tax cut, to have printed on the ballot a table of tax brackets demonstrating how the tax change effect people of different income levels.
The purpose is to stoke junior high school-level jealousy among voters. As if it isn’t plainly obvious, a cut to our state’s flat tax is the same rate for everyone; but, the more you make, the larger the amount of money that would be. Duh.
Their hope is that when voters see that a 3% tax cut for Richie Rich, in the $1 million-plus bracket, is more money than their 3% cut in their $75,000 bracket, they’ll shoot it down.
These three little ballot questions, Props 121, FF and GG are just a tiny taste of the larger battle coming for Colorado’s soul. They see it as social justice vs. oppression. I see it as prosperity vs. dependency.
Your vote decides.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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