Money. Politicians like to spend it. People — especially special interests — like to get it. And taxpayers really dont much like having to pay for all that spending.
So our representatives try to procrastinate their balancing of spending and revenue. How? With debt. Hence our yearly unbalanced budgets.
At the federal level, deficits soar. Many states, however, have constitutional spending limitations and balanced budget requirements. What difference do such limits make?
Well, Professor Barry Poulson, of the Independence Institute, points out that a few years before Colorado passed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (or TABOR), limiting state spending growth to the increase in population plus inflation, Californias legislature was abandoning the GANN Amendment, a similar limit.
Says Poulson, “Over the period since TABOR was passed, Colorado has experienced one of the highest rates of economic growth in the nation, while California has experienced retardation in economic growth.”
Two states — Maine and Washington — have initiatives on their ballot this November that are very similar to Colorados TABOR. The special interest opponents to these measures, most notably government employee unions, have raised millions more than supporters. Soon voters will be pummeled with ads claiming that the sky will fall if there is any limit on state spending growth.
Of course, the fiscal sky has already fallen. Voters should support these measures as the best way to pick up the pieces.
This is Common Sense. Im Paul Jacob.