Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And Some Folks Wonder Why Gun Owners Don’t Trust Democrats

From Colorado State Senator Greg Brophy comes this little Twitter tidbit:

Governor Ritter is proposing a $15 fee on gun purchases, 15 bucks to exercise a God given, Bill of Rights protected right.

Senator Brophy’s Twitter account can be found here.

Extra fees and taxes on guns will probably be an easy sell in Boulder and through much of Denver, but the more rural parts of the state won’t like it one bit--and folks on a more limited budget won’t enjoy being told that they have to pay even more to protect themselves. I have no idea where Ritter stands ideologically on gun ownership, but I do know that it sounds like another transparent effort to raise state revenue without having to ask the citizens of the state for a tax increase.

This is the first that I’ve heard of this new fee, so I’m just speculating, but I imagine it’s being sold as part of a package meant to meet Colorado’s budgetary shortfall. If Ritter and the Democrats really wanted to find a way to close the shortfall in the long run--not necessarily saving this year’s budget, but giving us a stronger tax base going forward--they would be more concerned with making Colorado attractive for businesses. Allowing businesses to create jobs and expand in Colorado would do far more to pay the bills than a thinly disguised sin tax on gun owners.

For example, Senator Brophy had co-sponsored a bill that would have postponed new oil and tax exploration rules until next year (hear what he has to say on the subject here). The pause would have given lawmakers a chance to understand what the potential adverse effects of the rules--adverse effects on one of the few Colorado industries that has remained healthy. Advocates of the rules have said that with the global contraction in oil and gas industry, companies that would be affected by the rules may well have been cooling on Colorado anyway. If that is the case--and it may be the case--then the pause wouldn’t have hurt anything at all.

If, on the other hand, they are wrong, then the pause will hurt jobs and potential job growth in the state when we’re deep in a recession and jobs are going to be hard to come by.

But state Democrats killed that bill today.

Paying the bills by letting businesses do business is so pedestrian when you can slyly raise a few bucks with new fees on gun owners.


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