We need to discuss the role of government in our society.
Republican state senator David Schulthesis of Colorado Springs has proposed essentially ending public social services and letting the churches and private charities take care of the down-and-out.
Can we get serious? Vital programs were cut by $320 million in August. Now the Legislative Council says Colorado has to deal with an additional $250 million shortfall for the current fiscal year 2009-10.
Then another $750 million shortfall is projected for the 2010-11 budget.
Mental health facilities have been closed in Denver, Fort Logan and Grand Junction. The indigent who qualify for Medicaid have had their reimbursement rates cut. Critical services for the elderly have been cut. The Health Care Services Fund has also been slashed. It pays local clinics to treat sick impoverished Coloradoans and keep them from filling up the hospital emergency rooms. In Denver, the Stout Street Clinic has a wait list of more than 400 mentally ill people for the first time.
Tuition rates keep rising at our colleges and universities. Soon only the rich will be able to get a college education. Hey! This is the high tech 21st century.
Nobody wants to talk about taxes. But we need to ask if business is willing to be socially responsible. They get their politician friends to give them all kinds of tax breaks and subsidies. We can’t afford this sort of behavior.
A study by the Bell Policy Center found that the creation of “enterprise zones” (economically distressed areas where tax credits and incentives are offered) produced few significant benefits.
The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute estimates we could save $400 million if corporations paid their fair share. (eliminating tax exemptions, credits and loopholes).
The ColoradoWINS union of state workers has called for a special session of the legislature right now. Corporate welfare has got to end.