How State Republicans Want to Balance the Budget

February 2010
As Democrats face criticism from business leaders for pushing several bills that would end a variety of tax exemptions to help reap the cash-strapped state millions of dollars in revenue and prevent deeper cuts to areas like education, Republicans are renewing their pleas for more budget slashing. Colorado, Senate Republicans argue, could forgo the elimination of some $150 million in tax exemptions and credits if lawmakers instead cut state payroll costs by 4.4 percent. The proposal, outlined in the Denver Business Journal, will soon be introduced as a bill, setting the stage for a political battle in which GOP politicians claim they are attempting to save some 15,000 jobs across the state. At least one leading Senate Democrat is already calling the proposal, which could require the elimination of some government jobs, dead. Meanwhile, in a column on AlterNet, Denver-based political journalist and commentator David Sirota chides politicians across the state for their desire to cut government to the bone, pointing to Colorado Springs as an example of what happens when tax reductions go too far. "Inevitably, anti-tax zealots will attempt to obscure what this choice is about---but the choice is now crystal clear. Tax reform or draconian cuts, life or death---the decision is ours," he writes.