Issuing Forth on Ballot Issues

Here's my perspective on some of the ballot issues. I'm voting against the ban on partial birth abortions. Granted, abortion is a truly horrible solution to overpopulation, but compared to the alternate solutions: war and famine, it is probably the most humane way to kill humans. At least each one is done consciously and individually, not randomly and collectively as during battles or epidemics. So I leave that hideous choice up to the mothers who have to live with all the ramifications.

I'll also vote against parental notification. If you're old enough to do it and don't trust your parents enough to talk to them about problems, then the State shouldn't make a bad situation worse.

I'll vote against the commercial livestock amendment, not because it's not a good idea, but because it doesn't need to be put in the constitution. We can pass laws for stuff like that.

The tricky one for me is the income tax credit for education. Now I like the Jeffersonian ideal of public schools despite the lowest common denominator it has fallen to in recent years as various interest groups balkanize education into an incoherent mass of competing outcomes. However, I also like the idea of competition among schools, public and private, and feel that a statewide system of vouchers for all schools would allow any student access to education while letting parents have some sort of choice over curricula and methods without forcing their choice on others. The proposed amendment doesn't even come close. For one, tax credits are not vouchers. In order to get the credit, you have to jump through too many hoops. (That's one of the reasons manufacturers offer rebates -- they sound good in ads, but not too many people fill out all the paperwork to get their money back.)

This is one of those ideas that appears to do something when in reality, nothing gets fixed. For example, the priorities for receiving credit are totally bogus. Number one is for those who transfer out of a below-average district. This probably comes as a surprise to many politicians, but half of the school districts in the state are below average. This is not a well thought-out measure. I feel it's a stopgap offered merely as a palliative to avoid stronger, better fixes. Vote it down and wait for a better offer.

After that tirade, you may feel I'd vote against allowing the school district to keep revenue in excess of the TABOR amendment, but actually, I will vote for that. The TaxPayer Bill Of Rights was merely to keep taxes from increasing at the will of officials. Every property tax increase for schools and the various bonds have always been voted on publicly, so it isn't an issue for the school district, and I don't want to penalize them for receiving grant money.

It's different with the State income tax, though. Referendum B says they'll use our money for roads or education or something useful (perhaps to bail out campaign supporters). There's no guarantee. So despite the fact that it's illegal to buy votes, I say No on #B and will use the $2500 the state pays me (back) over the next five years for purposes I personally deem useful.

If given a chance, I'd vote against the Broncos stadium tax, a public subsidy for a private entity. However, I will vote for the new county fairgrounds. I feel that government-owned and operated land and buildings can often provide a legitimate venue for gatherings of citizens, and this is a good deal for a prime location.