The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, September 29, 2005

With Friends Like These

Also Tuesday, CU president Hank Brown said in a speech at the City Club of Denver that tuition could increase as much as $1,000 per student per year and that a community college and a four-year school in Colorado could close if Referendum C fails.

Funding for higher education has declined from 25 percent of the state budget in the 1970s to about 10 percent now, he said. Without Referendum C, he believes it will go to zero.
Referendum C is a November ballot measure that would allow the state to keep billions of dollars otherwise returned to residents under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

Jon Caldara, an opponent of Referendum C, said the legislature has several options, such as cashing in tobacco-settlement assets or finding savings at the universities, that would avoid the dire scenario Brown has portrayed.

But Brown concedes that both sides are painting the worst-case scenarios.

"From my point of view, the debate over Referendum C will not set any record for accuracy on any side," he added.

So which comments of Brown's exactly stretch the truth. That has to be one of the odder moments in political theater. A politician makes his pitch and then tells the reporter we are all lying to your face. Instead of focusing on that, what about dissecting Caldara's claim that we can just raid the tobacco funds. Never mind that the money was never meant to pay for higher education. Never mind that the money is intended to help victims of cigarette smoke. Selling the tobacco settlement is window dressing and the kind of budget gamesmanship that the current administration has been playing for the last 5 years. It also isn't likely to raise the state 3.1 billion dollars as C will. Caldara is willing to lie and lie because he knows that no one is going to ever call him on it in this state.


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