February 20, 2008

Bill Ritter: Progressive or Brutally Regressive?

Bill Ritter would like his allies to believe that he is a progressive politician. That isn't the tag he would like to be used to publicly describe his policies because it is associated with far left wing politics. "Progressive" is a dirty word in Colorado politics.

We're starting to look at the policies that he proposes, and almost all of them have hidden regressive features about them. Some are quite ugly, to the point of being brutal:

If Bill Ritter raises fees on automobiles by $100 per year, that burden falls disproportionately on lower income citizens. A family that can afford three cars can easily afford $300 but a family that is on the edge and needs the single car they own to go to work cannot.

If Bill Ritter forces the young and healthy to purchase health insurance, the costs will fall disproportionately on less educated and thus poorly paid workers just starting out in life. Well educated young people likely already have health insurance through their employment. Only low income, less educated young people feel they can take a chance to duck the costs of health insurance.

Bill Ritter is forcing the utilities to pay much higher costs for coal plants in the hope of forcing them to move to renewables. Who pays a disproportionately higher part of their income for utilities, the poor or the wealthy? Who will disproportionately bear the costs of Bill Ritter's feel good environmental policies?

It seems very likely that Bill Ritter will go down as one of the most agressive regulators, most aggressive taxers, and the most regressive governors in Colorado history.

No comments: