On PointVincent Carroll, editor of the editorial pages, writes his On Point column most weekdays. He is also an author and freelance writer. Reach Vincent Carroll at carrollv@RockyMountainNews.com.
Carroll: Blather about business
"Denver Post owner Dean Singleton’s front-page editorial attacking Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter on Sunday appears unprecedented in its name-calling, at least in the newspaper’s recent history,” insists former Post columnist Jim Spencer on the liberal Web site ColoradoConfidential.com.
Another prominent progressive site, ColoradoPols.com, was equally agog, declaring that “Running a front-page editorial in a major metropolitan newspaper is indefensibly wrong.”
Really? So this is engraved on tablets somewhere?
Sure, the editorial’s language was rough (if no more so than many of Spencer’s denunciations through the years), and the placement was rare indeed (although I don’t recall similar indignation on the Left when the Post ran a front-page endorsement of Referendums C and D two years ago). Yet the most remarkable thing about the editorial was neither its bile nor its billing. It was the thesis itself.
The editorial writhed with worry that Ritter had “corrupted” his “relationship with business” to the point that he’d “lost whatever business support he had to reform Colorado’s budget process” or to extend Referendum C. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’d jeopardized his chance to “shepherd a comprehensive health-care solution through the Statehouse” and to create a “new revenue stream for higher education.”
Yet as any observer of this state during the past two or three decades could tell you, the “business community” lives by two cardinal rules in dealing with government: When politicians try to impose greater burdens on them, they raise holy hell. But when politicians target the rest of us, business leaders either stand by silently or, more often, mobilize in support of the effort.
Extend Ref C when it expires? Major business groups will lock arms with the governor in urging voters to do so.
Reform the budget process? Same deal (and probably
A comprehensive health-care solution? If the plan includes additional mandates on employers, you bet it will be controversial with business. But if it involves sin taxes and an income or sales tax bite on average Coloradans, at least some business leaders are likely to be cheering it on.
Same pattern for new revenue for higher ed: If the suggested source is a hike in severance taxes, the energy industry will mightily resist. But if the source is Joe and Jane Taxpayer . . . .
Thanks to the business community, virtually every major initiative to enlarge government in Colorado in the past quarter-century — in Denver, the metro area and statewide — has enjoyed vastly more resources than the opposition. Only the grass-roots efforts of average Coloradans managed to stop a few of these schemes.
The Post editorial attacking Ritter teems with laments over the alleged betrayal of “business” — the word itself appears at least nine times. Yet you’ll search in vain for a reference to ordinary taxpayers who might feel no less betrayed — men and women who wonder, for example, why on earth the governor thinks he needs to encourage unions for a comparatively well-paid state work force at a time when he’s talking about creating a model for 21st century government. For if unions boost the cost of government and block future attempts to streamline delivery of services, it won’t be just business who pays the piper.
Vincent Carroll is editor of the editorial pages. Reach him at carrollv@RockyMountainNews.com.
Thanks for the info on the websites. Looking forward to reading Jim Spencer again. He is the best writer in the area.Posted by just sayin' on November 6, 2007 07:22 AM
http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3046Posted by on November 6, 2007 08:11 AM
Jim Spencer is the ultimate liberal hack and it was a great day when he was canned by the Post and consigned to the conspiracy-theorizing hell that is the leftist blogosphere.Posted by SlouchingtowardBoulder on November 6, 2007 10:18 AM
Great website here: http://www.facethestate.com/Posted by CC on November 6, 2007 10:24 AM
If government employees aren't employed by business, why should business care if they're unionized? If they can't strike or get binding arbitration, how will it raise costs?
If it's such a crime for Ritter to do this, how come the Rocky didn't run a bilious front page editorial?
Jealous Vince?Posted by on November 6, 2007 10:47 AM
Wow, is Vince C. actually siding w/ a democrat? There is hope is this world. Partisian hacks can comprehend common sense and good policy. Bravo Mr. CarrollPosted by on November 7, 2007 04:03 PM