Take a shot at balancing the state budget

Filed under: Daily News |

Think you could do a better job than Gov. Bill Ritter at balancing the state budget?

Here’s your chance.

Colorado State University has developed the Colorado Backseat Budgeter, which gives Web users a chance to balance a mock state budget.

To give it a shot, visit http://engagedpublic.com/epbudgets/Dashboard.aspx.

The site is still being updated with 2009-2010 data.

“The Web site started as a resource for our Bighorn graduates. We decided to allow the general public access to the tool to help citizens really understand the complexities of the state budget in a user-friendly way,” said Lou Swanson, Vice Provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at Colorado State.

Visitors are presented with Colorado spending and revenue statistics and prompted with options to add or drop programs to raise taxes or rearrange spending categories to balance the budget. Each budget category offers an in-depth description of its purpose within the state budget and the impact it has on Colorado’s economy.

Backseat budgeters are faced with the same financial limitations as Colorado legislators when setting their budget and are required to follow constitutional laws like TABOR, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and Amendment 23, the required increase for spending on K-12 education.

Hot issues such as higher education and health care funding, and, increases for income taxes and sales taxes are all areas covered on the interactive website. Colorado Backseat Budgeter also provides a forum to engage users in discussions on these much-debated topics.

3 Responses to Take a shot at balancing the state budget

  1. After playing with the budget calculator it seems to me that the best option would be to get rid of TABOR.

    September 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm

  2. I don’t even have to play with the budget calculator to tell you that getting rid of TABOR is our best hope! :)

    September 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

  3. Guv Bill,

    I don’t need the software to help you with your budget. Spend less than you take in. Encourage businesses in primary industries to move to Colorado by whatever means possible. Land grants, huge tax incentives, etc. More cash inflow to the state through the business revenues, higher employment meaning more sales tax collections, gas tax collections, property tax collections, all without having to raise taxes. Terminate all entitlements to illegals (schools, hospital emergency rooms unless a life threatening condition, welfare, etc.), of course, you’d lose a lot of your voting base. Cut unnecessary expendatures. Give us our cops, our firemen, our libraries, roads and schools. Cut welfare to those who are physically able to work. My wife worked for a medicaid dentist. She was shocked at the number of people on medicaid who drove nice cars, carried Gucci hand bags and wore Ray-Ban sun glasses.

    Drill for oil. Let’s start using our natural resources to help the people of Colorado. If the Army wants Pinon Valley, let ‘em have it! It may bring in more soldiers, more money, and an easier budget to manage for the state. Let’s not forget, those Ft. Carson soldiers are putting themselves in harms way so the politicians can sit in their cushioned leather chairs in their air conditioned offices while pontificating at the rest of the population.

    My wallet belongs to ME, not you. If you stick your hand in my pocket, don’t be surprised if you find a few missing fingers when you withdraw it.

    Christopher Colvin
    September 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm