The Grand Junction Sentinel headline today says it all: “Hickenlooper Proposes Huge Budget Cuts.” Yes, while Colorado’s new governor campaigned on promises of being an education governor, he has just proposed historically massive cuts to Colorado’s already comparatively underfunded public schools. If that wasn’t enough, he had the nerve to pretend he isn’t choosing this path for his state, telling reporters “There’s nothing I’ve ever grappled with as long and hard as” education cuts.
Evidently, we should all shed tears for the allegedly remorseful guv… except, we shouldn’t. Because he’s as much making this choice as circumstances are dictating it.
Yes, it’s true – the new governor must propose a balanced budget and the legislature cannot raise revenues in the short-term. Thus, the education cuts. However, it is also true that this governor has been running around Colorado insisting he cares about education while simultaneously saying he opposes efforts to raise public revenues through any changes to Colorado’s hideously regressive tax code.