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Contentiousness Distracting Us From Ultimate Issues – What Can Be Done to Reconcile Dissension Among Us

Contentiousness  Distracting Us From Ultimate Issues  –  What can  we do to Reconcile the dissension among us?  


Colorado Fiscal Institute Budget Policy


The 2018 Colorado Fiscal Forum “Cultivating Common Ground”

Featuring Thomas Frank Friday, January 12, 2018


8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Money Talks: A Panel Discussion with Colorado’s Top Economists CFI’s Executive Director Carol Hedges will lead a discussion with two of Colorado’s top economists:

Kate Watkins, the Chief Economist for Legislative Council Staff .

Henry Sobanet, Director of the Governors Office of State Planning and Budgeting.

This panel of experts will share insights and perspectives about current economic trends in Colorado and what they mean for the state budget and its future.


projections of revenue for next two years

growth world-wide 2015 slowed and then ramped up in investments  commodity prices rising


mature stages of economic expansion  – demographic shifts  automatizing  industry

down graded net migration to Colorado  unaffordable lower prices  K-12 enrollment  cannot afford a place to live

a lot of $$$$$$$$$$   capitol Gains  Dow Jones  20,000 now 24,000  generate tax income forecast  noted  cloudy  


not all good news  Gallagher assessment will drop again for K-12 income

state lost oil and gas BP law suit  what you can deduct as producer as you pay severance tax  –  refiling taxes taking deductions   evolving story  tax policy changes


NEW FUNDS IN state BUDGET  from federal tax cuts


broadens tax base  lower income tax paid  piggy backs off federal tax base  not lowering rates


higher income earners will be paying higher taxes   tax payers will shift to the itemized deductions


individual income tax is the biggest driver of the taxes

definition of taxable income is growing.  


base rising  doubles standardized deductions  types of income more are taxed

more high income earners will claim deductions

small impact 35 million next year 200 million people will be changing the way in which they will claim their tax requirements  


1/3 of collections come through federal funding  and this part of the revenue will be reduced



estimates will be changing  what to do if the money comes     or not

High-Wire Act with No Safety Net: An Update on the Federal Landscape

work requirements to obtain medicaid

cause  job barriers that affect being able to comply at all


this means inevitably that more and more of us will die  as a result of a lack of relief from the stress of the current stark government  we are headed in many ways in the same direction as North Korea  abstinence a lack of resources while scouring the earth for natural resources in greed dissolving any remediation for anyone who is impoverished

  • debt ceiling   – farm bill /  SNAP benefits
  • Budget Reconciliation
  • repeal  Affordable Care Act

Louisa Warren is a close ally at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities where she serves as the Deputy Director of State Strategies and Engagement. She will share updates on the latest federal happenings, offer insights about what they mean for Colorado, and provide strategies for countering threats to programs that foster equity and widespread prosperity for all Coloradans.

PAUL WELLSTONE    Murdered  during the Welfare Reform Act  that Clinton  proposed

low income programs are always being hacked and subordinated to the desires of  rich demagogues  on both sides of the aisle.

  • CUTTING OUT SUPPORT of struggling families meeting basic needs 

CONGRESS does not have any idea what is wished to drop hammer of manipulating people without a thing to keep them secure safe and that their future is protected


How can the world look on as we implode as a nation?  Why is there not any international pressure to ensure that we participate in a world that survives our follies?


The military has been delinquent even in taking care of the basics that exist.  SPENDING FOOLISHLY RECKLESSLY  IN WAYS GARISH IN THEIR EXPLOITATION OF ALL OF THE OTHER BEINGS THAT SHARE THIS WORLD


It is incumbent on the people throughout the world abroad to take the initiative to thwart this government’s nonsense.  


I am fed up with America.  it is sold out as a democratic republic, while living in a way that mars the environment and everyone who lives here, threatening the life of earth 

we have reached our time limit as a world  we cannot keep up with the demand as the earth flames out.



We are all living on borrowed time     all of us no matter where we originate or whatever we are doing  we are all defiled by this time we require ultimate changes in this world and what it means to be here.


Clarence is fortunate that he’s older and anyone else who has been here before  caring for the  earth caring for one another  being alone dying alone being denied a decent place to die  these are some ways in which we have destroyed the world in which we are thrust that we’re all citizens of the earth

ethics  climate change  –  catastrophes on the brink of annihilation

BE FOR  not AGAINST  explore opinions with a unabiding grounding










  •  engagement
  • speakers


  •  leadership training


  • unified  –  as one voice  

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Getting to Know Us: The Colorado Narrative and Its Insight

Amy Levin is a partner at Benenson Strategy Group,

Health Care  Hardly Mentioned  thus far

specializing in creating communication strategies rooted in audiences’ deeply held values. Amy will share the background of the Colorado Narrative Project and how a values-based lens can deepen our understanding of Coloradans’ views.


  • Fairness
  • responsibility
  • freedom
  • opportunity


  • fiscal crises debt
  • jobs
  • higher education
  • consumer protection
  •  $$$$ of health care COSTS



  • Inequality and Populism: The Vicious Circle

Thomas Frank is the author of

“Listen Liberal”

“What’s the Matter With Kansas?”

He founded The Baffler magazine and writes today for The Guardian. Frank will share his perspective on the causes and implications of growing income inequality and the challenges we face attempting to change the policies that have led to the widening gap.

toured the nation in 2016  failure   loss economic inequality  during the presidency of OBAMA

2009 financial crisis was putting a long end to the take over by wall street  2 failures are anchored together.


basic class assumptions of the democratic leadership  brisk success in economy   median income still well below  LABOR SHARE of GNP  stayed at lowest level ever


STOCK MARKET  at all time high  economy still in recession for most Americans.


took home 70% of gross national product  in 1930’s  pocketed none of the country’s income share of prosperity


Financiers ate all of the money  downward slope  university  $70,000.00 a year to attend  

Hierarchy of Status


NOTHING TO SHOW FOR THIS  40 times in 1980’s    330 times at this point. one family has as much as 40% of the people of America  Shares of Walmart  owned by 1 family.


this nation was destroyed by the avarice of the economically privileged  


politics of this age of inequality have been dominated by right wing groups  6th  conservative uprising in my life span  who grew up in the 1960’s  


free market economy had been denigrated  Wall Street poisoned the economies of the world.  this was in 2009  whole series of disasters  Abranoff  wise men thought that they understood what was happening  pendulum had swung one way and then they go the other way.


2016  commentator insisted that the candidate did not have a chance  Reagan style economic voodoo was not going to end.  They did the opposite they did the opposite and moved to being more extreme  they purged the moderate faction.


free market zealots  Ann Rand  deregulated market economy.  scored greatest achievements in history  control congress supreme court state legislature


gravity of discontent holds to the right to the right to the right and further to the right  bigotry     violence  racism  inequity   POPULISM  language     complaining  arrogance  love real Americans Mimicked Martin Luther King’s march on Washington

blue collar billionaire  pledged to working class voters  left behind  visited by our unfair trade deals  these are the forgotten people of this nation  like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 


“rigged system”  in politics used by Elizabeth Warren


CEO PAY DAYS windfall for Stock holders 


Populism  Nixon, George Bush, Tea Party, Reagan  all speak in the same way with the populists  deindustrialized    my SIDE USED TO INVOKE 


policy platitudes  dishing out since the 1980’s   globalization of industry.  nothing you can do about this  –  more job training   –  shove out the student loans  example  2009    deliberately I revisit this the WALL STREET BAIL OUTS


this stupid century       – massive wave of hope  nobel peace prize no bailouts  none were prosecuted  not AIG or Citi Bank,  none of this was changed  good for the country  fully within his power   seats on boards  overwhelmingly popular


70’s 80’s 90’s that is when the issue reared its ugly head     cannot be that party of new deal anymore  emerging post industrial economy  identify with the winners  highly educated professionals  lawyers doctors, architectures clergy  Math PhD  Bio chemists,  advanced degree writes books  one of the most professional   economically class defined party  highly educated class  professionals   always celebrated  special  cupcakes  artistically charcoal     winners credentialed  flowery  high achieved professionals  creative class rebel against conformity    creativity is the property of class  artistic places havens in cities


plucked from obscurity in these educational   different metric of business 


shift in allegiance as to why Obama chose to support the WALL STREET BROKERS

1870’S  ECONOMIC CLASSICISM  party of the left is not interested in their history

merit-tocracy  defined by how they did in school only solution of inequality is education

rationalization   poverty is my fault  studied the wrong subject  always your own fault  philosophy of winners people doing well in the new economy.  perfect epitaph  opposite of what is offered in education

between enlightenment and dark ages  – voters the real deal  we care more about the system than they do.


poor people will continue to be turned off and away as being flawed















1:15 – 1:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks


First recommend that in the common arena that there are no great leaders but that we’re committed to sharing the responsibility of taking care of all others and the earth 


GUESTS here on the earth   as much as we can be         we are all connected almost no one really finds this to mean anything.


everyone is out for their own

quality of life matters

engagement faith in being involved


lack of faith  cynicism   lack of belief that anyone really matters  








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