Den Post: Colo. GOP lawmakers heavy on rhetoric light on specifics

The Denver Post today poked straight-faced fun at state Republican lawmakers this morning, mocking a big budget plan GOP legislative leaders unveiled yesterday. The proposed plan of attack in the ongoing battle over a budget that is short billions in revenue is to cut a lot of programs– and they want Democrats to decide what programs to cut.

You can’t give the people behind this plan even a single point for subtlety. You can, however, award lots of points for election-year foolery and comic passing of the buck. The Post story conjures images of Wiley Coyote hauling out one of his ridiculous oversize Road Runner-catching contraptions: We’re for cuts! That is, we’re for you making cuts and us later criticizing the cuts you make!

Here’s how Tim Hoover and Lynn Bartles wrap their story on the shenanigans going on under the Dome:

Let the governor make the cuts!
Let the governor make the cuts!

GOP declines specifics

Asked which departments they would cut, Republicans repeatedly declined to give specific examples, saying [Gov.] Ritter would have the authority to make those choices.

“Other states are making the same types of choices,” said [Senate Minority Leader and former gubernatorial candidate] Penry. “The Democrat governor of Massachusetts proposed laying off 2,000 state employees. Montana’s governor proposed a 5 percent across the-board cut in spending.”

Republicans, Penry said, were presenting an “alternative to increasing taxes on working women and men.”

Democrats said that was a cop-out.

“Just saying, ‘Let the governor do it,’ it’s the chicken way out,” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver. “He’s given us his budget proposal.”

Democrats also disputed Republicans’ estimated savings, saying that a 0.24 percent savings on payroll in the current fiscal year, which is 7/12ths over, would yield only $3.3 million.

Lobbyist Peg Ackerman, who has worked under the golden dome for almost 25 years, said she’s never seen a session like this one.

Ackerman said she understands much is at stake in November as the new governor and the 2011 legislative majority will play a major role in redistricting. But she said a decade ago, when redistricting was also in play, it wasn’t like that at the Capitol.

“It’s just a mean, ugly session with a total lack of civility,” she said.

The “plan” is already being picked apart for all its unserious unworkability by the wags at Colorado Pols.

It’s all so simple, really: “Cut the spending. Cut the taxes.

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