Polis: marijuana, online gambling, immigration reform, tax amnesty should all play role in budget talks

Rep. Jared Polis has held numerous public events recently in Colorado. (Image: AP via Politico)

Writing in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Colorado Rep. Jared Polis said President Obama and Congress have a short window to address debt issues before the political considerations of the 2012 presidential election overwhelms any chance at compromise and real leadership.

Polis makes a few suggestions for increasing revenues. He said the country should legalize and tax marijuana and should legalize and tax online gambling.

He writes that creating a path to obtaining legal status for up to 10 million people in the country illegally could also raise billions by requiring those people to pay back taxes as part of achieving legal status. Finally, he says the U.S. should consider offering amnesty to people who owe back taxes as a way to entice them to pay their tax bill.

Polis has been outspoken on these issues for some time, having recently written a letter to both Obama and Speaker John Boehner, addressing how he thinks immigration reform could play into budget discussions.

He has also cosponsored a bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, giving each state the choice of whether it should be legal at the state level.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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