(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
DENVER – Troubled by constant comparisons to his contraptionary father, Rube Goldberg Jr. embarked on a more stable career path by earning advanced degrees in finance and economics. His sensible, award-winning work to follow drew attention from governmental offices nationwide, leading to job offers beaucoup with the promises of proper pay and pensions.
Goldberg Jr. accepted many of these offers, not shying away from tough challenges, such as the recession-ravaged City of Detroit or several California cities facing bankruptcy. But in February 2015, his calm and collected demeanor finally showed signs of cracking, after he applied for and disgustedly refused the Director’s position with the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB).
“With all due respect, and by that I mean ‘none,’ this is the most f$(%*d-up fiscal structure I’ve ever seen,” said Goldberg Jr., with a look in his eye like black holes in the sky, hair disheveled and chain-smoking Spirits. “If you people really want to live this way, be my guest and I’ll go live in a more sensible place, like Greece or Iceland. But the fact is, even my Dad couldn’t have fathomed a process more convoluted than this, and it made me think of him a lot. So, I sat down and took my best shot at a Rube Goldberg Sr. to illustrate the folly. Now, get me the hell out of here!”
Goldberg the Younger was down the road mere minutes after making his announcement, but didn’t get far since he hit a massive traffic jam, thanks to the gas-tax-related lack of funding for Colorado highways. Luckily for us, he absent-mindedly left behind a stack of notes, and Denver Dooley found the time to summarize some of his key points.
GALLAGHER:…you fund your children’s schools with property taxes, and your formula was set based on a 1980s housing boom???…brilliant way to start, guys…great to know this could never disproportionately impact business…where else but Colorado do you keep things from 1982 that don’t work???
TABOR:…should’ve called it Amendment H1N1, cause it works like a damn virus…ask people if they’d rather pay nothing extra for something they’re already using? Golly, wonder what they’re going to say?…wish I could vote on my cable bill…surely every other state has adopted this genial formula (nope, not finding one)…perhaps your next step should have been repealing it with a single ballot measure – D’oh!!! (see single-subject)
SINGLE-SUBJECT:…nothing like throwing the baby out with the bathwater…ooh, TABOR was too complex for people to understand, but now it’s enshrined in the Constitution anyway…budget structure is set for Unholy Eternity and now you can’t propose a comprehensive fix without a separate ballot measure???…it’s like you can have gin, and you can have tonic, but you can’t have gin and tonic…need a stiff drink really bad…
AMENDMENT 23:…I get it, you fought the virus, but now you’ve got side-effects like one of those TV prescription drug commercials…who spaced econ class on the day they talked about business-cycle economics, recessions every 5-7 years???…spending automatically going up without corresponding new revenue, what could possibly happen???…(see Ref. C)
REFERENDUM C:…well, here’s what happens, K-12 gains mediocre funding and higher ed has to hold bake sales, or fund it with casinos…try to fix it with the mother of all kick-the-can-down-the-roads…whatever you do Colorado, don’t address the fundamental problem…oh look, your temporary time-out left you right back where you started from…TABOR refunds coming, didn’t fund Amendment 23, and you’re in court on both of them??????
TV ADS FROM HELL:…didn’t recall reading suggestions to “budget by slogan” from either Keynes or Hayek in college…really, somebody’s going to move rigs to where there aren’t any natural resources if they raise severance tax?…it’s physically possible for both positions on an issue to kill jobs???…if I hear “Too Extreme For Colorada” one more time, I won’t even come back for powder skiing…
Reached for comment by phone, the existing Colorado OSPB director Penry Goodsorbet was naturally relieved to still have a job.
“Oh man, I didn’t even know they were hiring,” said Goodsorbet. “But I took a quick look at Rube Jr.’s stack of notes too, and he pretty much nailed it. In fact, I answered a strange phone call a couple weeks ago, and might’ve given him some of those insights. Oh wait, you’re not that ‘blogger,’ are you? (click).”