The Democrats’ policies which are creating these crises, both in our state and at the federal level, are crippling Coloradans. We cannot afford them.
Even before inflation soared to record highs, Coloradans have been facing high and rising costs of living. Currently, every major city in Colorado has a cost of living higher than the national average, with the exception of Pueblo. On top of that, our current inflation rate is costing the average household in Colorado over $500 per a month.
While inflation continues to rise, salaries have not risen proportionally creating an affordability crisis. As a recent college graduate still working entry-level positions, I know this all too well. Currently, my housing costs over 40% of my monthly paycheck before taxes. And this is not unusual. Half of Colorado’s renters are spending over 30% of their income on housing.
And while I don’t know the stress of providing for a family in this economy, I remember the 2008 economic crisis well and the impact it had upon my family. I will always remember my parent’s stress as they struggled to keep their small business afloat in a crumbling economy.
I think of this when I consider the economic crisis facing America today – of the kids whose most important memories of these years will be the worry lines etching deeper into their parent’s faces as they experienced the job losses and extensive small-business restrictions from the pandemic and the out-of-control inflation that followed. They’ll remember how COVID-19 concerns faded only to be replaced with the worst economic crisis since the 1980s.
Just as I remember the sacrifices and tough decisions my parents made, so will these kids– like taking a break from swimming lessons because the cost of energy has risen so much. Or skipping the summer trip to their grandparents’ house due to the cost of gas, which economists predict will remain elevated potentially all summer.
Over the past few weeks, the country has watched the Biden Administration flounder, blaming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for our nation’s outrageous gas prices. But the American people haven’t been buying this; gas prices have been rising steadily almost every month since Biden’s inauguration. Consumers have been paying for this administration’s policies since Biden’s first day in office.
As Coloradans have been rejecting radical policies, Governor Polis is carefully crafting a political message that contradicts his actual actions, recently signing on to a letter along with five other governors asking President Biden to suspend the federal gas tax for the remainder of the year. What the Governor has not done, however, is advocate for a suspension of Colorado’s 22-cent gas tax, which would provide immediate relief to people across the state. But just last year, Governor Polis did sign a statewide gas fee into law.
Last week, Republicans from Colorado’s House and Senate came together to address our energy crisis and call on the Governor and their colleagues to work together to create an energy solution.
Republicans have been calling for an all-of-the-above energy approach – an energy solution that protects Colorado’s beautiful open spaces, while also providing long-term economic security and gas price relief to our state.
While Democrats in the Colorado General Assembly started the legislative session by recycling Republican promises to save people money, they have yet to provide a response – in fact, the joint resolution Republicans introduced has been assigned to the Senate State Affairs Committee, commonly known as the “kill committee,” (i.e. the place where legislation is sent to die quietly). Democrats are hoping to kill this important resolution without Coloradans knowing it ever existed while they continue to blame global economics for the outcome of their policies.
It’s time for new leadership in our state. For leadership that puts Colorado’s families above political priorities. For policies that allow Colorado to lead the nation in affordability.