“Save us from this madness”
The federal government shutdown should give citizens more reason than ever to care about taxes and spending, and get educated on their city, state and federal budgets.
But we understand: Government budgets are big, tedious to sort through, and tough to grasp how they impact your own wallet. That’s why we created the Backseat Budgeter, a user-friendly interactive online tool to help residents understand the tradeoffs associated with spending public dollars.
This week, our Backseat Budgeter for the 2013-14 Colorado state budget debuted just in time for November elections. Developed in partnership with the talented research and analysis team at the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University, this version is chockfull of information to help voters see the impact of their spending and revenue priorities.
We’re talking about important stuff here that is top-of-mind for residents, like the disaster recovery funds used to address the recent flooding that devastated so many communities. Also the ballot issues that chart our future course, in this case Proposition AA (marijuana taxation) and Amendment 66 (education finance reform).
So the question is: Do you give a darn, voters? Are you ready to spend a few minutes, dig in and study up? If so, visit http://www.backseatbudgeter.com/budgets/Colorado2013/default.aspx.
Once you arrive, please sign up for an account. Test out some options. Create your budget. (Save it!) View the budgets of others. Comment. (Play nice!) Most importantly, get out and vote from a knowledgeable position. And don’t forget to hold your government representatives accountable.
This is the kind of public engagement that will make Colorado the most educated, most informed state in the nation.
Then, we won’t need a public voice like U.S. Senate chaplain Barry Black, who prayed this week during a morning invocation to “save us from the madness” that is the government shutdown.
“We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness and our pride,” Black prayed. “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”
Most of us are hoping his message rang like 1,000 church bells in the ears of our elected officials. Now, as we wait for U.S. government to re-open for business, let’s get educated on our state budget and let our own bells ring.
11 Nov 2013