After hearing Rep. Mike Coffman’s recent comments about furloughing federal workers and using tax cuts to “grow the economy,” I fear he’s become too comfortable in his safe Republican district. While I supported Mike in 2008 because he was a rational, pragmatic fiscal conservative, his lack of any real ideas for limiting the deficit and lowering debt casts doubt on his credibility as fiscally responsible.
It’s not simply about tax rates and public employees. Since campaigning to reign in spending and debt, Coffman has cut no spending, only recently proposing furloughs for federal workers. Prior to that, Coffman’s only significant stand had been to campaign for continued spending on NASA programs to the Moon and Mars. Clearly, those programs equal jobs in the 6th CD; however, they are simply “stimulus” based on government spending. One man’s “pork” is another district’s job. Does Coffman’s furlough proposal include private sector workers on government contracts? Does the proposal include suspending government payments to private companies with government contracts?
Additionally, despite concerns about jobs, debt, and deficits, Coffman seeks continued marginal rate tax cuts that produced no jobs in the last decade, but radically increased the debt and deficit. At the same time, he voted against tax cuts for small business and a stimulus plan that was 40% tax cuts. If Coffman wants to represent fiscal conservatism, he needs to cut spending – including his district’s projects – as well as pay down the debt by replacing lost revenue. At this point, I’ve not completed my ballot, as I am curious about candidate John Flerlage’s ideas. While Flerlage isn’t a guarantee on lowering the debt, Coffman’s recent commentary indicates he certainly isn’t.