The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Colorado Springs: Conservatism’s Shining City

If you’ve ever wondered where conservative economic policies like permanent tax cuts for the wealthy, slashed social services and government spending are supposed to lead us, look no further than Colorado Springs.

David Sirota’s description of what’s happening to that conservative stronghold should serve as a cautionary tale.

When the so-called tea party movement’s anti-tax activists refer to the abstract concept of conservative purity, we can turn to a microcosm like The Springs (as we Coloradoans call it) for a good example of what such purity looks like in practice—and the view isn’t pretty.

Thanks to the city’s rejection of tax increases—and, thus, depleted municipal revenues—The Denver Post reports that “more than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark; the city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops; water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead … recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools [and] museums will close for good; buses no longer run on evenings and weekends; [and] the city won’t pay for any street paving.”

Meanwhile, even with the Colorado Springs Gazette uncovering tent ghettos of newly homeless residents, the city’s social services are being reduced—all as fat cats aim to punish what remains of a middle class. As just one example, rather than initiating a tax discussion, the CEO of The Springs’ most lavish luxury hotel is pushing city leaders to cut public employee salaries to the $24,000-a-year level he pays his own workforce—a level approaching Colorado’s official poverty line for a family of four.

This is what Reaganites have always meant when they’ve talked of a “shining city on a hill.” They envision a dystopia whose anti-tax fires incinerate social fabric faster than James Dobson can say “family values”—a place like Colorado Springs that is starting to reek of economic death.

Well, maybe it isn’t a function of government to provide streetlights, municipal water, parks, swimmingpools, fire department, police protection, and paved roads. Or it won’t be, anymore. Someday, we’ll have to pave our own roads. Scratch that. We’ll be free to pave our own roads and hire our own police, etc.

Read the whole thing. If this is where we headed according to their roadmap, how long before we get there?


  1. Colorado Springs is a blatant example of a government punishing its citizens for refusing yet another tax increase.

    The serfs there got uppity and balked at more of their diminishing income being confiscated. Their overlords won’t cut their own bloated perks and sinecures, instead they default on their obligations to the peasants by cutting police and fire protection, garbage collection, public parks and libraries.

    The lesson of Colorado Springs isn’t that public services deteriorate from the lack of necessary revenue. It is a warning of what happens when rulers are permitted to grow so complacent in their sense of entitlement that they feel secure in having a destructive tantrum when they are denied tribute.

    It is a testimony to the civilized restraint of the citizens of Colorado Springs that these parasites will merely be voted out of office instead of being guillotined.

  2. Tell me this. How is a city, state, or any government to provide services without revenues? The article I linked to is written by a resident of Colorado whose judgment I trust. So, I have to ask what specific perks, etc., are you talking about and which specific elected officials? Are there news reports on abuse of power or misappropriation of funds by city officials? Show me something to support your assertions and I’ll consider it.

  3. Per Al’s comment: Guess you don’t need facts when you’ve got talking points!

    Some people still don’t “get” that if you want something you have to pay for it. Well, the residents of Colorado Springs will find out.

    Frankly, I’m glad that Colorado Springs is becoming a test site for the Tea Party fans. The rest of us will be watching with great interest!