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Some views of the Rockies

November 03, 2005

COLORADO HAS LONG fascinated hikers, oil tycoons and scholars of John Denver. This morning it basks in the attention of editorial writers.

Coloradans voted on Tuesday to suspend limits on state taxes and spending they enacted in 1992 -- limits similar to those Californians will vote on in Tuesday's election. The New York Times praises citizens of the Centennial State for voting "thumbs down on 'starving the beast' -- the Republican strategy of excessive tax cuts to force government to shrink." It advises other states contemplating such limits (this means you, California) to reconsider.

In Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks west and concludes that a constitutional limit on state spending "does more harm than good." It advises Georgia lawmakers considering a Colorado-type measure to watch what happens in -- California. Proposition 76, it declares, "is expected to be rejected by a large margin." Remember, you read it here first. And editorial writers at Colorado's two major newspapers are as happy as their colleagues in Atlanta and New York. Both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News editorialized earlier (the Post on the front page) in favor of suspending the limits.

The Christian Science Monitor looks not to Colorado voters but to President Bush's panel on tax reform for fiscal common sense. It likes what it sees -- and implausibly argues that the lukewarm response to its proposals is a good sign. "That reaction is actually welcome, indicating that the group's nine months of work is spot on," says the Monitor, inexplicably lapsing into British. If such indifference is encouraging, then maybe Harriet E. Miers shouldn't have withdrawn her nomination after all.

Michael Newman

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