Chuck McConnell: Focus is on citizens

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As your representative, I will devote much of my time listening to your concerns and your goals so that I vote in the interests of the citizens of our district. My focus is your agenda. I will not be dictated to by outside interests. I will represent you with honesty, openness and integrity.

Since our state’s formation Coloradans have cherished their freedom to choose and to not be under the control of an overreaching government which inhibits the growth of existing jobs or new ones. I believe in your right to live your life on your own terms and to make your own choices.

From the beginning of our economic crisis, government has squelched our optimism and entrepreneurial spirit with needless regulations. This is not the way to get the economy back on its feet. Costly regulation works against job growth. I believe nothing stimulates the economy more than private sector job opportunity.

Colorado is blessed with natural resources. I worked in the energy industry for thirty years. My team and I generated many good jobs. My focus will be on higher paying jobs. Some political leaders in Colorado want to increase government influence and restrict and over regulate this industry. Government works best that protects our environment but does not needlessly restrict the freedom to do business in a responsible manner to provide high paying jobs.

A bad result of the recent economic downturn was a tightening of family budgets. Price increases are squeezing family bank accounts and undermining basic grocery budgets. I will work to accomplish the necessary functions of government without adding burdensome regulations or increasing taxes or fees. I will not support new taxes disguised as fees.

The 2013 legislature passed a law that forced some electric power generation facilities to double their amount of renewable energy sources. This regulation was a further drain on family budgets in parts of rural Colorado.

The “war on coal” declared by the federal EPA will further significantly increase our electric bills. Here in Northwest Colorado this “war” will also jeopardize hundreds of good, high paying jobs. The Colorado legislature will have some influence on how these new coal regulations are put in place. I will do everything possible to prevent our State government from diminishing our coal industry, reducing County tax revenues and needlessly shrinking family budgets with increased electric bills.

In 2013, two laws were passed by the Colorado legislature that compromised our freedom – our Constitutional right to defend ourselves. These anti-gun laws were supposed to make us safer but actually made us less safe. I will work to repeal those misguided laws and restore our basic rights.

Same day registration to vote opens the door to fraud. New laws passed in 2013 brought this threat to Colorado. Registration a reasonable time ahead of an election and showing legitimate identification requires minimum personal responsibility to exercise this basic right.

As your legislator I will work to undo the State’s support of the federal government’s taking away your control of your child’s or grandchild’s education through the implementation of Common Core. Who knows better than you what is best for your child’s future? As a father and grandfather I trust you. I learned early in life that the person closest to the problem is best suited to solve it.

As your full-time representative, I promise to be available to your input at all times. My goal is to get back to your questions, concerns and suggestions within 24 hours.

I ask for your vote. Together we can forge better job opportunities for our children and grandchildren than we enjoy today. Let’s make Colorado family friendly, business friendly and job rich.

Comments

Scott Ford 6 months ago

Hi Bob –

I agree with some of the viewpoints you express in this editorial and others maybe not or to the same degree of passion. I would, however, encourage both you and Steve to use Eagle/Routt counties data whenever possible. For example, when you speak about “jobs” it is helpful put some numbers to them.

Employment and establishment data is readily available. Please use it. Otherwise it is difficult to put some of the statements you make into context. If you need help getting data call me – I will get it for you.

ROUTT COUNTY 2008 (Peak Economic period) Establishments = 1,873 Jobs = 15,242 Average Weekly Wage = $776 Total Annual Payroll = $615 Million

2013 (Well into Recovery) Establishments =1,677 Jobs = 13,921 Average Weekly Wage =$818 Total Annual Payroll = $591 Million

EAGLE COUNTY 2008 (Peak Economic period) Establishments = 3,611 Jobs = 32,256 Average Weekly Wage = $786 Total Annual Payroll = $1.3 Billion

2013 (Well into Recovery) Establishments =3,187 Jobs = 28,782 Average Weekly Wage = $778 Total Annual Payroll = $1.2 Billion

The source of this data is the Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes only W2 wage income. Data from this source does not distinguish between full or part-time jobs. It also does not include income from self-employment. I can get that level of data – but you may have to buy me a cup of coffee.

Without question we have not recovered to 2008 levels at the end of 2013 – but most likely in 2014 we will match if not exceed the levels seen in 2008.

The number of W2 jobs bottomed out in both Eagle and Routt in 2010.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Scott F.

I think it would be marvelous if there could be a self help website listing various types of questions and how to get those answers. These data resources require some skill and it can be annoying to start narrowing down to an answer only to find that what you are looking for is actually somewhere else.

I think one likely interesting question for Routt County and Eagle County employment numbers is what are the employment numbers of both counties construction workers between peak and now. Are we back to peak except for the unsustainable housing boom and associated construction?

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Scott Ford 6 months ago

Hi Scott W –

Having worked with these data sets for almost 15 years now – they are a lot more user friendly than they used to be. I like to use Colorado Labor Market Information. It is a good portal to BLS data but it takes some time to learn how to navigate the website.

Great question about construction establishments/jobs.

ROUTT COUNTY 2008 Establishments = 460
Jobs = 2,625 Average Weekly Wage =$1,106 Annual payroll = $151 Million

ROUTT COUNTY 2013 Establishments = 335 Jobs = 1,578 Average Weekly Wage =$1,125 Annual payroll = $92 Million

EAGLE COUNTY 2008 Establishments = 886 Jobs = 4,953 Average Weekly Wage =$959 Annual payroll = $247 Million

EAGLE COUNTY 2013 Establishments = 608 Jobs = 2,521 Average Weekly Wage =$935 Annual payroll $123 Million

In this context “construction” jobs includes residential, commercial and industrial types. The magnitude of the decline in construction jobs in Eagle County was greater than in Routt County. Likely some of this is due to a decline in industrial construction associated with oil & gas in Eagle County.

2005/07 was a goofy “boom – time” for construction in both Routt and Eagle counties. It was not normal – it was boom that had a bust. I think it is highly unlikely we will return to the construction boom days any time soon – if ever.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

So Routt County in 2013 had $49M less construction wages than in 2008 while overall 2013 had $24M less wages. So the job categories outside of construction in 2013 are $25M (4%) ahead of where they were in 2008.

And Eagle County jobs in 2013 other than construction are at 2008 levels.

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Scott Ford 6 months ago

Hi Scott W –

Although I enjoy our exchanges – we might be getting deep into a subject interesting to us but maybe not true for others who read the forum. If I get the chance later this weekend – I will email you an analysis by industry sector.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Scott F.

You suggested that our candidates should attempt to use real data. My question about construction employment was because I wondered how the rest of the local economy compared to the peak of the boom.

Seems to me that the data says the overall economy is down a little from the peak of boom and the nonconstruction portion of the economy is back to peak levels. That might be a fact that matters, or not, to some candidates.

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Joe Meglen 6 months ago

Gentlemen,

If you like statistics you may be interested in visiting John Williams’ Website: shadowstats.com

John Williams and Ben Bernanke were classmates at Princeton. Mr. Williams followed the Austrian school of economics, also known as real economics, while Mr. Bernanke embraced Keynesian economics, another term for socialism. Keynesians justify government control of the currency and monetary policy which facilitates unrestricted government spending. Mr. Williams found that the federal government had been making adjustments to the CPI, PPI, Unemployment and the money supply M3 for the past 30+ years. The changes were made to make these inflation and economic indicators come in lower than reality. This keeps the populace that the government lives off of more complacent. Mr. Williams uses the original formulas, recalculates these economic indexes and publishes them on his Website so that they become useful.

Nationally real unemployment has been running between 20% and 23% since 2009. Real inflation has been as high as 13% in 2008 and is currently just under 10%. An inflation rate of 10% will cut the purchasing power of “money” in half in 7.2 years. Just look at the cost increase of fuel and food during the last 10 years. The Federal Reserve no longer publishes M3, they claim it is “not useful”. Mr. Williams recreates M3 and it is available on his Website.

These are national statistics but what happens nationally ultimately impacts Routt/Eagle Counties. The August/September 2008 financial collapse was the result of the world debt service exceeding the world economy’s ability to pay the debt. It was a Ponzi scheme and like all Ponzi schemes it collapsed. Only through the unlimited creation of even more debt were the bankers and political class able to salvage themselves at the direct expense of the private sector. You don’t solve a problem of too much debt by creating more debt. The 2008 collapse was just a prelude to what is coming for the ruling class has made things much worse. Both Chuck McConnell and Dave Maloney have a clear understanding of the economic disaster heading our way. The next and larger collapse is a mathematical certainty. The point is not which statistics are most correct. The point is that as we move forward into what will be extremely difficult times, an understatement, we should be looking to elect citizen legislators that know what it takes to create jobs in the private sector. Our current HD-26 Rep. clearly does not quality.

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mark hartless 6 months ago

Joe is, of course, exactly right.

Inflation is the most insidious way a government robs it's people. Few understand it's compounding nature.

Many who are economcally illiterate blame evil corporations for making "excessive profit" bcause it fits their politcal leanings and limited economic understanding.

Anyone foolish enough to believe thee current inflation data comming from Mordor on the Potomac has not been paying attention at the grocery store

Many now say trickle-down economics doesn't work; but D.C's cesspool economics IS and will contine tricklig UP to Routt County. Your costs increase while your salary does not.

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Ken Mauldin 6 months ago

In past generations, someone who claimed "I can't be broke, there are still checks in my checkbook" was obviously either joking or lacked a basic understanding of currency as a store of value.

Now, our Sec of the Treasury and Chair of the Fed have incorporated that foolishness into official monetary policy: "The United States isn't broke, we still have paper and ink." Set aside, for a moment, that the value of our currency is no longer secured by gold (or anything else but faith); they have completely abandoned the basic economic concept of currency representing a store of value and believe they can print/create value in the form of cash and bonds out of thin air.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Well, if Dave Moloney shares Joe's, Mark's and Ken's economic views then he certainly didn't say that in his letter.

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Joe Meglen 6 months ago

Scott W,

I do not speak for Chuck McConnell or Dave Maloney. Unlike our incumbent “representative”, both come from the private sector. They know what it takes to run a business in an environment made unfriendly by the government. Both have created jobs rather than killing jobs, as has been done by the current incumbent. Both create wealth and contribute to the private sector. The opposite is true for our incumbent representative.

The reasons cited in my earlier post for the Aug/September 2008 are a matter of economic fact, not opinion. The statement that you can’t solve a problem of too much debt by creating more debt is also an economic fact, not opinion. The brain trust in Wall Street and Washington, DC created our economic problems and only the unthinking believe the same geniuses are capable of, or motivated to fix it. The next financial collapse will make 2008 look pleasant by comparison.

We can’t fix Washington, or the bankers that control it, from Routt/Eagle Counties. What we can do locally is elect a representative that is committed to smaller constitutional government and will work to create an all-so-important business friendly environment. These qualities in our HD-26 Representative will be necessary in the difficult times coming in the not to distant future.

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” … Soren Kierkegaard

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