Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Pilot & Today

Scott Tipton: Looking forward to 115th Congress

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We’re approaching the time of year most people begin to think about their New Year’s resolutions. As we look forward to all the opportunities 2017 will bring, I think it’s also important to take a moment to reflect on the progress we have made in the past year and identify areas in which there is still work to be done.

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Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado in the 114th Congress has been an honor. My primary focus this session has been on advancing policies that grow jobs, spur economic growth and support health and safety in our communities.

Within the Financial Services Committee, we worked on the Small Bank Exam Cycle Reform Act, which was signed into law, and the Taking Account of Institutions with Low Operation Risk Act, which is slated to be included in a larger regulatory reform package the House will pass next year.

We hope the Senate can also pass and get it signed into law early next Congress. Both bills will support growth on Main Street and bring more opportunities to families across our state.

Outside the Financial Services Committee, my focus has been on protecting our water rights, holding the EPA accountable for its reckless actions in Gold King Mine and working to find solutions to the opioid epidemic that has devastated so many of our communities.

I’m proud of the bipartisan effort that resulted in the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law in July, and the 21st Century Cures Act, which has passed both chambers of Congress and will soon be signed into law. During roundtable meetings in the communities that have been most devastated by the opioid epidemic, I heard from parents, health care providers, law enforcement officers and others about the heavy toll the epidemic has had on almost every part of our society. Both CARA and the 21st Century Cures Act will have real-life, positive impacts on those who have been touched by opioid addiction.

I was also proud to work with my Colorado colleague, Sen. Cory Gardner, to make sure the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which will be signed into law before the end of the year, included a provision to expedite the process for states, local governments and tribes seeking to recoup expenses incurred after the Gold King Mine spill.

Following the Gold King Mine accident, it is clear we need a better approach when it comes to cleaning up contamination in old abandoned mine sites in the West. I will continue to work next Congress on Good Samaritan legislation that removes existing hurdles that discourage qualified Good Samaritan groups from conducting mediation.

There’s also more work to be done on water rights in the 115th Congress. I’m confident the Water Rights Protection Act, my bill to protect Coloradans’ privately held water rights from federal takings and interference, will make it across the finish line, as will important forest management provisions I introduced in the Healthy Forest Management Act.

Overall, our primary focus in the 115th Congress will be to roll back the unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations that have overrun states’ rights and plagued our economy during the past eight years. With the House Republicans’ Better Way Agenda as our guide, we have a real opportunity to get our country back on track. Our first order of business will be repealing and replacing Obamacare with a health care system that is actually affordable and accessible for Americans.

Then, we’ll turn our focus to enacting the reforms we’ve developed through the past year to fight poverty, restore Constitutional power, allow people to keep more of their hard-earned money and rebuild our national defense.

We have a tall task ahead of us, but we’ll hit the ground running in 2017.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season.

Scott Tipton is a U.S. representative serving the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado.

Comments

Lock McShane 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott, can you be specific on what are the "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations" that you would get rid of? Do they include environmental regulations that protect the water? All regulations come about because someone has a problem that causes harm. Can we prevent more harm with fewer regulations?

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Chet Persons 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I would agree that Scott T should specify some of the "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations" but the statement that "All regulations come about because someone has a problem that causes harm." is a bit broad to say the least.

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Lock McShane 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Can we have everyone out there come up with specific examples of "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations", so we can rationally discuss them?

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Obamacare's requirement that 90 year-old women buy labor and delivery insurance is an "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulation."

Obamacare's requirement that every person in the country pay for substance abuse/addiction insurance is an "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulation."

Obamacare's requirement that every person in the country must buy a government mandated and approved health insurance policy, packed full of "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations," should be completely repealed.

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Martha D Young 4 months, 1 week ago

People over age 65 (and others) have Medicare coverage. It's up to the individual whether or not to buy additional health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has NEVER required that anyone on Medicare buy additional coverage.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Martha - Thanks for clarifying. So, 55 year old women are forced to buy labor and delivery insurance and all 55 year olds are forced to buy addiction insurance. These are still, clearly, "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations."

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Chris Hadlock 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I sent all three of our Representatives an email about the proposed Fanduel/Draft Kings merger. In almost a month, Bennett is the only one to respond. This issue is not about Right or Left, it is about the Daily Fantasy Game that has exploded onto the scene over the last 5 years.

COME ON MAN! - Scott Tipton you could at least acknowledge that you received communication from your constituents. Simply ignoring our communications is unacceptable.

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j mcginnis 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I have written and telephoned his office in Washington and Colorado. NEVER given the courtesy of a reply. He is concerned about the reckless actions of the EPA regarding the Gold King Mine, however, he wants to remove "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations", so that incidents like this can happen again to the Colorado water supply. He wants to 'spur economic growth' but it will come at a cost to the Colorado environment if there are no restraints on how this occurs.

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Lock McShane 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Ken

Have you inquired from your insurance company how much your two examples cost you on your policy? I doubt you would save much if those provisions you do not like were removed. The individual mandate is required in order to make the health insurance industry work. The risks need to be spread among all the citizens, not just the sick.

I agree that the ACA doesn't work, but just repealing it will not fix our broken system. Single-payer has proven to work all around the world, with great savings in cost, compared to our for-profit system.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/12/12/can-donald-trump-and-his-team-fix-obamacare?ref=opinion

You have failed to come up with any good examples of "unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations" in my opinion.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Lock - My family's insurance has gone from $850/mo to $1500/mo since the unnecessary and overly burdensome Affordable Care Act went into effect. I appreciate that you admit socialism is the justification for forcing people to purchase consumer products they don't want or need. I find socialism tragically immoral and akin to slavery at worst and indentured servitude at best.

If authoritarian government and collectivism is your ideal, perhaps your ideology won't allow you to accept any regulations as unnecessary and overly burdensome. However, I would reassert that the ACA is chock full of unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations that should be completely repealed. We disagree on this point.

Fortunately, that leaves a plethora of other unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations to discuss. Here's a sample:
- Sugar and raisin prices in this country are controlled by the government. That is unnecessary and overly burdensome.
- CAFE standards dictate average-MPG requirements from auto manufacturers. Because free consumers should make these decisions, this is an unnecessary and overly burdensome regulation.
- The restrictions on incandescent light bulbs is another matter for consumers to decide and should be repealed as unnecessary and overly burdensome.
- The EPA's "finding" that what you and I are exhaling right now is a "pollutant" that may be regulated and than man's use of fossil fuels is responsible for climate change. This finding is not based on science (since we know the planet was much, much warmer before the use of fossil fuels) and should be rescinded.
- We have been forced to accept ethanol in our gasoline despite the damage that it does to modern vehicles.
- We all pay much more for corn-based products as a result of the ethanol mandate's impact on the price of corn.

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Lock McShane 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Ken No one is forcing you to buy health care insurance; you can pay the penalty and pay for all your health care yourself, since you don't believe in socialism, which is what insurance is. That is what I am going to do, since there is no more competition in insurance companies here and I get to pay 30 to 50% more for way less coverage than before. The insurance companies are stuck with all the sick people and can't make it work without everyone participating. I want the health insurance companies to go out of business, since they do not contribute to our health; they just suck money out of the system.

Humans are social animals and need social systems to succeed. Can you live on your own, with no help from anyone else? Should there be no roads, fire and police departments, no schools, and no military, since we all pay for them whether or not we need them?

Sugar and raisins are subsidized because special interests have convinced the government that we would lose those industries to foreign producers who can produce them way more cheaply than we can. We should be willing to pay more for our products if they are produced here, but we would rather pay as little as possible for everything.

CAFE standards exist because individuals can freely make decisions that harm society as a whole. More efficient vehicles help everyone by reducing our transportation costs. The same for incandescent bulbs, which are very inefficient. If you generated your own electricity, and wanted to waste it on heat instead of the light you wanted, then you could. The new LED bulbs will save you tons of money versus the old bulbs.

You cannot say that human-based climate change is not based in science because the planet has been warmer in the past. One does not logically lead to the next. CO2 levels have been greater in the past, but they rose more gradually than today so that the animals and plants of the ecosystem had more time to adapt. There have been five Great Extinctions already on Earth, where more than half the lifeforms die off from rapidly changing conditions. Mother Nature always recovers with new and different organisms, but why should we create the sixth GE by our foolish ways? It is the ultimate Murder-Suicide where we take down countless other organisms with us.

Ethanol damages older engines whose hoses are eroded by ethanol, but modern engines have fixed that problem. And making ethanol from corn IS stupid.

It seems to me that you resent being told what to do, if what you want to do causes harm in our society. We all have to co-exist on this planet, so why can't we do it without harming our fellow organisms?

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Lock McShane 4 months, 1 week ago

BTW, our electric grid is socialist; should we get rid of it and have everyone generate their own? Socialism does not mean that the government owns and controls everything. Socialism is where everyone works together to accomplish our goals.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Lock - First, insurance is 100%, absolutely not socialism. It's voluntarily contracted shared risk. Second, YVEC is not socialism because you must pay for the electricty you consume. That's why we have power meters.

These claims makes me think that you don't know what socialism really is, but your yearning for control of others betrays your true values. The primary instinct of socialists is to deny others free choice because they may make bad, unapproved choices, like buying a shower-head that uses too much water or a car that doesn't go far enough on a gallon of gas.

You say "It seems to me that you resent being told what to do, if what you want to do causes harm in our society." So, somewhere along the line you imagined that I feel like I can harm society? That's ridiculous and not supported by anything I've ever said.

To be clear, I absolutely resent being told what to do by do-gooders that assume to be our betters and claim to have our best interests at heart, when in-fact, control is the ultimate goal. This is almost always disguised as good-will and kindness for the earth or minorities or the community or puppies, or whatever. Make no mistake; socialism is about controlling other people and it's a terrible, unsustainable economic model that I reject completely.

BTW - Thank goodness Trump won, (presumably) conservatives were elected control of Congress and liberal democrats hold the fewest State offices nationwide since the 1920's. Our country is more likely to return to the core values of market competition, innovation and growth over the failed ideas of socialism. Even those who prefer a different direction for the country will benefit from the improvements that will come from reversing the trend of an ever-larger government telling people how to live. Also, thankfully, a (presumably) conservative President and Senate will appoint and confirm the next few SCOTUS Justices and that alone should keep the foolish ideas of nationalized socialism away from America for a generation or more.

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Lock McShane 4 months, 1 week ago

Ken, we are talking about two different kinds of socialism. You are talking about the kind where the government controls everything. That is the communism of the Soviet Union and China, which IS an unsustainable economic system. I am talking about the kind where society works together to solve problems and make everybody's life better. My kind works in many countries where they pay more in taxes but receive value in return. I will start calling my kind communityism to distinguish the two.

To me, communityism is not about control; it is about respecting others and trying to minimize harming them. You can do whatever you want as long as the consequences of what you do has no negative effect on the others around you. Using incandescent bulbs and driving a gas guzzler creates more pollution that has negative effects for those around you. Unless your bulbs are powered by wind or solar or geothermal that has no harmful emissions.

YVEC is a cooperative where the members are the owners of the business; yes, we all pay for our electricity, but we all benefit together. I will soon be off the grid, so I will be independent of YVEC.

Trump's Cabinet picks all seem to be in opposition to the goals of the government Departments they are chosen to run. They are being chosen to make Government fail. So you soon may have the Anarchy you desire.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

OK, Lock - I appreciate the discourse. Why do you assume that I desire anarchy? Just days ago, you criticized me harshly for supporting the enforcement of our duly passed immigration laws, now you claim that I desire anarchy. Those allegations are inconsistent. The combination of your inconsistency and repeated false assumptions about me allows for the appearance that you accuse me of things out of convenience, not the merits of the argument.

What will communityism do with those that don't agree with the majority's dictates? You describe democracy, while well-meaning and good sounding, democracy is not sustainable and relies on force to compel the will of the mob. Without limits, the mob will always consume itself and fail, regardless of what you call it.

You may be surprised to discover that many, if not all, of the democratic socialist countries that you refer to are scaling back the entitlement concepts of socialism as they've realized the unsustainable nature of their programs. That voters may be either misinformed of basic economics or brainwashed enough to pass socialism through free elections doesn't change the nature of control that is required to implement it or that it always fails in the long run.

So far, I think Trump's Cabinet picks are acceptable. The stock market has set record highs day-after-day since he won. Now that we'll have a president that understands both basic economics and basic American civics, American consumer and investment confidence is up remarkably as a result.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

I don't want a liberal government telling me I have to buy one of their "approved" health insurance policies and I don't want a GOP government telling me I must buy an "approved" AR-15, for example.

I don't think any rational person would want to live according to the values of people they strongly disagree with, hence the importance of individual liberty. You get the shower head that you want and I get to pick the shower head that I want. People that want to live in accordance with Sharia are free to do so, but they aren't free to force those values and requirements on others that disagree. Let's not attempt to choose and impose values on each other, no matter noble they are perceived to be.

A Constitutional Republic, like America, that establishes firm limits on the will of the masses is a far better and more stable, sustainable form of government than Democracy could be or ever will be.

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Lock McShane 4 months, 1 week ago

Ken, the beef I have with what you want with immigration is the impracticality of what you want in that it would cost more than what we are willing to pay in taxes, and would severely limit our privacy.

And I hear you say you don't want government telling you what to do, so I go from there to No Government or Anarchy. I am just reflecting what you say as it appears to me. I am not trying to be inconsistent and am trying to understand your points.

For instance, you say “Without limits, the mob will always consume itself and fail” yet you seem to oppose limits set by others. If we can't impose limits on ourselves, then who should impose limits? You use an example of shower heads. If there is unlimited water, then it doesn't matter. If limited nwater must be shared by many people, then it does matter.

Because the democratic socialist countries are adjusting their social programs doesn't mean that they are failing. It means they are adapting to the ever-changing nature of humans. They are still attempting to take care of their citizen's needs, which is more than our government is trying to do.

We are still trying to figure out the best economic system. Unbridled capitalism with no moral center or limits isn't sustainable as the Big gets bigger and the others end up with nothing. It is hard to find the balance between total Government control at one end and no Government at the other. Human nature is constantly shifting and maybe there is no way to keep up.

Trump has never shown in his life that he knows basic economics, as he makes money by screwing others. Bankruptcies and non-payment of contractors is not good economics. Is this how everyone should conduct business? And his grasp of civics is also weak. He said that flag-burners should lose their citizenship, even though flag burning is a First-Amendment-protected right, and it is impossible for the government to revoke your citizenship.

The stock markets are in a crazy bubble that will burst eventually, once they realize that Trump has no clue of how to run a government.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Lock - Thanks for your reply. We're certainly getting closer to agreement on several points.

I agree with the sentiment that unbridled capitalism produces undesirable results and there has to be rules or constraints. However, I don't think that it's a legitimate function of government to provide for it's citizens and that claim is a gross distortion of our "provide for the general welfare" clause. It's our Federal government's core roles to provide for common defense, common currency, conduct matters of foreign policy, settle disputes between the States and protect the inalienable Rights of individuals. Only recently has government taken a paternalistic role assuming responsibility for everything from food and housing to feeling good about yourself. A pliant citizenry has been all too happy to give more and more responsibility to mommy and daddy government under the illusion of security and stability. It's grown way, way outside of the proper scope of government in my view. I'm a supporter of law and order, far from an anarchist by any description but prefer a government that enforces the rules and calls balls and strikes rather than picking winners and losers. I also disagree with your claim that human nature is constantly shifting. I don't think human nature has changed much at all in the last 500 years. We all want the best for our families and our communities; peace and security and stability. That hasn't changed at all.

While I disagree with your assessment of Trump's economic knowledge, at least he knows that freedom is better than serfdom and hence, free markets are more efficient than centrally planned markets.

I completely agree with your criticism of Trump regarding his flag burning statements. It's clearly constitutionally protected speech and I'm disappointed that he didn't know that. Unfortunately, there are many people that also don't understand the scope of the First Amendment, including college administrators and several US Senators that attempted to pass a Bill to ban flag burning after the SCOTUS decision ruled it a protected expression.

I supported Trump after he received the GOP nomination and I hope he does well. The bar is set so low on economic development that it would be hard for him to do much worse. So far, I think he's done a good job and he hasn't even been sworn in yet.

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Robert Huron 4 months, 1 week ago

If I remember correctly the last time "Conservatives" took over total control of our government was in 2001. The National Debt was $5 Trillion with a yearly $250 Billion surplus. Then they passed 2 massive supply side economic tax cuts for the so called "job creators", massive Defense Spending, 2 unpaid for grossly mismanaged wars and the Great Recession which devastated the Middle Class if there is any such group anymore. The National Debt was pushing $13 Trillion with a yearly $1.1 Trillion deficit when they left office and there was an unemployment rate pushing 10%. I wish Mr. Trump the best of luck because if you like it or not he will be our next President but he is proposing again massive supply side tax cuts, massive Defense Spending and military intervention again in the Middle East, and privatizing Medicare and Social Security. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result I believe is called insanity. He is a big fan of Mr. Putin and Russia who's adversaries seem to always vanish. He personally along with many people of great wealth have not supported our country for 20 years by not paying any Federal Taxes while the rest of us shouldered the burden of our Military, roads and highways, infrastructure, corporate welfare etc. I have a feeling a year from now when all those great manufacturing jobs he promised that would return to the US don't materialize there will be millions of greatly disappointed Trump voters. I hope I'm wrong and he is successful as is the Country but I'm not optimistic at this point. We have been there before and all we can do is wait and see and hope for the best.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 4 months, 1 week ago

Robert, you are entitled to your opinion but not your own set of facts. When Obama took office in January 2009 the national debt was $10.6 trillion. I am all for rounding up or down but $10.6 T is not pushing $13 T. Now going from $5T to $10.6 T is nothing to be happy about but to go from $10.6 to over $19T. Impressive - ah, not so much.

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Robert Huron 4 months, 1 week ago

He did not create the mess he just didn't fix it.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Robert - Considering that Democrats hold the least, elected public offices nationwide in almost 100 years (since the 1920's,) the American voters clearly have more faith in conservatives to create solutions to our challenges.

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Robert Huron 4 months, 1 week ago

That is why I quit the Republican Party in 2003 and became Independent, the question which one has done more harm to our Nation over the past 15 years. Visit any National Cemetery and you will see the answer.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Robert - I assume that you're referring to the Iraq War with your reference to National Cemeteries. While I understand that you may disagree, I supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein simply on the basis that he attempted to assassinate a US President traveling abroad. Past that, the Iraqi people were willing to fight for their freedom and depose Hussein and his rapists sons. Thousands of Americans joined the military after 9/11 specifically to fight terrorism and those responsible for attacking us. In fact, all of my friends that earned a CIB while serving in Iraq were proud of what they did over there and disappointed that a new administration wasted the hard-fought gains through the failure to secure a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government.

It's certainly arguable that the Obama administration's default position of weakness and "leading from behind" allowed the safe spaces for ISIS to grow into an influential international terror organization and kill innocent people in the UK, Paris, Germany, Boston, Orlando, San Bernardino, et al.

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