The Left Tanks Colorado's Freedom Score to #19 – And They've Only Just Begun

by Bob Adelmann

Colorado in Distress

Colorado in Distress

This really breaks my heart.

Yesterday the Mercatus Center released its third annual edition of Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom, and Colorado has dropped precipitously from 4th position in 2007 to 19th. The graph provided looks like a waterfall. Here’s some of their analysis of Colorado’s descent into totalitarianism:

Colorado used to be a moderately conservative state, but it has moved left over the last 12 years. Its freedom score is one of the “most worsened” in the country over the 2001 to 2011 period…

Its state and local debt burden is high … [and] the crime rate [is] much worse than the national average.

The report fails to include the very recent additional abrogations of personal freedom.

The report says that “Colorado scores better than average for its fiscal policies,” but that assessment is about to change, thanks to the Democrats’ determination to spend money we don’t have to regulate the state to death and spend as much money as wastefully as possible.

First, this from State Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman on the Democrat budget:

Today, Senate Democrats voted to pass a budget that increases spending at three times the rate of inflation while funding a bureaucracy that has issued over 14,000 pages of new regulations in 2012 alone.

Cadman protested, but to no avail. He said:

I believe we missed a rare opportunity to use increased revenues to retire existing debts and increase funding for transportation and public safety. This budget became the funding vehicle for implementing destructive public policies and growing bureaucracies.

Cadman refers to the ghastly audit of the Colorado Energy Office which revealed that some $250 million in taxpayer monies have been wasted, with 20 of 22 contracts reviewed suffering major errors or omissions.

Cadman didn’t include in his note anything about the other audit, this one of Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (MMED) which went crazy with its spending, which included office chairs that cost $1,000 each and 50 Blackberrys and 33 vehicles for its 37 full-time employees! They bought 21 tablets in addition to the cell phones for $31,000 – $1,476 each.

Cadman also failed to mention the new gun laws turning every citizen with a gun into a criminal effective July 1st.

Just wait until these get factored into next year’s Mercatus study.

When Mary and I left the east coast in the summer of 1964 we were excited to be moving to a state that not only was pretty but free as well. And for the last 40 of those 50 years we have enjoyed, and worked to sustain, those freedoms. But Colorado has been hijacked by the left, as I’ve written about here.

Frankly, I’m considering doing a Magpul.


A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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