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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

by Jill Johnson, Vice President, The Corundum Group

As 2012 rolls on, we continue to watch the economy with rapt attention. This election and the handling of the pending “fiscal cliff” will both be very telling as to where markets and the global economy will head in coming years.

Congress is operating in an almost continual state of gridlock, and one of the most severe impacts of the stalemate will be felt when and if a series of planned tax increases and spending cuts go into effect the first day of 2013.

Few would argue that the shock of going off this fiscal cliff, as it is being called, would be easy for our economy to absorb.  Among the changes are the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, the Obama payroll-tax holiday, emergency unemployment benefits, and the reversion of exemption levels for gift and estate taxes.  The New Year will also see the introduction of new taxes to support the recently passed healthcare law.  When you look at all these factors you can’t help but hope for teamwork in Washington. Election outcomes will impact this whole scene as well as the following chart shows.

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The uncertainty around the fiscal cliff causes us to remain wary and has likely contributed to the sluggish pace of recovery we experienced during the second quarter.  According to a survey of small business leaders conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce, 90% are concerned about the impact the fiscal cliff will have on their business growth. Nearly three-fourths of the respondents believe the recent healthcare law makes it harder to hire more employees. Global factors are also contributing to a fear of the unknown, fueled by economic challenges that continue to impair most of Europe and a slowdown in China.

Chart Source: RBC Global Asset Management, CBO, GS, RenMac, BoAML, DB, Eurasia Group, ISI. Note: Figures and scenarios are rough estimates. * Bush tax cuts for households with <$250K in income, Alternative Minimum Tax patch, tax extenders package. ** Original targeted debt ceiling cuts, old stimulus expiration, overseas military draw-down.

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Contributed by Jill Webb, Director of Business Development, Central Bancorp

Congratulations Colorado Springs on your newly-elected Mayor, Budardave Ghercansenbahrbach. What? There isn’t a candidate by that name?  Well there should be – they’re perfect for the job!

I met Budardave Ghercansenbarhrbach.  He is the ideal mayoral candidate combining the best ideas of the 8 candidates that sat before us recently at the Colorado Springs Strong Mayor Candidate luncheon. Each candidate spoke with passion, conviction, determination and confidence that they could make right all that has been wrong.

Here are some interesting points that stood out to me:

  • Richard Skorman gave examples of his dedication to our city with his vision to convert our natural resources like parks, lakes and trails into assets for the City.
  • Dave Munger stressed that education for our young people needs to be a priority as well as  collaboration between our local educational institutions and businesses so we can create a strategic business plan for our city.
  • Buddy Gilmore spoke to our military and defense contractors being key assets to our city’s growth and how we need to grow entrepreneurs who can build sustainable businesses.
  • Tom Gallaher promoted the idea of a good attitude creating a culture of “can do”.  He’s a no-nonsense-guy when it comes to the obvious issues we’re facing.
  • Mitch Christensen talked about duplication of efforts by several government entities and how we have to address the benefits promised to our city employees.
  • Brian Bahr was excited about dissecting the budget to find cost savings to create efficiencies and deploy those saved dollars to neglected responsibilities that we have currently.
  • Steve Bach stressed his “been there, done that” experience and his willingness to bring the right people into the room to make the tough decisions that will benefit the city.

I for one am glad that I took the time to attend this informative luncheon so I could gain better perspective about what each candidate envisions for our great community.

Have you done your research? I encourage all of you to visit the mayoral websites and to do your homework before you vote. Let’s make sure the future of Colorado Springs is on the right track. Get out there and vote!

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Contributed by Tim Coutts, Chief Operating Officer, Central Bancorp & President, CB&T Mortgage

April 5th represents a historic opportunity to participate in the election of our first strong Mayor. As Colorado Springs moves from a city manager form of government to an elected, full-time, salaried executive at the helm, I felt it important to highlight the reasons, beyond the historic “first”, why this is such a an important election.

The City faces many challenges: our financial condition is unsustainable; we are making a large investment in the City’s future with the Southern Delivery System, we are struggling to define the appropriate role of the City in local healthcare with Memorial Health System, and we desperately need to restore trust and confidence in our local elected officials.

Our first strong Mayor will indeed need to be a strong and capable person.

More than ever an informed vote is critical, and educating oneself is also more challenging than ever with a ballot of nine candidates.  While fortunate that we have so many concerned and committed citizens willing to serve the community, it requires more time to do your homework.   You should also understand that unless one candidate receives 51% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face a run-off election.  I urge you to do your part by studying the candidates’ positions on the important issues we face. The candidates all have websites providing their platforms, and KOAA’s website, www.newsfirst5.com, has an archived video of the February debate. Further, the Gazette carries on-going coverage of the election and has recently come out with their endorsements.

Invest the time to cast an informed vote – we will all be better for it.

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