Art’s Place, Art “Skip” Carlson, April 21, 2012

Station:   www.

Show:     Art’s Place

Guest:     Carlson


Date:      April 21, 2012

Topics:    HD-50, Vouchers, Art “Skip” Carlson, Consumption Tax, Sd-28, Art Carlson, Obamacare, Bull Semen, FASTER

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HOST ART CARLSON:  What are your thoughts on the Obamacare?

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Well, unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi should have actually read it before they voted on it, as should have most of the people.  I’ve talked to several doctors and, uh… who are very, very adept at understanding what’s going on in there, and there are parts in there that just scare me to death.  The problem that we have… [dead air]

HOST:  Ooops… Are you still there? …. Ooh, …. Hello, Art.  Oh, man!

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  I’m here!

HOST:  Oh, bub-ub-ub-ub-ub!  Okay, I’m back.  Are you….?   I’m just having a little technical difficulty here.  Are you still there?  All right.  Let’s try this.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  … and another thing…. I’m here! There we go!

HOST:  Oh, there we go!  Now we’re good!  Okay…

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Yeah, I hear these beeps and I just heard that beep and assumed something had changed and therefore I was back on.

HOST:  Yeah.  Now we’re… we’re back [chuckles].

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Very good

HOST:  But you spoke with other doctors and so forth and what did they have to say?

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Well, the doctors and the health professionals and you know, the AMA ostensibly is for it, and yet the AMA represents only about seventeen percent of the doctors.  And there are several other… a couple of the larger doctor groups that have a number of concerns about what is taking place.  And the big thing, I guess, would be ultimately the handing out of benefits.  Or the, uh… who gets what.  And then after you get to be a certain age, which unfortunately I’m very close to, then your access to many of these things is significantly less.  The interesting thing, too, on one of the sections – and I wish I’d know we’d be talking about this, I’d have had the information in front of me, but in one of the sections it specifically talks about people who have ongoing problems and ongoing medical situations, in terms of actually limiting some of the actual care they are going to be getting.  And so, they think that this is going to open themselves up to unlimited healthcare when in fact it is going to limit them to far more than what they are getting now, which is really unfortunate.

HOST:  That’s right, you know.  And for a person like myself who has a preexisting condition, it’s really going to hurt those folks.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Absolutely.  It’s going to hurt them significantly.  And then when it comes down to actually have this panel decide who is going to get what and how much you’re going to get.  What’s going to happen for some of those people who need some ongoing health requirements, and by say, August of a year they have eaten up all of the what they’re going to be able to get.  And there’s no answer in the bill itself as to that – how are they going to by-pass that, if in fact they are.

HOST:  That’s right.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  So, it’s a real problem.

HOST:  Yes, it is.  All right.  Let’s find out a little bit more about you.  Why are you running for State house, Skip?

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  [laughter] Well, Art, I’m a fourth generation Coloradan.  In fact, I’m a fourth generation Weld County person.  We’ve been active in politics.  We’ve been active in the community for my whole life.  My parents were… My great uncle was governor of the state of Colorado.  We’ve had representatives from my family – my ancestry in the statehouse ever since Colorado became a state.  And you know, we had to vote on our constitution four times before it was ever actually accepted as a state.  We would not, had we been successful in our first run at the state, would not have been the Centennial State but would have indeed been in two years before.  So, with all of that background, I just thought  I needed to give something back to the community and the country that has been so great to me – full of opportunity.  I didn’t succeed at all things.  But I’ve had an opportunity to do things, and it’s been a great place to live and a great place to raise a family and I just want to protect that.

HOST:  All right.  And what are your main issues that you’re going to tackle down at the capitol?

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  [chuckles] Well, you know, Art, that’s one thing that so many people ask me!  [inaudible] says, “Well, what are you going  to go down there and …”  I said, “you know, I don’t know that I’m going to go down there and do anything other than get rid of a bunch of things that don’t belong there.  I think, all of these people going down and saying, “I’m going to pass this law for this and, I’m going to pass this for that…” without thinking of the ramifications and looking into the past and seeing, well, if we got rid of something, maybe, your goal would be accomplished by getting rid of some of the encumbrances that we have in the Statehouse now.  But, what I’m going to have is opportunity.  My by-word is “Opportunity to succeed for all”.  Forget about some of these government regulations … some of this stuff.  I’m tired of governments – state, local, and so forth, giving these significant tax credits to huge corporations to come in and build their buildings, and go to work, and put our small businesses out of work, and we can’t work with our small businesses which is the backbone of Colorado, and the backbone of this country, to help them be successful and to flourish, because that is so much better.  So, that’s basically what I’m after, is getting back to local – as local as you can on anything and making sure that everybody has an opportunity to succeed.

HOST:  Well, that’s …. That…

about you, Art?  What do you, uh… What’s your desire to get into this? 

HOST:  Well, my desire is to eliminate the barriers, like you just said, that are holding back entrepreneurship in our great state.   For example, where you live in the rural area, I want to make it … lift the regulations that the farmers have, and the taxes, for example, on pesticides, fuel and equipment.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Oh, absolutely.

HOST:  Because the farmers are really getting hurt out there because of … the past four years when the democrats controlled both houses and we had a really liberal governor, and they decided to put in these taxes.  And they figured out a way to get around TABOR.  But they don’t call them taxes. They call them fees.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  [laughs]

HOST:  And one of them, which was a really funny tax was the one on bull semen, which I thought …


HOST:  I thought  that was pretty cooky.  And then they also put a tax on pesticides, which put out a lot of local businesses, and it forced farmers to go across state lines to get their pesticides at a cheaper price.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Well, sure.  They still had to use them.  I mean, if you have a hundred thousand dollar investment … You know, it’s like sitting down at a poker table and having a hundred thousand dollars in front of you, and hoping that you’re going to win, you can’t just say…. And then somebody says, “Well, we’re going to not let you do this here.  You can buy it here but you can still apply it.  Off course they’re going to get it elsewhere, for crying in the night!  It’s not difficult to understand that.  The Faster thing that came in, where people just to go register their cars had to pay additional funds, is nothing but a huge, terrible tax on those who could least afford it, and that’s the low income, and those people who are on Social Security — on fixed income.  It hurt them significantly and it didn’t raise that much money.

HOST:  That’s right!  I had two cars and I had to get rid of one because I just couldn’t afford the insurance and the taxes on it.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  [chuckles]  Isn’t that sad?  And you know, the good Lord has been good to me in some ways, and that thirty dollar fee for me – for my big old pickup and my car and so forth, was not a big deal to us.  It was not good, in that we had to pay a little bit extra.  But I have an insurance agency up here, and I had a couple elderly people… had this one lady particularly; seventy-four years old — wonderful lady!  — living on Social Security and her Social Security check she had figured down to three dollars a month!  Well, when thirty dollars extra came in, her 1994 Oldsmobile was running her thirty-five dollars a year for her licenses.  Then it doubled.  So she … And now my taxes on all our vehicles, they went up …  they probably cost us five percent.  Well, for crying in the night!  Is that fair?  That she’s going to have to pay for something that I utilize far more than she does?  She probably uses one tank of gas a month.  And ultimately, what happened, we had that and then the environment, up here which we certainly don’t have any need for up here in Weld County – we’ve been under compliance for several years.  She just finally had to turn her car in.  And for a seventy-four year old lady, to give up that, and that was the bastion of her independence, and that was really, really sad.  I think we ought to go…  We certainly need some money for road and bridge and so forth.  But we ought to think about working some deals, having a consumptive tax, perhaps raise the tax on the gas, on a … on exchange for getting rid of some of the things that the oil and gas people have to do, and to get rid of FASTER, would be far, far more fair, raise significantly more money, and be much, much better off for the entire community.

HOST:  That’s right.  If we just grow the economy, that will bring in more revenue to …

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Oh, absolutely!

HOST:  Yeah.  And another thing – out where you live, you’ve got quite a few oil wells out there, don’t you?

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Weld County… We’re blessed — I’m blessed to live in Weld County.  Weld County is the only county in Colorado and one of five counties in the United States, where we have no long-term debt, no short-term debt, no bond debt, and no taxes.  And yet we’re just building so more new county buildings.   The county is running quite nicely, thank you.  And is one of the recommended counties in the United States, with no debt.  There’s no reason why government at other levels can’t run the same way.  Can you imagine what we would have, the opportunities we would have in the United States if we had no debt?

HOST:  Oh, man!  That would…

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Doesn’t it just blow your mind?!

HOST:  I know!  One of the other things that concerns me is Colorado is one of those unique states that has the best of both worlds.  We have an agricultural community and we have a mining community.  Colorado is sitting on a treasure trove of minerals that would greatly increase the revenue coming into the state  if we would just allowed to get at them.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Absolutely.

HOST:  We’ve got vast amounts of … we’ve got coal, we’ve got oil, gas, we’ve got uranium, we’ve got molybdenum, we’ve got gold, silver, lead, tin, I mean, we’ve got all kinds of minerals that help to make the manufacturing sector go.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  We have it all.  It is absolutely just amazing, as you say.  And that is what we need to  utilize a little bit more.  And you know, we have some of the cleanest burning coal in the country…

HOST:  Right.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  … here in Colorado.  And the particulates that are put out by our coal burning plants now is so miniscule, it is really unbelievable.  The other thing that I’m…. the other asset that you didn’t talk about and yet, you and I have talked about that before, and so I know that you understand it – that’s water.  That liquid gold that starts in our state, that we let run out to other places where they really don’t even need it, particularly on the east side here, has got to stop.  Because, if we have two or three years, or two to three winters like we have had in terms of moisture, we are going to be in trouble.  We have the assets, we have the water, we just need the storage.  And we need to upgrade our storage in order for us to continue to live the way that we can in the state of Colorado.

HOST:  The problem is that we have these radical environmentalists.  They just won’t let us do it.  And they hold up the projects in court because they have the money

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Well, that’s true.

HOST:  They have very wealthy people like Pat Stryker, Tim Gill, Rutt Bridges, Jared Polis.  And they are the ones funding these organizations that are just bogging down this state.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  That is absolutely correct.  And that worries me.  That is something that we [inaudible].  Needs, this  Northern Colorado Integrated water sources needs to happen.  It needs to happen now!  If we… They say, “Well, we’ve got enough water!  We’ll just take it away from the farmers.”   Well, you had mentioned earlier, what is the base that we’ve had in Colorado?  What started Colorado?  Mining and agriculture.  And agriculture is still so important here.  And if we take agriculture away from us, and [“we’re near a”—inaudible]  If you’re even an environmentalist, where else… what other manufacturer, what other business can you find that is totally recyclable each and every year, new… brand new crops, each and every year?  Farming is at the top of the ecological chart.

HOST:  That’s right!  And then you have these lakes…

[The conversation continues with discussion on the following topics: 

  • Water issues and water policy in Colorado
  • Political philosophy and balance in political representation among professors at state universities (24:20)
  • Curriculum and accountability in K12 education, and curriculum and degree program offerings in higher education, and how these programs prepare students to become professional activists for liberal causes,  and subscribers to the politics of ‘victimization’,  (26:30)
  • High cost of education and the cost of remediation for students entering higher education (34:36)
  • The problem with funding programs with grant money that require added taxpayer money for implementing these same programs, and to administer and deliver the grant

Then, from 35:57:]

HOST: What are your thoughts on vouchers and charter schools?

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  I love charter schools. My grandson is in a charter school. And as I’m going down to the Statehouse, I don’t think that I should have that responsibility, although we will have because that’s who it has deferred to. I think the local community should handle that stuff the best they possibly can. We put some new charter schools in here in Greeley, and they are doing extremely well. The public school is having a little bit of a tough time, but as it ends up, all and all, we’re doing a little bit better and I think if we do more of those things….

And I’m for vouchers. Vouchers are nothing more than competition, competition based on who’s doing the best job. If my grandson, who is one that we sent to a private school–and we sent him there only because he needed that, and that was the best place we could find for his education. We didn’t wake up one day and say, we got a bunch of money we want to waste. Let’s see, where can we waste money today. No, because we didn’t have the money to waste, but we invested it in my grandson’s education as well as a number of other people did here in Greeley. And that education he has gotten from that school has been just tremendous. And now it’s part of the Greeley system as a charter school, and they are doing very well…

[From 37:42, the conversation continues with discussion on the following topics: 

  • Douglas County School Board using local control to institute vouchers
  • Implications of implementing vouchers in the case of a student with autism in Douglas County  and the implications of a special case like Thomas Edison
  • Pressures of over-reaching regulations and taxes on small businesses and small business owners. 
  • Celebrations of little known Colorado heroes, success stories, and legacies of  success
  • The blessings of living in a state like Colorado

Then, from 45:52:]

HOST:  …I really love living here in Colorado….

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  Colorado is a wonderful place. We’ve got to keep working at it. I’ve got another meeting that I have to run off to here, Art.

HOST:  Well, it’s been great having you, Skip. It was an honor having you on the show. It’s so much fun talking to you. You have such knowledge of the state, and I really like to pick at your brain more. Unfortunately, next week is the last episode of Art’s Place since I have to devote more time to the campaign… I think it would be amazing at roll call when they have to announce two Art Carlsons.

ART “SKIP” CARLSON:  …That would be a good thing.

HOST:  Yes it would.