The Constructor's Voice - 2013 - (Page 9)

Meet the 2013 President Driving the Future ur country has just experienced one of the most competitive and contentious presidential elections with two candidates presenting very different visions for the future of this great nation – tax more or tax less. This is often looked at as big government vs. limited government. As contractors, with government contracts, we often find ourselves as split as the country was on November 6. I would argue when the founders spoke about limited government it was less to do with the amount of money collected and more to do with how that tax revenue was spent. Are you taking what belongs to one man to give to another? Are you using the revenue for the benefit of he who paid taxes? Are you spending more than you have? Is the tax related to usage? These are the questions we should be asking when looking for government solutions that will drive our future. Years of tremendous spending by the federal government has brought us faceto-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending has pushed our national deficit to more than $16 billion dollars without any relief in sight. Several trillion dollars have been accumulated by those states and local governments that are not required to have a balanced budget. Both parties have done a poor job of managing our country’s finances, allowing the unchecked growth of our debt ceiling, not having the political will to cut costs or fix broken programs and delaying tough decisions. There is no question that our country needs reform whether it is our entitlement programs, immigration, government regulations, debt reduction, balanced budget and our transportation infrastructure. Our infrastructure is the foundation of our U.S. economy. Without highways, power grids, bridges, dams and water systems, businesses cannot deliver their goods and services; homes and businesses would be without electricity and clean O By Ben Vagher President, A-1 Chipseal Company water; parents could not get their children to school and the United States would cease to be a world leader in productivity and innovation. Unfortunately, we have decades of neglect and underinvestment that has put our infrastructure into a shameful state of despair. We saw this firsthand when Hurricane Sandy hit our eastern shores – had we invested in our power grid, the lines would have been buried and the outages minimized. It is time to help our leaders prioritize our investments and get our infrastructure back on track. I have campaigned and will continue to campaign for funding changes here in Colorado that will adequately fund and support our transportation infrastructure into the future. There is a strong need for change as our current system isn’t consistent with a limited government and doesn’t sufficiently address our needs. That change could be in the form of a fair and self-supporting system in which road funding is collected through a fee based on miles driven. This would replace and eliminate our current system of a state gas tax (22 cents a gallon) and registration fees (you can read about this in more detail in this issue of The Constructors’ Voice). The problems we see with the fuel tax as a declining revenue source was identified decades ago and have been exasperated by CAFE standards and improved fuel efficiency of our vehicles. We saw the problem long ago, but we haven’t had the will to change. A user-based fee will tie usage to the tax so people can control what they pay. It will bring transportation funding out of the shell game that is the annual budgeting process. And, it will deliver us from the continuous decline in revenue collected per mile. This is transparency and an example of how we can fix a broken government program. This is change I don’t think we can wait for. During these tough economic times, all levels of government have been grappling BY BEN VAGHER, 2013 CCA PRESIDENT THE CONSTRUCTORS’ VOICE 2013 • 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Constructor's Voice - 2013

2012 President
Meet the 2013 President
Executive Director’s Message
2012 Associate Council Chairman
Meet the 2013 Associate Council Chairman
Social Media: What Am I?
2012 Included a ‘SUCCESS’ for CCA Members in HB12-1119
The Coming Talent War
CWFC Sees Continued Successes, New Directions
Congratulations to the 2011 CCA-CDOT Project Management Award Winners
Your Association Staff
A Vision for Colorado!
What is SBTRC, and How Can It Help You?
Colorado Contractors Trust Rates Remain Below Market Trends
Your Association Staff
Setting Up Your People for Success
CG/LA Infrastructure
Index of Advertisers/

The Constructor's Voice - 2013