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Polis discusses federal budget, taxes with mountain residents

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By Sandy Barnes

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis focused on issues relating to the federal budget, tax reform and human rights during an informal gathering at Java Groove in Evergreen last Thursday morning.

Democrat Polis is seeking a third term in the 2nd Congressional District, which now includes Conifer and Evergreen.

Polis said it’s difficult to predict what will happen in Congress regarding the federal budget and income taxes. Congress could decide to delay a decision until the first of next year rather than take action before the election, he said.

“Sooner or later you have to balance revenues,” Polis said. “It gets harder the longer you wait.”

“If they do away with tax cuts, would they also increase social security?” asked resident Bob Gottsman.

Polis said Obama’s current middle-class tax cut reduction of 2 percent expires at the end of this year. “It was a middle-class tax cut. It was never meant to be forever,” he said.

When asked his position on tax reform, Polis said he favors eliminating special-interest loopholes and other credits that favor wealthy business owners.

“Why do people not want to pay taxes?” asked resident John Crisci. “The Tea Party doesn’t want to pay for anything.”

“There’s no nefarious plot going on,” responded Polis. “We all benefit tremendously from government. You can’t indefinitely have services you don’t want to pay for.”

During the meeting, Polis also addressed the Respect for Marriage Act that restores the rights of all lawfully married couples, which he originally co-sponsored.

“People are free to live their own lives, and those relationships should be respected,” he said.

Polis serves as co-chairman of the LGBT equality caucus, which focuses on human-rights protections.

Responding to a question from resident David Molyneux, who recently became a U.S. citizen, Polis said that people should vote for the candidate, not the party.

“I do think that Barack Obama will be a better president than Mitt Romney,” he said.

Polis said that during the time he has spent with Obama, he has learned to respect the president’s insightfulness. “He inherited a mess, a huge deficit. He’s made progress,” he said.

Polis added that too many candidates were elected in 2010 with a mandate to say “no.”

“I hope that people feel that their mandate is to work with other people,” Polis said while talking about the upcoming election.

Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.