Archives for September 20, 2012

Clint Bolick discusses upcoming book on Immigration Reform on AZPBS’ Horizon

ICYMI: Goldwater Institute extraordinaire appeared on Arizona KAET’s Horizon Wednesday night discussing his upcoming book on  immigration reform. Clint will be co-authoring this work with former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush. The book is scheduled for release next May.

Occupy Unmasked – Trailer

In Phoenix starting tomorrow. Here is a link to the schedule:

Eliminating Arizona’s Income Tax Could Create 20,000 New Jobs in First Year

Phoenix, AZ—Eliminating Arizona’s state income tax could put 20,000 people to work in the first year alone and business activity in the state could rise by an additional $419 million each year, finds a new Goldwater Institute policy report released Thursday.

And Arizonans would have more money in their pockets to save, spend or invest.

In A New Tax Plan for a New Economy: How Eliminating the Income Tax Can Create Jobs, Goldwater Institute Senior Economist Stephen Slivinski argues that the income tax makes Arizona less attractive than our neighbors when companies want to expand and create new jobs, it takes hard-earned money out of worker’s pockets, and creates instability in state revenue levels. Slivinski recommends that lawmakers eliminate the income tax outright and shift to a broad-based sales tax.

“We are falling behind neighboring states in economic recovery, and just tweaking Arizona’s tax code around the edges will not bring about the long-term job growth that we need,” said Slivinski. “Eliminating the income tax is the only proposal bold enough to dramatically boost new economic growth and drive widespread job creation.”

Slivinski argues that Arizona’s tax structure is outdated, weighing the state down and getting in the way of long-term economic and job growth. Arizona lost nearly 300,000 jobs during the recession and has an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, among the highest in the nation.

According to Slivinski, eliminating the state income tax would make Arizona more attractive to companies who want to expand. When job-creators can keep more of their earnings to reinvest in their businesses, they are more likely to expand and hire new workers. Under this tax plan, Arizona workers will enjoy not only more opportunities to find work, they will also keep more of the money they earn.

National economic data shows that states without an income tax see substantially stronger economic growth than the national average and states with income taxes. In Texas, for example, where there is no income tax, the state gained over 400,000 new jobs between May of 2007 and May of 2012, and the state has regained all the jobs that it lost during the recession.

Besides creating jobs and letting families keep more of their paychecks, eliminating the income tax will also help stabilize the state budget. Having a budget dependent on income taxes make state revenues more vulnerable to economic ups and downs, according to Slivinski. Income taxes make up nearly half of all state revenues and they are much more volatile than sales taxes. During a boom period in the economy, as incomes spike, so too does tax revenue, which allows for large increases in government spending. But when a recession hits and incomes dive, so too do tax collections and there is a big reduction in state revenues. This was a major cause of the most recent budget deficits and sent policymakers scrambling to cover the new spending they took on during the boom period.

In his report, Slivinski shows how to eliminate the income tax, keep the sales tax at the rate it is now, and still bring in the same amount of government revenue we see today. The report also recommends reforms to maximize this tax plan’s effectiveness, including unifying the sales tax base statewide and creating a constitutional amendment to stop state and local governments from creating an income tax in the future.

“By taking steps to eliminate the income tax, Arizona will signal to job-creators around the country that we are open for business and committed to making our state competitive,” said Slivinski. “The faster a plan to eliminate the income tax is enacted, the stronger the economic boost our state will receive.”

To read Stephen Slivinski’s biography, click here.

To read the report, click here.

The Goldwater Institute protects America’s greatest inheritance—the liberty and economic freedom of the individual—by holding government accountable and standing up for regular taxpayers just like you. Lear more about the Goldwater Institute at

The Hope And The Change

The surprising personal journeys of 40 Democrats and Independents from across America who supported Obama in 2008.

Visit the official website at

CBO: Richard Carmona’s Healthcare Tax Will Hit Millions Of Middle-Class Families With A Massive Tax Hike


CBO: Richard Carmona’s Healthcare Tax Will Hit Millions Of Middle-Class Families With A Massive Tax Hike 

WASHINGTON — Over two years ago, President Obama’s $1.76 trillion healthcare tax law was passed, which forced every Arizonan to purchase health insurance.  Now, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a report on how devastating this tax is for middle-class families. Yet Democrat Richard Carmona supports the law and even called the President “brave” for pushing it.

According to the report, nearly 6 million Americans – most of whom are middle class individuals – will be forced to pay the ObamaCare tax penalty for not purchasing healthcare.  Additionally, this tax is expected to cost each individual approximately $1,200.

As the Associated Press reports:

“Nearly 6 million Americans – most of them in the middle class – will face a tax penalty for not carrying medical coverage once President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law is fully in place, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday. … And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four.”  (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,Associated Press, 9/19/12)

Notably, the Wall Street Journal reported that ObamaCare was the largest tax increase ever on the middle class.

“This non-partisan report makes clear that Democrat Richard Carmona’s healthcare law is a massive tax on Arizona families and small businesses,”  said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Jahan Wilcox.  “In Democrat Richard Carmona’s world, President Obama would get re-elected, we would have higher tax hikes, and an even bigger government debt.”


CBO: ObamaCare Tax Hits Middle Class

New CBO Data Shows That 80 Percent Of Those Paying ObamaCare’s Mandate Tax Will BeFamilies Earning Less Than $123K

  • “Congressional budget analysts are now estimating that nearly 6 million Americans — most of them in the middle class — will have to pay a tax penalty for not getting health insurance once President Barack Obama’s health care law is fully in place. That’s 2 million more than a previous estimate found…”(“Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,” AP, 9/19/12) 

Household Income Down: ‘Middle Class Lost Ground Again Last Year’

The Washington Post: “The middle class lost ground again last year, falling to an all-time low in their share of how much income they take in, new census data released Wednesday showed.” (“Census: Middle Class Shrinks To An All-Time Low,” The Washington Post, 9/12/12) 

U.S. Census Bureau: “Real median household income in the United States in 2011 was $50,054, a 1.5 percent decline from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop.” (“Income, Poverty And Health Insurance Coverage In The United States: 2011 Press Release” U.S. Census Bureau, 9/12/12) 

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McSally Campaign: Democrat Ron Barber calls Republicans, “A bunch of white guys”

Martha McSally

Categorizes all Republicans with ultra partisan remarks

Tucson – Today, Martha McSally responded to Ron Barber’s remarks that categorized Republicans as a “bunch of white guys” who represent “big money” in a recent interview with the Arizona Daily Star.

“It’s sad,” said McSally,  “Ron Barber’s comments reflect the tone of Washington politicians, where name calling has become sport. Name calling and stereotypes never created a job or helped a struggling family.”

In an editorial board meeting with the Arizona Daily Star on Tuesday, Barber said, “The Democratic side of the House is a rainbow of colors and ethnicities and religious beliefs.” “Quite frankly, on the other side, it’s essentially a bunch of white guys.” That’s because the people sent to represent Republicans are typically the ‘big money’ people in the country,  he said.

“This is exactly what is wrong with Washington,” said McSally Campaign Manager Bruce Harvie.  “Ron Barber is incapable of providing real leadership or solutions, so he just hurls partisan attacks at Republicans.  No wonder he has been so ineffective in Washington.”

Martha McSally is the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, and first to command a fighter squadron in combat in United States history. In 2001-2002, Martha McSally earned national recognition for successfully challenging and overturning a military policy requiring all U.S. servicewomen to wear Muslim clothing when off base in Saudi Arabia.

Stay tuned for more news from Martha’s campaign by following her on Twitter ( and by visiting her facebook ( and website (



Obama’s Economy, Healthcare Law Still Hammering Away at Arizona, Hispanics

Healthcare Law Penalizes Uninsured, Hispanics Twice As Likely to Lack Health Insurance

PHOENIX – When President Obama’s healthcare law goes into full effect in 2014, millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance will be forced to pay an average penalty of $1,200.  As seen in a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released yesterday,  government officials are still measuring the impact of the healthcare law passed more than two years ago, and the news is not good.

Arizona will be especially hard-hit by Obama’s healthcare law, because not only is the unemployment rate among Hispanics already up to 10.2% — more than two points higher than the national average — the uninsured rate among Hispanics is 30%, nearly twice the national average of 16%.  Arizona’s Hispanic population is about 30% of Arizona’s 6.5 million residents.

As the Associated Press reports:

“Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.  The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises.  The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed.  The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, 9/19/2012)

“President Obama and Democrats like Richard “Rubberstamp” Carmona that support this new healthcare law are ignoring Arizona’s residents, especially Hispanics,” said Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert.  “Every day we hear bad news about either the economy or healthcare, but today it’s both — and the only good news is that we have the opportunity to stop Obama and Carmona and put Mitt Romney in the White House and Jeff Flake in the U.S. Senate.”


Health Insurance and Hispanics

  • Uninsured rate national average among all groups is 15.7% (“Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011” United States Census Bureau, Table 7)
  • Uninsured rate among Hispanics is 30.1%, or 15.8 million people (“Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011” United States Census Bureau, Table 7)

Obama’s Healthcare Penalizes Uninsured

After accounting for those who will not be subject to the penalty tax, CBO and JCT now estimate that about 6 million people will pay a penalty because they are uninsured in 2016 (a figure that includes uninsured dependents who have the penalty paid on their behalf) and that total collections will be about $7 billion in 2016 and average about $8 billion per year over the 2017–2022 period. Those estimates differ from projections that CBO and JCT made in April 2010: About two million more uninsured people are now projected to pay the penalty each year, and collections are now expected to be about $3 billion more per year.  (“Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/19/12)


Judicial Watch takes its eye off the ball

By Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute

Judicial Watch, the Washington, D.C.-based group that describes itself as a conservative watchdog, has taken on all types of government corruption and waste.

Among them is the scandalous practice of union release-time, in which government employees are given paid time to perform union work, including lobbying and campaigning.  Judicial Watch condemned Miami-Dade County, Florida Mayor Carlos Alvarez for allowing “public transit workers to be excused from their regular duties while still collecting taxpayer salaries.” Among Judicial Watch’s bill of particulars against the mayor was the “1,300 union police officers who make over $100,000 at the department Alvarez worked in and headed for years.” Outrageous, said Judicial Watch.

So imagine our shock when Judicial Watch announced it would try to intervene in the Goldwater Institute’s challenge to release time in Phoenix—to defend the practice that diverts six full-time police officers and thousands of hours of police time for “union business,” including lobbying and campaigning.

Why the sudden shift in principle?

The explanation appears to lie in Judicial Watch’s recent hire of Mark Spencer as its “Southwest Projects Coordinator.” Before joining Judicial Watch, Spencer was the Phoenix police union’s president and lobbyist, where—you guessed it—he was on release time, receiving the pay and pension benefits of a full-time police officer while riding a union desk.

Release time is widespread among Arizona municipalities (Scottsdale is a notable exception). Phoenix’s release time provisions in contracts with its seven government worker unions cost taxpayers $4 million per year, according to a Goldwater Institute investigation released last year.

Seems like just the type of scandal Judicial Watch would sniff out—if it hadn’t compromised its mission.

Clint Bolick is Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Money for Nothing: Phoenix Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Union Work

Goldwater Institute: Cheatham v. Gordon

Judicial Watch Release: Judicial Watch, Phoenix Police Officers Seek to Protect Officers’ Employment Agreement

Judicial Watch Blog: Union Workers Campaign For Mayor On Taxpayer Time