Arizona Legislators, Sign The Pledge!

I’ve been posting on the need for Arizona legislators and the Governor to stand firm in the need to cut the budget and NOT raise taxes. This is one of those historical moments where Republicans have a golden opportunity to take advantage of the crisis here in Arizona, recalibrate the budget to reality, establish priorities and do the right thing for Arizona. As I’ve already posted, they have a clear shot at doing this with majorities in both houses, a liberal media on the financial ropes and an overwhelming community consensus for sacrifice and belt-tightening.

One of the starting points for legislators to do this is to sign the pledge that they won’t raise OUR taxes. Our friends at the Arizona Free Enterprise Club have made this all the much easier. Here is a press release they issued in December. Now that the legislature is in full swing, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this:

Do Taxpayers Want Higher Taxes to Balance the Budget?

Arizona Free Enterprise Club launches No New Taxes Petition

Phoenix, AZ – The Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a pro-growth advocacy group, today launched a No New Taxes petition in response to a growing discussion about a possible tax increase to balance the budget.

“If incoming lawmakers are going to hear from professors and pundits that the state’s budget woes were caused by tax cuts and can be solved by tax hikes, then they ought to hear what actual taxpayers have to say about it as well,” said Steve Voeller, president of the Club.

Professors at Arizona State University released a study that blames the state’s $1.7 billion budget deficit on income and property tax cuts from the 1990’s and 2006. The study also states that a $1 billion tax increase would be preferable to budget cuts of the same size. Citing the ASU study, the Tucson Citizen argued that there is a case to be made to increase taxes. Finally, although she said it’s “not something she’d like to see,” soon-to-be-Governor Jan Brewer didn’t rule out a tax increase.

As a percentage of the general fund, Arizona has the largest budget deficit in the country. The Free Enterprise Club has argued that the deficit was caused by state spending that far surpassed reasonable measuring sticks for budget growth.

The Arizona budget grew from $6.5 billion in 2004 to $10.6 billion in 2008, a 63 percent increase. Over that same time period, personal income growth was 37 percent and population plus inflation growth was about 30 percent.

“You can’t grow government faster than the ability of taxpayers to pay for it,” Voeller said.

The petition can be found at: www.azfec.org/NoNewTaxes.


Comments

  1. kralmajales says

    We have the lowest personal tax burden of any state. We are near the bottom in other taxes as well. We lower taxes and lower them and we get deficit after deficit.

    There is nothing to cut here. The GOP has driven this state into the ground. Period. You all gutted our education system last week with massive massive massive midyear cuts?

    And none of you seem to care a lick. Screw you when you send your kids to college. YOu better start saving…cause it is going to cost you more than your “business friendly environment” will ever be able to deliver.

    Oh…and guess what? There is a direct correlation between education and earnings. Also education and economic development.

    GOPers like Bob Dole knew this. So did Reagan, when did you all get so off track?

  2. kralmajales says

    Oh and those statistics about government spending rising are totally off base and out of context. What they fail to tell you is that prior to that the state had cut massively because of the last GOP induced economic deficits. The increases in spending did not even restore what was lost when you consider inflation. In addition, much of that spending was in areas that most of you agree with…prisons…more prisons…law enforcement…more law enforcement. Also, well…we needed new roads since ours had fallen apart due to the lack of spending.

  3. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    kralmajales,

    Two Suggestions…

    1. Don’t spread misinformation in hopes of converting people to your tax and spend cause. Contrary to what you write, Arizona does not have the lowest personal tax burden of any state (where the heck did you get that from anyway?). According to the Tax Foundation, we are #10, which is good but not as good as it could be (http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf). Also, the state’s corporate income tax rate ranks somewhere in the middle of the 50 states, and well behind some of our neighboring states. Again, we could make our state much more attractive to business with lower rates. So please, don’t spread blatant lies in this forum.

    2. Take a course in accounting or economics before pretending to know something about those topics. The simple math is that you can’t spend more than you bring in. I don’t know why you would complain that we didn’t “restore what was lost” when it is obvious that we already overspent. Are you really suggesting the state should have spent more? Cuts had to be made and I don’t envy the people that had to do it, but I wouldn’t blame them for the overspending by Napolitano and other legislators.

  4. kral,

    “Screw you when you send your kids to college. YOu better start saving…cause it is going to cost you more than your “business friendly environment” will ever be able to deliver.”

    Don’t worry, they’ll just home-college them.

  5. Can't Recall My Clever Pseudonym says

    Uh, most responsible parents save for their kids’ college, don’t they? And the lower my taxes the better I can do that for my kids, no?

    So every time I see that $4 billion light rail train with no one on it I will think about the money that could have been spent on education.

  6. kralmajales says

    Are you kidding me, ok, we have one of the lowest tax burdens in the United States (I stand corrected) and at the same time we have among the worst in basically everything else.

    Lower taxes is not the only factor necessary in generated economic development…it is this states recipe and it has failed. We cannot growth this state by attracting old people and slashing education to the bone.

    And to argue that we should have never spent the money on government programs in the first place? What planet do you live on? Do you think we should do nothing but fund national defense, catch illegals, and house prisoners? THAT is what your party spends on all the damned time.

    Napolitano is by no means the problem here. She indeed tried to restore what your legislature had cut and cut and cut. Both taxes and education spending…among other things.

    Listen…just listen…it is the public declaring your ideas old, bankrupt and frankly immoral.

  7. kral,

    I would like to thank you from taking time out of your obviously busy day to post the truth on this Conservative blog. It is not too often that someone of your knowlege, and honesty comes around here. You have really changed my whole outlook on life. All of the sudden I cannot fathom how the GOP could cut what amounts to 2.5% of education funding after a 40% increase in the last five years. You are right, budget be damned! We need to increase taxes, that way there will be less money in the private sector. The common folk never know what to spend it on anyways, and government has such a great track record on spending. Raise Corporate taxes too. That way we can make sure that all of these college grads will have jobs waiting for them after they are done. Makes way too much sense! Again, thank you……..

    Is that what you were looking for?

    Ha Ha Ha Ha, you really must not have too much to do with your life.

  8. Can't Recall My Clever Pseudonym says

    Well, if the ideas are immoral you don’t also have to call them old and bankrupt, now do you?

    Take K-12 which is half the state budget at about $5 billion. They cut $130 million from it, which is a 2.6% cut.

    I would not call that “slashing education” but I guess if you were the guy trying to sell 20″ flat screen monitors to the districts you’d be ticked.

  9. kralmajales says

    I’d like to see your figures. I can all but guarantee that the cuts to state funds going to education are far higher than 2.6%. I want to see the real numbers.

    Someone suggested something similar and much more falso about the state budgets to the university. It is falacious to say that the $57 million (mid year) cut to U. of A’s state budget is only in single digits. You must look at it at the percentage cuts to the overall state funds. We are looking at double digits…and MID YEAR. That is on top of a $20 million state cut made last fiscal year. We are expecting another $40-50 Million again…which would be another double digit percentage drop.

    So where does the rest of our money come from. Research dollars we attract which are federally mandated for particular programs, buildings and facilities. Private donations, which are earmarked (as they should be) by the donors to particular programs, and then there is tuition.

    So how many here are willing to pay the market rate for tuition? The state Constitution mandates state fundings for its schools and universities. You all are burning the Arizona constitution….law and order?? I think NOT.

    I would bet anyone here $1000 that the current legislature would not cut allow us to raise our tuition to the level that the market would actually demand. Even they do not have those guts.

  10. Can't Recall My Clever Pseudonym says

    The state constitution actually says university education should be as free “as possible.”

    My posted figures above came from the Arizona Guardian, but here’s the link to the Tribune article about K-12 which is close at hand and the numbers are similar enough:

    “State’s school districts must cut $119M”

    “While Arizona education makes up about 42 percent of the state’s budget this year, lawmakers cut only 3.2 percent of the appropriated funds, said Sen. Linda Gray. R-Phoenix. When school districts consider all funding sources, that percentage is closer to 1.9 percent.”

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/134937

  11. kralmajales says

    The state constitution also has explicit language where the framers state that higher education in this state should be a function of the state. When the state portion of our budget drops from the 20% range to the teens, I do not call that support of education.

    Also, the as free as possible language is something that is as clear sunlight. What it means is that the state should be paying and subsidizing higher ed so that the people should not have to pay high “market based” tuition.

    The intention was never what the GOP wants now. Low tax support of our universities AND little to no tuition.

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