Kevin Thompson: Mesa Should Always Be Open For Business

Kevin ThompsonThe rumors we’ve been hearing for several weeks are true. According to breaking news, the 1.3 million square foot facility formerly owned by First Solar, has been bought and the new owner is Apple, Inc. The factory, which is approximately the size of 43 football fields, is located at Signal Butte and Elliott roads. The facility will manufacture microchips and will bring more than 700 new jobs to Mesa. Another 1,300 jobs will come as a result of construction and other associated efforts.

What does this mean for Mesa and the region? It means high-paying jobs. Not only does it mean direct jobs at the plant, but also the supplemental jobs that follow a manufacturer to support their technology and development. One only needs to look at the Price Road corridor in Chandler and the companies along that corridor supporting Intel to see the potential for the future of our District and our City. It also means additional revenue and a financial boon for Mesa and its citizens.

I applaud Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and our City Council on their proactive approach in bringing development to our City. The HEAT philosophy and approach (Health, Education, Aviation, and Technology & Tourism) is being applied in our City, and it’s working.

If elected to the Mesa City Council next year, I promise that I will continue make sure the City of Mesa is Open for Business.

Welcome to Mesa, Apple!

Kevin Thompson is a Republican candidate running for the open seat for Mesa City Council District 6. Thompson’s district includes the Apple factory. Thompson is an Air Force veteran and a 15-year employee of Southwest Gas. To learn more, visit www.ThompsonForMesa.com or visit on Facebook.

LIBRE: Minimum Wage Workers Protest for More Pay

Growing the Economy is the Best Way to Raise Wages

(Washington, D.C.) – Fast food workers in many parts of the country today intend to walk out on their jobs in protest of low wages. Press reports indicate these workers support a doubling of the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. This walkout – which is financed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – is the most recent in a series of strikes in major U.S. cities. Supporters of the minimum wage increase for fast food workers say a higher salary is more important now because while fast food jobs used to be primarily taken by teens, many workers are now older and supporting families. Small business advocates argue that raising the minimum wage has the effect of forcing employers to increase their use of technology to replace personnel, reduce employee hours worked, or cut costs in other ways.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

“While the struggle of these workers to make ends meet is legitimate, their complaints are aimed at the wrong target. Minimum wage increases come at a cost to job creators who will inevitably pass the economic burden on to clients and potential employees. Empirical research shows that such increases tend to reduce employment of the very ones requesting higher wages. The best way to get employers to raise wages is to create more jobs, grow the economy, put more money in the pockets of consumers and decrease regulations like the Affordable Care Act that are causing restaurants to lay off workers and cut hours.

More than four years into what the White House calls ‘a recovery’, family incomes have fallen, small businesses are hurting, and a shift in the job market has teens and older Americans competing for the same entry-level, low wage jobs. Fast food workers and others should demand a new approach from Washington – one that doesn’t rely on more borrowing, more taxes, and more regulation. Instead, we need to get government out of the way of entrepreneurs who know how to grow businesses and create economic opportunity.”

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The LIBRE Initiative is a non-partisan, non-profit, national grassroots organization dedicated to informing the U.S. Hispanic community about the benefits of a constitutionally limited government, property rights, rule of law, sound money supply and free enterprise through a variety of community events, research and policy initiatives. Latinos have been disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn suffering from higher levels of unemployment and poverty. Our aim is to equip the Hispanic community with the tools they need to be prosperous. Connect with us on Facebook at The LIBRE Initiative and @LIBREInitiative on Twitter. Visit: www.thelibreinitiative.com.

EPA overreach at Navajo Generating Station yields bad energy policy for Arizona

By Douglas Little, Phoenix Conservative Examiner

In one of the most egregious abuses of it regulatory power, the EPA is forcing the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) located near Page, AZ to make unnecessary and costly modifications to the generation facilities that would have no measurable effect on emissions in the region.

Using the Clean Air Act as its regulatory authority, the EPA claims that emissions from NGS are contributing to haze in the Grand Canyon area and in February of this year, proposed a regional haze restriction that would require NGS expenditures of $1.1 billion on additional emission reduction controls. This claim also ignores the fact that prevailing winds in the region result in plant emissions being blown away from the Grand Canyon, not towards it.

At the same time the EPA issued their ruling, a U.S. Department of Energy study concluded there would be no visibility improvement at the Grand Canyon after the controls were added. Why would the EPA pursue such a expensive and punitive rule when it would have no perceptible effect on haze at the Grand Canyon?

Opponents of the EPA action are reporting that the EPA doesn’t care about haze at all. They say what the EPA really wants is to provide a precedent for shutting down coal-fired electric generating plants. The Obama administration has a stated objective to reduce carbon emissions and last year attempted to implement a “cap and trade” approach to regulating fossil fuels. Republicans in the US Congress voted down the enabling legislation, with some calling it a “war on coal”.

Why is the EPA going after NGS and why is NGS so critical to Arizona?

The Navajo Generating Station was constructed at a cost of $650 million beginning in 1970 and ending in 1976 when the last of the three generating units was completed. The project was sited in its current location based on readily available coal fuel, a reliable source of water for cooling and the proximity of the city of Page which could provide for many of the project’s infrastructure needs, including an available skilled labor pool. The plant is located approximately 100 miles northeast of the Grand Canyon.

The primary purpose of the NGS was to provide power to support the Central Arizona Project (CAP) which is responsible for supplying Arizona’s share of Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona. To get water from the far northwest corner of Arizona to the rest of the state, CAP built a network of pumps, pipelines and and surface canals over 336 miles in length to transport Arizona’s annual allocation of 1.5 million acre-feet of water to Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties. The pumps must raise the water over 3000 feet to allow it to flow into central Arizona. The majority of the power generated by NGS powers the CAP pumps.

NGS has a long history of taking a proactive approach to emissions reduction. In 1999, NGS completed a $420 million retrofit that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant by 90%. In additional overhauls conducted between 2003 and 2005, electrostatic precipitators were overhauled for reliability and performance gains. In 2007, the Salt River Project, the plant operator, conducted studies on how to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions to reduce haze in the region and voluntarily installed emission reduction equipment on each of their three plants between 2009 and 2011.

Apparently, the best efforts of NGS were not good enough. The EPA rule proposed in February is one of the most stringent regional haze rules in the entire nation. It imposes a standard that is more rigorous that the standards for a brand new coal plant. At the 1600 megawatt Prairie State Energy Campus which first came online in 2012, the permitted level of NO emissions are 0.07 parts per million (ppm) while the standard for NGS, a 37 year old plant, is 0.055 ppm.

In an attempt to find a reasonable middle ground, a working group consisting of the EPA, U.S. Department of the Interior, the Salt River Project, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Gila River Indian Community, the Navajo Nation and the Western Resource Advocates began negotiations to find a “Reasonable Progress Alternative” to the BART rule issued by the EPA in February.

These negotiations were closed-door sessions and while the working group included non-stakeholder environmental activists like the Environmental Defense Fund, they did not solicit or accept input from important stakeholders like the Arizona Corporation Commission, which is the primary regulatory body for energy and water resources in the state. Arizona’s Attorney General was also excluded from legal review and comment on the proposed agreement.

Under the proposed settlement, visibility standards and haze causing nitrogen oxide standards are not even addressed. However, in one section of the proposed agreement, the Department of the Interior makes commitments to reduce or offset carbon dioxide emissions by 3% per year “in furtherance of the President’s 2013 Climate Action Plan”. It further states that “This commitment is intended to accomplish two aims: reduce carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrate the workability of a credit-based system to achieve carbon dioxide emission reductions” (emphasis added).

This action by the Department of the Interior and the EPA essentially unilaterally implements “cap and trade” at NGS even though they do not have Congressional authority to do so.

The working group proposal also calls for the early shutdown of one generation unit in 2020 or the equivalent reduction of output equal to the closure of one unit from 2020 to 2030. There is no consideration in the plan for any increased cost in replacement power or an increase in water rates due to those increased power costs.

While clearly not a great deal for SRP, the Navajo and CAP, why are they supporting it? The original rule issued by the EPA would have imposed the most stringent nitrogen oxide standards in the country and would require retrofits to the generating plants at a cost of over a billion dollars. Had that rule been implemented, the economic viability of the entire plant was in jeopardy. The Arizona stakeholders felt that the EPA was holding the plant hostage under its rule-making authority. They felt that the working group agreement was probably the best deal they could get under the circumstances, enabling them to keep the plant going at least until 2035.

Unfortunately, the working group agreement has some fairly large holes in it. Many of the commitments made by the Department of the Interior may require Congressional action to implement. In the current belt-tightening by the federal government, Congress may not be willing to fund the $100 million in commitments made by the Department of the Interior. Furthermore, the agreement anticipates a dramatic increase in water rates, but make no provision for it. In addition, it does not address the loss of jobs, economic benefit and tribal revenues that will result from the terms of the agreement.

A critical reading of the proposed working group agreement seems to indicate that these regulations are not about reducing regional haze. There is no meaningful reduction of nitrogen oxide in the proposed agreement. Instead, there is a focus on carbon dioxide emission reduction. Carbon dioxide is an odorless, colorless gas and has no impact on visible haze.

In addition, the agreement is an apparent attempt to unilaterally implement a “cap and trade” system for regulating carbon emissions for which the Department of the Interior and the EPA have no statutory or regulatory authority.

Finally, it appears to be a blatant EPA attack on coal-fired generating plants with the full support and encouragement of environmental activists.

Is the EPA doing all of this for a reduction in haze that the federal government’s own study said would be imperceptible to the human eye? More likely, the haze standard simply gives the EPA the opening they need to accomplish their real objectives of shutting another coal plant and promoting Obama’s energy agenda.

EPA overreach? Good energy policy? The right choice for Arizona? You decide.

The public comment period on the proposed agreement will close on October 4th, 2013.

You can go here to comment: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0009-0111

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen -
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               ”When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

TUSK Launches New Ad Against 800 Lb Utility Monopoly

TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar Won’t Be Killed) released a new ad Thursday against the APS monopoly by placing ads across the banner of the Drudge Report - one of the internet’s most visited political news sites.

Here’s a screenshot of the ad across Drudge:

TuskDrudge

In the latest ad, TUSK portrays APS as the “800 Lb. utility gorilla” beating up on independent solar businesses in Arizona. Former congressman, Barry Goldwater, Jr. then explains why conservative Republicans should be leading the charge for energy choice in Arizona.

Here is a copy of the ad:

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The message: Don’t let APS monopolize Solar Energy in Arizona. To learn more about TUSK visit www.DontKillSolar.com.

Phoenix Business Owner Says Mayor Needs To Keep Campaign Promise Regarding Food Tax

(Phoenix, AZ) It seems there were a lot of questions directed at Mayor Stanton at a community meeting held at the Mayo Clinic on April 23rd. But it wasn’t zoning laws or the need to fix our streets that was on most people’s minds, it was the food tax. In fact some of the residents that attended wanted to know why Mayor Stanton isn’t keeping his campaign promise that he made to repeal it like he did during his campaign. While Mayor Stanton continued to tell residents that the tax is needed to keep fire and police services operating, Phoenix business owner and city resident Nohl Rosen reminded him that he needs to keep his promise to the people.

“As a business owner when I make a promise to a customer, I honor it as that is what your supposed to do because it’s good service. I simply reminded the Mayor that he made a promise to the citizens of Phoenix and that he needs to keep it,” Rosen said.

However, during the meeting which was also attended by City Council members Jim Waring and Bill Gates, it was revealed that the food tax was used to give pay raises to city employees and also fund golf courses.

“When the food tax was put into affect 3 years ago, the citizens were told that it was to keep fire and police services going. Now we find out that the money wasn’t used for its intended purpose. Still, Mayor Stanton during his campaign said he would repeal the food tax and hasn’t done it. That would be the honorable thing to do and also sets things right. Just what is the Mayor waiting for?” Rosen further asked.

Rosen says he’s considering doing more of his shopping in Scottsdale and other neighboring cities to fulfill regular household needs until the food tax is repealed and encouraging others to do the same.

TUSK: Solar Power Has Staying Power in Arizona

Tell Utilities Solar Won't Be Killed

New Poll Shows Opposition To APS’ Plans To Shut Down Solar In Arizona, Including Among Republicans
A New Organization Forms in Support of Solar Program

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — A revealing new poll shows that Arizona voters, including Republicans, are crystal clear in their opinion of solar energy: Voters like it and they want it to stay here. The information comes on the eve of efforts by Arizona Public Service to shut down the independent solar market in Arizona.

The poll shows that voters think solar power companies are better for the environment than other utilities, will save taxpayers money and an elected official who votes to end the solar program will be committing political malpractice, according to the pollster.

The poll comes as a new organization has emerged to encourage that solar remains viable in Arizona. To show backing for the solar industry, a new organization dedicated to keeping the solar industry in Arizona has announced its formation, T.U.S.K.—Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed. It will be dedicated to keeping the solar industry in Arizona and help the state’s business owners, homeowners and schools to keep their energy costs lower and to provide more energy choice for state taxpayers.

Well-known Arizona Republican and former U.S. Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr., who is supporting T.U.S.K. and its efforts, said: “As a son of Arizona, I know we have no greater resource than our sun. Republicans want the freedom to make the best choice and the competition to drive down rates. That choice may mean they save money and with solar that is the case. Solar companies have a track record of aggressively reducing costs in Arizona. It’s crucial that we don’t let solar energy—and all its advantages and benefits it provides us—be pushed aside by those wanting to limit energy choice. That’s not the Republican way and it’s not the American way. Energy independence is what we should all stand up for and that’s what I intend to encourage.”

The statewide poll, which was conducted on March 20-21 by renowned Republican pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, surveyed 400 likely voters in Arizona, with an oversample of 327 likely Republican primary voters.

The key findings of the poll were as follows:

When asked which of many sources of energy they would MOST want to encourage the use of in Arizona, more than half (52%) of voters say solar power, making it far and away their top choice. Among just Republican primary voters, solar power again easily tops the list, with 40% of Republican primary voters saying they most want to encourage the use of solar power, followed by natural gas at 19%, nuclear at 14%, energy efficient efforts at 6%, oil at 5%, wind power at 5%, and coal at 4%.

  • Fully 63% of voters in Arizona say that solar power companies are better for the environment than utility companies, while just 21% say utility companies are better. Among Republican primary voters, half (49%) say solar power companies are better for the environment, while 31% say utility companies.
  • One half (52%) of Arizona voters say solar power companies are more likely to save taxpayers money, which is close to double the 28% who say utility companies are more likely to save taxpayers money.
  • Eight-eight percent of voters agree (including 76% of Republicans) that solar energy is finally succeeding in Arizona because solar customers are allowed to sell the extra energy their solar panels generate back to the utility company (called net metering). In other words, if consumers are forced to buy power from Arizona Public Service for a certain price, Arizona Public Service should have to buy excess power created by solar panels for that same price. The voters strongly agreed that this is a good policy that exists in 43 other states, and it should not be ended by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
  • Fully 75% of voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who voted to end the solar power program in Arizona, with a majority (52%) saying they would be much less likely to vote for that candidate. A Republican elected official who voted to end the solar power program would also be putting him or herself at risk in a primary, as 60% of Republican primary voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who voted to end the program.
  • Eighty-four percent of voters (and 76% of Republicans) agree that when it comes to providing electricity, there should be more choices and competition rather than just have to use the power from the utility monopoly. Solar power is an important part of that.

The poll was conducted by Glen Bolger, a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. Bolger is one of the Republican Party’s top political strategists and pollsters. Bolger has extensive experience in Arizona. In 2012, Bolger did work on behalf of two of the independent expenditure efforts that helped elected Jeff Flake to the U.S. Senate. In previous election cycles, Bolger has served as the pollster for former Congressman John Shadegg, as well as former Congressman J.D. Hayworth.  Bolger also regularly conducts polling for the Arizona Association of Realtors and has done a significant amount of polling at the local level in the state. Bolger is one of the few pollsters ever to twice receive the “Pollster of the Year” award from the American Association of Political Consultants, winning the prestigious award for his work in both 2002 and 2009.

Public Opinion Strategies is a national political and public affairs survey research firm whose clients include leading political figures, Fortune 500 companies, and major associations. Public Opinion Strategies has 15 U.S. Senators, six governors, and more than 75 Members of Congress as clients.

“What this poll shows is that solar power is extremely popular the Valley of the Sun and throughout Arizona,” said Bolger. “The evidence is this poll is overwhelming: When it comes to encouraging the use of solar power in Arizona as compared to other energy sources, solar wins hands down and wins from both sides of the aisle. Voters believe that solar power companies are better for the environment than utility companies, and also that solar power companies are more likely to save taxpayers money than utility companies. Like school choice and health care choice, solar choice is supported broadly by Arizonans, and it’s an important part of the Republican agenda.”

Bolger concluded: “From a political standpoint, voting to end the solar power program is a complete non-starter, as voters are much less likely to support a candidate who votes to end the program.”

Read the poll interview questions

Read the findings

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Inequality in America: How Wealth is Spread

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inequality in americaA recent YouTube video, “Wealth Inequality in America,” has been steadily circulating through various internet sites and social media outlets. The viral video seeks to educate the American populace on how unjust or “skewed” the American Economic system is because it creates horrible economic inequality.  However, the video is rather vague for it seems to only emphasize the topic of the distribution of wealth, without actually explaining why they believe this inequality is ghastly and unfair. The video raised the question of whether or not CEOs are worth what they earn.  According to the video, a CEO earns in one hour what the average employee earns in one month.  The video also made the hypothetical query, “Does a CEO really work 380 times harder than his average worker?”; implying that this is immoral because  Americans do not ideally think or even perceive the value placed on CEOs as being fair distribution of wealth.  So then I pose this question, “Is this supposed unjust distribution caused by an inherently evil unjust system and do the rich like CEOs and athletes get paid an unjust amount?”. I have concluded that this is view is inaccurate as it is a misconception of how wealth is actually earned and dispersed.

First, we must become aware of how wealth is actually distributed in the United States, with the exception of government contracting, bailouts, grants and loans, social security, welfare (both corporate and individual). Whereas the Federal government chooses the winners and losers, wealth distribution is based off the free market. The market is simply people – millions of people that make day to day decisions. In fact, every time you choose to shop at Wal-Mart, Target or any other store you are deciding where to distribute your wealth. There is no system or outside force that causes you to purchase goods and services at any particular store in the United States or even a particular brand. Instead, we the American people decide how to spread our wealth. Economist, Walter E. Williams clearly conveys the truth of this idea,

Look at how Wal-Mart Stores generated wealth for the Walton family of Christy ($25 billion), Jim ($21 billion), Alice ($21 billion) and Robson ($21 billion). The Walton family’s wealth is not a result of ill-gotten gains, but the result of Wal-Mart’s revenue, $422 billion in 2010. The blame for this unjust concentration of wealth rests with those hundreds of millions of shoppers worldwide who voluntarily enter Wal-Mart premises and leave dollars, pounds and pesos.

In other words, millions of people are freely choosing to shop and distribute their wealth as they see fit.  This can also be seen when you choose to buy a generic brand over the name brand or when you decide to eat at a chain restaurant or a local restaurant; and by the fact that store owners and managers respond to your purchases by stocking the shelves with the products you desire most. These are all actions and reactions to people’s decisions.

Second, there seems to be a misconception of where people get the money to distribute the wealth they have. So where does wealth come from? Economist, Thomas Sowell explains this best,

Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on “income distribution,” the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned. People paying each other for goods and services generate income…[M]ost wealth is not distributed at all. People create it, earn it, save it and spend it.  (Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed, 1995, pg 211)

It is crucial for one to understand Sowell’s point that most wealth is earned and created by innovation and hard work. With this earned wealth, these people then can choose to spend, save, invest or even give their money away.  Ultimately, this is an admirable thing because it demonstrates free people making free decisions based on their own family and unique life situations.  It is not some central organization or mystical entity that distributes money – if so, it clearly would be unjust. Moreover, the video’s argument that there must be something inherently wrong since the desired and perceived distribution of wealth is categorically off from the actual wealth distribution numbers, is no real argument at all! This does not make for a cogent argument, especially if a person’s perception is already based on a false understanding of how wealth is created and distributed.  Economist Walter E Williams expounds on these common misconceptions some more,

I think some of the ignorance and much of the demagoguery stems from the usage of the phrase “income distribution.” It might make some people think income is distributed; in other words, there’s a dealer of dollars….An alternative vision might be that there’s a pile of money intended for all of us. The reason why some are rich and some are poor is that the greedy rich got to the pile first and took their unfair share. Clearly, in either case, justice would require a re-dealing, or redistribution, of the dollars, where the government takes ill-gotten gains of the few and returns them to their rightful owners.

Williams is right, although many in our culture seem to think they were given the shaft by some mythical dollar dealer or somehow they did not get their fair share as if there was a predestined share they were entitled to receive at birth. Now contrast that to the reality that wealth is created by producing goods and services that are pleasing to “one’s fellow man,” as Williams states. In other words, the only way you will obtain wealth is to earn it from your “fellow man” and to do that you need to produce goods and services that will be of use to them.

Thirdly, the video poses the idea that Athletes and CEOs do not produce as much as their employees. As a reference library assistant, I get paid for the services I provide to students for the university. I am paid a wage that is on par with the value the university places on me, and thus is willing to pay me. Furthermore, I work there because I am willing to be compensated at that rate. Again, millions of people do this same process all over the nation voluntarily.  This same voluntary process happens for CEOs, athletes and other rich members of our society by getting paid based on how much their employers value them. For example, Derek Jeter the short stop for the New York Yankees is to be paid this year about $24.5 Million. Now to you and me, Jeter may not be worth 24 million dollars nor does he necessarily work as hard as you or I combined. But to the New York Yankees, he is worth every penny. According to Andrew Marhand of ESPN New York,

“He [Jeter] is the brand,” said St. Louis Blues interim CEO Mike McCarthy, who ran MSG Network when it owned the rights to Yankees’ games. From McCarthy’s unique position as a top television executive and now as part of an ownership group in St. Louis, the 36-year-old Jeter adds premium value to the Yankees and YES — both estimated to be worth more than a billion each, maybe much more — as he likely becomes the first Yankee with 3,000 hits.

Kurt Badenhausen of Forbs magazine gives us even more perspective:

During his Yankees career Jeter has made $213 million in salary (with another $43 million still to come) and roughly $100 million in endorsements. Yet his value to the Yankees has been even greater. The value of the Yankees and its related enterprises has increased by nearly $5 billion during Jeter’s career. Yes other stars contributed greatly to the Yankees success, but no one quite like the Captain.

In other words, Jeter adds more to the team in value than just what he produces out on the field. This is not an unjust distribution of wealth because again it is millions of people like you and I who buy the Jeter memorabilia and watch the Yankee games on TV which adds to ratings – all of these situations are examples of wealth being distributed on account of the voluntary decisions of free individuals and not some scheming system planers.  The same goes for CEOs, for it is not  society that gets to decide how much the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, University of Phoenix, or any other company gets paid for the job they do. Society does not know the value that these positions is worth to those individual stock holders.

In conclusion, we are the ones who choose how to spend our dollar votes.  Therefore, the next time you go shop at a store or buy a Derek Jeter Yankee’s jersey, realize that you are distributing your wealth. There is no system that is ideal. The video clip, “Wealth Inequality in America,” is talking about an imaginative system or idea of more equality that does not exist and never will exist. Free markets are not perfect, but compared to all other economic systems there is nothing better. If you wish for more just results, then maybe giving to charity or starting a business and employing people at a wage you believe is fair would be a start. Either way, it is up to the millions of individuals to decide how they will distribute their wealth, because they are the ones who make up the market.   Therefore, let’s looks beyond idealism and ignorant perception and seek understanding.

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Editors note: as with all blog postings that appear with a by-line, the opinions presented are the author’s and not necessarily the positions of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.

Thomas Martin Salazar is an Arizona leader of the Café con Leche Republicans. Thomas was born and raised in Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Grand Canyon University and is currently working on obtaining a MDiv in Biblical Communication from Phoenix Seminary. Thomas has also served as the Grand Canyon University College Republicans Vice President and interim President (February 2007-April 2008) and as a Maricopa County Republican Precinct committeeman (August 2009 – August 2012). Original link.

Pinal Assessor Calls on State Land to Act

union_pacific_red_rock
FLORENCE, AZ – Pinal County Assessor Douglas J. Wolf spoke out in favor of a resolution supporting the Union Pacific Classification Yard at Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Wolf stated that it is time for the Arizona Land Department to end their stonewalling of this economically valuable project.

“The State Land Department has a specific mission to achieve the highest financial return for their trustees. The Union Pacific project at Red Rock is a unique opportunity to add millions of dollars to the trust yet the Land Department is falsely claiming the project would reduce the value of their adjoining property. They are mistaken because a strategic infrastructure project like this would raise the value of the adjoining state land. It is time for the Land Department to do its job and allow the land in question to go to auction,” stated Mr. Wolf.

The classification yard would be on the east side of Interstate 10, north of the Red Rock interchange. This is a unique location because of the proximity to two rail tracks, two interstates (I-10 and I-8) and nearby airports. There is also ample space in this otherwise remote area to allow for future development of an inland port. Such a project could eventually result in thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars coming to Arizona. Union Pacific searched the southwestern United States for suitable locations for this particular use and found Red Rock and a site in New Mexico presented the best opportunities for success. If Arizona doesn’t act quickly, this company could place this major investment in another state.

Mr. Wolf concluded, “We have a well respected Fortune 500 company asking to create significant new jobs here without requesting a single penny in incentives. I cannot stand by silently as unelected bureaucrats at the State Land Department chase this once in a lifetime opportunity to New Mexico. I stand with the Pinal Board of Supervisors, elected officials from local communities, and with our state legislature in saying enough is enough. Let’s open Arizona for business and let’s do it now!”

Please visit this link for more information on the proposed rail yard, pinalcountyaz.gov/ed/Pages/UnionPacific.aspx.

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The Arizona We Want 2.0

The Arizona We Want 2.0: The Case for Action

(reprinted from Az Republic, Jan. 19, 2013)

​Lattie F. Coor, Chairman and CEO

​Center for the Future of Arizona

Capturing a complete and accurate picture of Arizona is a difficult task for, in reality, we are a state of contrasts.  We have vast, beautiful open spaces and yet we’re one of the most urban states in America. We have a significant number of senior citizens yet we also have one of the youngest populations in the nation.

So, too, are we a state of contrasts in our social and political endeavors.  We have high educational aspirations, yet low investment and performance. We recognize the need for a diverse, balanced economy that will yield a larger number of high paying jobs, yet population growth and housing remain our dominant economic identity. We will be one of the first states in the nation in which our “minority” population will be the majority, yet we are not adequately educating the younger members of our new majority for success in the economy of the future.

How do we turn our contrasts into strengths as we chart a clear and coherent way forward? In The Arizona We Want 2.0, a new report our Center is releasing this week, we are presenting a roadmap that will enable us as Arizonans to sort through the elements of the future we want for ourselves and the state in order to direct our collective activities in a more coherent manner.  Building on the insights gained from The Gallup Arizona Poll in 2009, and the vast array of meetings, discussions and activities that have occurred since the release of the original Arizona We Want report, the 2.0 report turns now to presenting very specific next steps we can take to move us toward that desired future.  Those specific steps are organized around the 8 goals expressed by Citizens in the original report.  Five of the goals – Education, Job Creation, Environment and Water, Infrastructure and Health Care — are leader driven requiring the collective action of leaders around the state.  Three of the goals – Young Talent, Civic Engagement and Community Involvement – are citizen driven, requiring individual and collective action of citizens everywhere.

Making significant improvements in education and the economy are at the heart of the action plan presented by the report.  “Fix Education – Fix the Economy” is the way the recent Morrison Institute report entitled Dropped put it.

Fortunately, major improvement in Arizona education is on the horizon with the full implementation of the Common Core Standards in the coming school year along with a more rigorous set of assessments, called PARCC, year after next.  The 2.0 report calls for adequate funding for these steps as well as a substantial increase in the number of Arizonans receiving college degrees and certificate-based job training over the next 10 years.  The recommendations not only tie education funding to student, teacher and school performance but also, seek to ensure that quality education is provided to all students regardless of socio-economic status.

Similarly, for job creation, the report not only calls for a significant increase in new jobs, 75,000, but also recommends focusing on jobs that will increase the average wage over time by 30% county by county. There is also an emphasis on strengthening and/or recruiting businesses that export at least 75% of their product, as well as a challenge to move our research and development expenditures into a ranking among the top 10 states.

Highlights of the remaining 6 goals of The Arizona We Want 2.0 include recommendations for the Environment and Water that 30,000 acres a year be thinned from our National Forests to reduce the fire danger and that at least 600,000 acres of State Trust Land be preserved for open space use.  With respect to water, the report recommends the adoption of at least three new regional and community plans to ensure sustainable uses of water and it also urges Arizona to establish itself as the nation’s leader in water conservation and usage. The goals for Infrastructure call for high speed broadband to be available throughout the state and for citizens to support local community commitments to upgrade streets, water and sewage treatment facilities and public transportation.  Health Care goals include a recommendation that we build upon the success of AHCCCS to provide coverage to more Arizonans, maximize federal dollars and that we develop a health workforce plan to meet Arizona’s future needs.

Since the Gallup Arizona Poll indicated that only 11% of our citizens thought Arizona was a good place for young college graduates, our report places major emphasis on recruiting and retaining talented young people.  It urges communities throughout the state to demonstrate that they value young people and recommends that we involve young people on boards and commissions and foster spaces and events that attract young talent

The final two goals of the report focus on civic engagement and community involvement and present the findings of the 2012 Arizona Civic Health Index report to guide the development of programs in each of those two areas.

Having worked with individuals and organizations throughout the state in preparing The Arizona We Want 2.0 report, we believe key leverage points for action are now ready for implementation.  We believe also that this is a critical moment for Arizona: we all have a vested interest in mobilizing around the citizens’ goals of the 2.0 report and aligning our efforts to achieve these goals. Success will be contingent on the collective effort of individuals and organizations throughout our state.  In light of the urgency and significance of this work, we have created The Arizona We Want Institute, chaired by Don Smith, President and CEO of SCF Arizona, to lead our part of the effort.  We strongly encourage individuals and organizations from across the state to join with us in forming alliances that will help us achieve the Arizona we want

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Proposition 116′s Fate Awaits Election Day

www.VoteYESon116.com

Facebook: Vote YES on 116

Twitter: @VoteYESon116

As the VoteYESon116 campaign heads into the home stretch, small business job creators are optimistic that Arizona’s voters will pass Proposition 116, the Small Business Job Creation Act. The unanimously-passed referendum would create new jobs in Arizona by rolling back the burdensome annual equipment and machinery tax that’s levied before a small business hires its first worker, makes its first sale or even turns a profit. To keep up on developments with the campaign, visit these sites and share them with your family, friends, neighbors and anyone who values your opinion: 

OFFICIAL RESOURCES

VoteYESon116 – visit the official “yes” campaign website to learn more about the referendum

“What’s on My Ballot? – Proposition 116, Arizona’s General Election Guide 2012” – an official publication of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office

NEWS COVERAGE

“Voters to decide fate of tax exemption for businesses” – newspaper coverage by the Arizona Republic’s Ryan Randazzo

“Proposition 116 supporters say it would spur hiring” – Cronkite News’ Sarah Pringle explains Proposition 116′s impact on job creation

“Prop. 116 supporters: Lower business property taxes would spur hiring” – wire service coverage at KTAR radio’s website from the Associated Press

“Prop 116: Business tax exemption on ballot” – newspaper coverage in the Yuma Sun by Capitol Media Service’s Howard Fischer

NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS

“Our position… Proposition 116: Support”Arizona Republic, October 18, 2012

“Courier: Yes on Proposition 116”Prescott Daily Courier, October 20, 2012 

“Proposition 116 — Yes”Casa Grande Dispatch, October 24, 2012 

“Vote for the good of business”Inside Tucson Business, October 12, 2012

“Proposition 116 would stimulate state economy”Yuma Sun, October 4, 2012

 

VIDEOS

VoteYESon116 “I’ll Hire” Commercial

VoteYESon116 “Cupcake” Commercial

“Vote 2012: Proposition 116” – a 7 minute 23 second video from Eight, Arizona PBS’s Arizona Horizon program on Proposition 116 with NFIB’s Farrell Quinlan

“Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett’s 2012 Ballot Measure Town Hall. Proposition 116 – Taxes on Business Equipment & Machinery” – a two-minute video on why voters should pass Proposition 116 featuring NFIB/Arizona’s Farrell Quinlan

“Proposition 116 increases tax exemption for businesses” – a 1 minute 26 second video from Cronkite News reporter Mugo Odigwe features small-business-owner Margie Long of Hot Air Expeditions and NFIB’s Farrell Quinlan on the effects of Proposition 116 on job creation

ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

Americans For Prosperity – Arizona
American Rental Association – Arizona
AMIGOS (Arizona Mining and Industry Gets Our Support)
Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association
Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Arizona Farm Bureau Federation
Arizona Multihousing Association
Arizona Technology Council
Chandler Chamber of Commerce
Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce
Goldwater Institute
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
National Federation of Independent Business – Arizona
Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce
Printing Industries of Arizona
Tempe Chamber of Commerce
Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce
United Dairymen of Arizona
Western Growers

VOTER GUIDE: Democrat Kyrsten Sinema on Taxes, in Her Own Words [ @KyrstenSinema ]

Democrat congressional candidate and criminal defense lawyer Kyrsten Sinema served for six years in the State House under Republican control, and one year in the State Senate under Republican control. She complained throughout those years that Arizona families were undertaxed. She even called Arizona “our tax-starved state.” Fortunately, Republicans would not let tax increase bills be voted on during her years in office, denying her a chance to raise your taxes. (Now, like a guy who kills his parents then pleads for mercy as an orphan, Sinema boasts she did not vote for tax increases, after complaining for years that the GOP would not act on her tax increase demands!) She must think Arizona voters are stupid … or perhaps leeches. Let’s look at her own words.

Here is Sinema’s state tax increase plan as provided to the Arizona Republic. Note that each one of her ideas would devastate entire sectors of the state’s economy:

[R]aising taxes is more economically sound than cutting vital social services …. In Arizona, there are a number of techniques that we could use …. Broadening the sales tax to include services, closing exemptions on sales tax items, reinstating the state property tax, and eliminating tax credits are just some of the strategies to create a more broad revenue stream to fund Arizona’s important programs. I do not support irresponsible pledges to “not raise taxes” … our tax-starved state relies on.

We are a starved budget in a recession…. As mentioned above, I advocate broadening the sales tax to include taxing personal and business services, such as telemarketing, auto repair, and hair and manicure services. This alone would generate roughly $565 million to the state budget per year. I support restoring the sales tax to items currently exempted, such as health club memberships. By restoring the sales tax by closing these exemptions, the state’s revenue would increase about $1.4 billion per year. I support expanding the sales tax to include Internet sales…. I advocate eliminating tax credits such as the education tax credit … and the enterprise zone tax credit.

Wow: by her own calculations, in a failing economy, she is demanding $2 BILLION annually in new state taxes, and that’s not even counting her plan to reinstate the state property tax. She is virtually alone in America in calling for tax increases during a recession.

Separately, she promised to “greatly increase” capital gains taxes on families and “greatly increase” corporate taxes. ["Kyrsten Sinema – Political Positions,” Project Vote Smart 2006.] America already has the highest corporate taxes in the world, which helps drive jobs overseas. Even Barack Obama said he is open to reducing the corporate tax rate. What’s more, guess what happens when corporate taxes are increased? Companies raise their prices. So this is a hidden way for liberal Democrats to stick it to the middle class to fund their pet projects: raise taxes on businesses, and the higher retail prices that result are seldom linked back to the politicians who caused it.

But there’s more! Sinema wrote a bill to create a new, 25-CENT TAX on EVERY plastic bag you use at a supermarket, convenience store, fast food restaurant and other retail establishment – even including dry cleaner bags. She’d also nail you with a 15 cent tax for every paper bag. That’ll teach those work at home moms she calls leeches!

She also opposed a 2008 Arizona ballot initiative to ban all real property sales or transfer taxes, and another one to make it harder to raise taxes or increase government spending by requiring initiatives to pass by a majority of all registered voters. She called them “stinkers” and organized a group to oppose them. [“Unite and Conquer: How to build coalitions that win—and last,” by Kyrsten Sinema (2009), p. 67.]

What about federal taxes?

In June of this year, Sinema said we should let all the Bush-Obama tax relief expire this coming January, which would be a $5.4 TRILLION tax increase over 10 years. Even her Democratic primary opponents were flabbergasted by this job-killing promise. Fellow Democrat Andrei Cherny wrote:

“this is not the time to be raising taxes on the middle class. Just recently, one of my opponents, Kyrsten Sinema, vowed to repeal the Bush tax cuts in total …. This speaks to her values and approach and I think it is the wrong way to deal with a middle class that is getting battered.”

The Sinema tax increase would nail every middle class taxpayer in America and drive our teetering economy off a cliff. US economic growth in 2012 under President Obama is less than 2% (by contrast, growth in China is around 8%). Her tax increase would send us back into recession.

Finally, consider all her massive promises of more and bigger government programs: where will she get the funding for all of them? As a member of Obama’s health care taskforce, she already helped craft his healthcare takeover bill, Obamacare, which includes a $716 BILLION cut to Medicare over the next 10 years. She can’t pay for all her promises by raiding Medicare — she’ll need to jack up taxes, including on working families and job-creators. That’s bad news for all of us.

Kyrsten Sinema has been quite candid about her plans to raise your taxes. Will you let her? The clear choice for Arizona is Vernon Parker.

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The writer can be reached via Twitter. Be sure to share this with Arizona taxpayers you know.

Lessons from Texas on Building an Economically Healthier Arizona

By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D., Goldwater Institute

During the recent recession, the experience of Texas provides a marked contrast to that of Arizona. Arizona’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell at more than double the rate in the nation while Texas’s GDP barely fell at all. Texas’s employment in 2011 was at an all-time high and even greater than in 2007; by contrast, Arizona’s total employment in 2011 was 10 percent below its peak. Although most of the nation has seen hard times like Arizona has since 2007, Arizona’s economic challenges did not begin with the Great Recession. In fact, Arizona’s inflation-adjusted per capita income has lagged the nation’s for decades and stands steady at around 87 percent of the national level. While Arizona’s per capita personal income growth was fifth lowest among the states, Texas’s was seventh highest despite a large influx of people without jobs.

Arizona performs poorly because it taxes and regulates as if it were a state with natural advantages that can absorb bad public policy. In a comparison of several economic policy indexes between Arizona and its six neighbor states, Arizona outranks only California and New Mexico. These policy indexes include measures of economic freedom, business friendliness, tax systems and burdens, and cost of living. Texas ranks first in one measure, ranks second in two measures, and receives eight top-10 rankings.

Although many think oil and gas are the secret of Texas’s success, energy production is half the relative size of Texas’s economy now compared to what it was in the 1980s. The real secret is Texas’s policies. Those policies include no personal income tax, relatively low business taxes, a mostly simple tax structure that is fairly easy to enforce and comply with, gentle regulation that allows its natural advantages to be exploited, and private ownership of most of the state’s land.

Arizona has its advantages, including mineral wealth, balmy winters, stable geology, an outsized allocation from the Colorado River, and an advantageous state constitution that protects individual property rights and liberties. Arizona’s natural disadvantages are significant and very costly, though. They include lack of access to a water port, remoteness from the majority of Americans who live near and east of the Mississippi River, relatively limited labor and energy resources, and geological features that are visually stunning but topography that presents a surface transportation nightmare. Lawmakers need to take these issues into account when formulating policy and not add costs in a state that is already at some cost disadvantages.

The experience of Texas shows that Arizona can best exploit its comparative advantages with lean, unobtrusive government. The state should adopt Texas-style policies that (1) lower taxes and keep them low; (2) simplify the tax system, especially sales taxes and property taxes; (3) restructure the tax system to eliminate income taxes; (4) reduce business property taxes; (5) reduce regulations such as licensing, land use planning, and zoning; (6) sell state trusts, increasing the stock of private land; and (7) reduce the size of government and end state revenue sharing with local government.

Read “Lessons from Texas on Building an Economically Healthier Arizona” 

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Opposes Proposition 204

The Arizona Chamber has long championed the development of an education system that prepares our state’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. Such a system may require increased funding, but it also needs greater accountability, more tools to help struggling schools and students, and clear, measurable goals. Unfortunately, Proposition 204 fails in this regard.

Vote No on 204

Vote NO on 204!

In recent years, the Chamber supported reforms that help get more science, technology, engineering and mathematics educators into the classroom; increase accountability measures to ensure better school performance; assign easy-to-understand letter grade assessments of schools; increase school choice; increase funding to ensure third graders can read; and allow high achieving students to get a jump start on their college careers.

The Chamber recognizes that a high-performing education system requires the financial resources necessary to produce a highly qualified workforce. To that end, the Chamber strongly supported Proposition 100 in 2010, which established a temporary one cent per dollar sales tax that, among other things, helped prevent deep cuts to the K-12 system during the economic downturn.

Despite what proponents of Proposition 204 might say, it is not an extension of the current sales tax that is set to expire on May 31, 2013. This is an entirely new permanent tax with new implications for policymakers and our state.

This new permanent tax does not increase accountability nor does it demand increased achievement from our education system. Arizona voters, who will commit around one billion dollars annually, deserve more.

We urge voters to oppose Proposition 204.

Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix

Doug Yonko, Chairman, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix

Doug Ducey: Remember When They Promised the One-Cent Sales Tax Would Be Temporary?

Dear Friends,

I am emailing you to thank you for all the support we continue to receive as we speak with hard-working Arizonans on the dangers of Proposition 204. It has been amazing to see how many people care about Arizona’s fiscal future.

We are greatly pleased with our momentum and the overwhelming number of voters we speak with who are voting NO on Prop 204. But we still need your help to get the message out about how Prop 204 is a PERMANENT sales tax increase that is a bad idea for Arizona families. We were promised the sales tax increase would be temporary, but now special interest groups are taking advantage of the sacrifice voters made in 2010 and asking for a $1 BILLION dollar tax hike that lasts FOREVER.

This week we launched our first television ad, “Temporary.”

YouTube Preview Image

Will you please help this ad stay on TV? We are facing a well-funded network of government unions and special interest groups and we need your help to get the facts out on how damaging Prop 204 will be to our local economy. Please consider a donation by clicking HERE.

Any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us spread the word and stay up on the air across the state through Election Day.

Thank you so much for your help. Together we can send the clear sign that Arizona is open for business and that we want real education reform, not special interest giveaways. Vote No on Prop 204!

Thank you,

Doug Ducey
Arizona State Treasurer
Chairman – No New Taxes, No on Prop 204

Vote NO on 204!

The Hidden Cost of the Income Tax

By Stephen Slivinski, Goldwater Institute

Decades of experience have shown us that high taxes dampen economic growth. State policymakers hoping to encourage job growth are right to worry about their state’s tax load on the private sector.

What needs more attention than it gets now is what a state taxes. As it turns out, most states actually rely on the very tax that slows job growth the most: the income tax.

Most states, for instance, assess higher income tax rates on those with higher incomes. Not only does that penalize those who are most successful in the private sector, it inhibits job growth by making small businesses – which are typically the creators of the largest share of jobs in most states and pay their income taxes through the personal income tax code – pay higher taxes the more they grow.

States with graduated-rate income taxes, like Arizona, also tend to see government revenues grow faster than personal incomes and that means the government gets richer faster than the private sector. That’s always bad for long-term economic growth.

The best way out of the trap is to eliminate the tax that is the most damaging to economic growth. Eliminating the income tax in Arizona could not only remedy these problems but also help launch the state into the ranks of the economic powerhouses like Texas. This policy change could still create more than 20,000 new jobs in the first year because it gets rid of the hidden economic costs associated with an income tax.

Every state has natural advantages and disadvantages that policymakers cannot control. But they can control tax policy. Getting rid of the income tax is the only policy bold enough to fundamentally boost long-term economic growth in Arizona.

Stephen Slivinski is a senior economist at the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Goldwater Institute: A New Tax Plan for a New Economy: How Eliminating the Income Tax Can Create Jobs

Cato Institute: State Income Taxes and Economic Growth

National Taxpayers Union Foundation: The Economic Impact of the Adoption of a State Income Tax in New Hampshire

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 www.goldwaterinstitute.org.