Nancy Young Wright’s Narrow Viewpoint

A review of Nancy Young Wright’s website is very revealing. She lists ten issues and here is the gist of what she says:

 Budget:  “. . . She will push to protect funding for education . . .Businesses want a strong educational system . . .We must plan and provide for schools, parks and other infrastructure . . “

 From FY 2000 to FY 2009 (est), total Federal, state, County and local spending on K-12 has increased 88%, or an average of 8.8% per year, about twice the rate of inflation. The data source is the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Per pupil funding has increased 49% or about 4.9% annually, or about 1.5 times the rate of inflation. It appears that, contrary to Nancy Wright Young’s position, the schools are adequately funded. The problem is the school administrators are not using the funds properly.

 Economic Development:  “Nancy believes that the key to improving Arizona’s economy lies in investing in our public schools and universities . . .”

 As stated above, the Legislature is adequately funding the schools. School administration is the problem. In 2009, only 56.9% of the school dollar reached the classroom. The Office of the Auditor general found that declining classroom dollar percentages indicated supplanting, which means that schools administrators are shifting Classroom Site Fund (CSF) monies from the classroom to non-classroom purposes: a violation of State statute. 

 Education:  “. . . Nancy will fight to restore our public schools . . .She will push for higher salaries . . . Once we have rebuilt our schools to an adequate level of funding . . .”

Instead of voting for higher taxes and more money for schools, Nancy Young Wright should be actively looking at where the problem lies: school district administrators. Shifting CSF funds to transportation and other non-classroom categories directly harms the students. The Auditor General has found a clear association between classroom dollars and student achievement. Districts with higher classroom dollar percentages appear to have higher percentages of students who met or exceeded AIMS Math, Reading and Writing Assessments. This association holds true even after controlling for the effects of poverty.

 Energy:  “. . . She supports incentives for solar energy and research for clean alternatives. She supports Green construction . . .”

 Nancy Young Wright’s counterpart, Cheryl Cage, who is running against Al Melvin for State Senate, supports solar.  Ms. Cage stated in an Op-Ed that, “Studies have shown for every $1 million dollars [sic] invested in solar will provide 13.5 jobs to the nuclear industries 4.5 jobs.” What Ms. Cage did not say is the solar jobs will be low paying while the nuclear jobs will be high paying. Also, for every solar 13.5 jobs created other industries will lose 30 jobs.  It’s obvious that neither lady has really thought about solar energy and its impact on our economy.

 Environment:  “. . . She will advocate for clean air and water for our state. . .” 

 Well, that’s nice. I bet everyone reading this article will advocate for clean air and water. The question is how do we meet the challenge? How will it be funded? It will have to be executed on a State and Regional basis. How to get there? Nancy Wright Young did not say.

 Health care:  “Nancy supports programs to attract and retain the health care professionals we desperately need.”

 Well, this is nice too. When the Obama health bill passed, 46 million uninsured were added to Medicaid and other government programs. At that moment, the United States suddenly had a physician shortage (“Physician Shortages: How’s That for Hope and Change,” 10/09) of over 54,000 primary care physicians. Training physician takes time and money. So does training Nurse Practitioners and Physician assistants in the numbers now required.

She also failed to discuss health care rationing taking place since ObamaCare was signed into law. Arizona’s AHCCCS is slashing benefits to enrollees over age 21.  Physicians are already refusing new Medicare patients and dropping existing patients due to low reimbursement rates. Medicare Advantage patients will lose their Medicare Advantage benefits due to reduction in Medicare funding by Nancy Wright Young’s Democratic Party. Nancy Wright Young failed to comment on the depth of the problem or propose any solutions. 

 Open Government:  “”Nancy is a strong advocate for citizen participation and will fight to preserve our right to the initiative and referendum process . . .”

 This is a daring stand. Unless I missed something, no one has advocated taking the initiative and referendum away from the people.

 Taxes:  “Nancy believes that Arizona’s entire tax structure must be examined for fairness and stability. Our current budget crises in Arizona can be traced to too much dependency on sales tax and on a lack of diversification in our economy . . . She supports impact fees for the costs of new infrastructure such as roads, sewers, parks and schools to lessen the tax bill to existing residents.”

 Arizona got into trouble with increased spending under Governor Janet Napolitano. I agree with Ms. Wright’s statement that our entire tax structure must be examined for fairness and stability.  States like Texas, Nevada and Florida prosper without an income tax. Why can’t Arizona?

 I also disagree with implementing new impact fees (increased taxes) for costs of new infrastructure. The fees will be passed on to the consumer in the price of the product or commodity. Taxes are too high now.

 Transportation:  “. . . Nancy supports statewide cooperation on a transportation plan that includes alternative transportation, impact  fees for roads, and local control . . . She strongly supports the rail system connecting Tucson and Phoenix and the provision of bio-diesel and alternative fuel stations for the general public.”

 Again, a nice sentiment but clearly not thought out. The increase in ethanol production has caused the price of corn to sky rocket. Tortillas in Mexico almost doubled in price. Bio-diesel and alternative fuels are exotic subjects for which there is no mass of customers. What is needed is serious discussion on what our communities need versus what they can afford. Nancy Young Wright offers no serious discussion.

 Veterans:  “Our veterans deserve our support and adequate resources for medical care, education and continued care . . .”

 Thank God she got this one right.

 Of the ten issues she listed on her web site, Nancy Young Wright had one answer for Budgets, Economic Development and Education: pour more money into public schools.  This is after the Auditor General has found school districts are mismanaging the money they already have. To provide additional money to school districts to mismanage is insane.

 Nancy Young Wright supports solar energy, which will destroy more jobs than it creates. Clearly, she has not seriously thought about the long term effects of alternative energy impacts on our economy.

 She took a breath-taking stand for clean air and water without providing any policy details.

She repeated the problem of physician shortages without stating how many physicians we’re going to need, how we’re going to find them, how we’re going to fund them . . . obviously she has no clue. That’s why she could only state the obvious problem.

 Nancy Young Wright’s position on open government was vacuous. Her response on taxes was higher taxes in the form of impact fees. Her comments on transportation were superficial.

 We want our representatives in Phoenix to think. Where are Nancy Young Wright’s ideas? Where is her ability to think outside the proverbial box and create new solutions?  Higher taxes and pouring more money into education as school administrators mismanage their spending is outrageous.

 Serious issues demand serious thinking by our elected representatives. Nancy Young Wright has demonstrated she is not serious. She is a blinded shallow thinker, narrowly focused on pouring money into public education without accountability, without checks and balances but with sheer abandon.

 Nancy Young Wright is not a serious thinker. The Democratic Party can do better than Nancy Young Wright.