Arizona Spending Interests Sit on a Throne of Lies

by Patrick Gleason
Americans for Tax Reform

Only two days after Gov. Jan Brewer proposed billions of dollars in tax hikes in the midst of a recession, cheerleaders for tax increases in the Grand Canyon State have begun spreading misinformation.

Gov. Jan Brewer and 30 Arizona lawmakers have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a written promise to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes. Make no mistake, this is a committment that elected officials make to their constituents, not Grover Norquist or Americans for Tax Reform.

Anyone who claims otherwise is either misinformed or lying. Need proof? Just look at the language of the Pledge which can be seen by clicking here.

Below is the statement that Americans for Tax Reform sent to all Arizona media yesterday and click here for a pdf version.

Gov. Jan Brewer Proposes Billions in Tax Increases
Taxpayer Group Announces Opposition to Brewer’s Proposal

Washington, D.C. – Today, Americans for Tax Reform condemned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s plans to impose billions of dollars in new taxes on Arizona families and employers. In 2006, Governor Brewer signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge – a written promise to her constituents to “oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Gov. Brewer proposed raising taxes on Arizonans by $1 billion per year for up to 3 years. 30 Arizona legislators have made a written pledge to not raise taxes. Any tax hike proposal in Arizona must garner a two-thirds supermajority vote in both chambers in order to become law.

“The last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes. Brewer’s proposal will do little more than hurt Arizona families, destroy jobs and encourage businesses to relocate across state lines,” said Grover Norquist, Presidents of Americans for Tax Reform. “Temporary tax hikes are about as prevalent in nature as unicorns. If you use a land line phone then you are still paying the ‘temporary’ tax hike put in place in 1898 to fund Spanish-American War.

According to the Center for Fiscal Accountability, Arizona taxpayers already spend 194 days – more than half the year – working just to pay the cost of government. Furthermore, many Arizona taxpayers are already wondering how they will cope if President Barack Obama’s budget – which contains more than $1 trillion in tax hikes over the next 10 years – is put into law.

“Arizona does not have a budget deficit. It has an overspending problem. Since 2004, Arizona’s spending grew by an astounding 57 percent. Now Arizona is paying the price for years of mismanagement and fiscal vandalism under former Gov. Napolitano.” added Norquist. “As recently as 2006, Gov. Brewer made a written pledge to her constituents to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. It is unfortunate that Gov. Brewer has decided not to maintain this commitment as governor where she has the opportunity to enact necessary and meaningful reforms. Some elected officials view taxpayers, rather than spending interests, as their constituents. Americans for Tax Reform commends those elected officials like Sens. Pamela Gorman (R-Anthem), Barbara Leff (R-Paradise Valley), and Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu), who work for taxpayers rather than against them.”


  1. Stop the tax increase!
    But also make every effort to increase efficiency with what is left. Cutting $s from agency budgets is a completely different topic from process efficiency and effective govt agencies. Use the 0 based budget concept with process improvement and the agencies will accomplish more with reduced resources. Once you get past the initial cuts, process improvement and higher level of agency accountability is the only way to get to the next level and keep costs down while providing the essential service that govt is obligated to provide.

  2. If there is one issue upon which republicans can and should be united it is the question of taxation. We historically have been the party of lower taxes. This is shaping up to be a fundamental battle for republicans in our state. Given the excesses of many of our republican leaders in dc, the last thing we need to be doing in AZ is departing from our core beliefs of lower taxes and limited government. Encourage those members of the legislature who have had the courage to stand up for taxpayers, they are going to fighting a tough but necessary battle for not only our party, but the very people who elected them. Its easy to hit a democrat for supporting taxes, its a whole othee story to call out a friend who is doing it. They should be commended and supported in this battle.

  3. Time For a Change says

    I am amazed to hear commentators at all points of the political spectrum talk about a tax increase as a necessity, indicate that those who vote for one are showing real courage and argue that anyone who opposes a tax increase is blinded by ideology.

    Opposing a tax cut is not ideological, it demonstrates a basic knowledge of economics. Keynesians, classical economists and supply siders all agree that a tax increase in a recession is bad policy (see Hoover, Herbert). Even PAUL KRUGMAN has acknowledged a tax cut is good policy, not a tax increase.

    Voting to jack up taxes of a few to continue ruinous spending beloved by many is not courageous; it is cowardly and unprincipled.

    Tax increases are not a necessity, spending cuts are. If you want to bring the economy back, put more scarce resources into the hands of people with competitive incentives to use them efficiently, as opposed to the folks running the post office and the DMV, who have no competitive incentives.

    Brewer is afraid of the Republic and the Star and is letting them run the state. If she breaks her oath on taxes, she should be turned out of office in the primary.

  4. Tom Buggeln says

    While in strong agreement with all the GOP principles stressed by the above commentators,
    I’d like to point out that the only time we seem to rally around them is when we’re out of power!

    This is the rhetoric which we receive during September – November election run-ups but. unfortunately, it always seems to be replaced by “We’re occupants of one big tent” and we “must reach out” in the post election Januaries. It seems that Gov. Brewer is continuing the tradition.

    Republicans are strong and principled when out of effective power, but sadly, often do not know how to rule.

    Methinks that this behaviour betrays a fundamental lack of confidence in the above stated principles, because they always seem to be set aside at the time when actual policy is being created and enforced.

  5. James Davidson says

    Governor Brewer is simply invoking Rules 1, 2, and 3 of Politics:

    Rule 1: I said it but I didn’t really mean it.

    Rule 2: That was then and this is now.

    Rule 3: (John McCain the author, which applies only to Republicans): When I get into office I will abandon principle to get the media to like me, even though they will kick me under the bus when a real liberal runs against me.

  6. Brian Jackson says

    When will Republicans learn? We elect them to actual govern and make difficult choices. Hell, I could govern by raising taxes and making no decisions as to where to cut spending. If I wanted Democrat-lite, I’d vote Democrat.

    Republicans are Republicans because they don’t raise taxes! That’s the first step towards limiting the power of government. The power to tax is the power to take from me to give to the politically connected.

    We need to let Gov. Brewer know that we want her not to raise our taxes! Find other solutions!

  7. One thing. Agree with everything thats been said on opposing tax increases. I just tire of these interest groups that play funny with the facts. This press release points to another think tank’s numbers which I am sure this think tank probably shares the same donors or at the very least the same ideology. They used estimates…no, at best “guestimates” on how much people pay in taxes. I know where every dime of money I have goes and how it comes in. Including property tax, sales tax, school tax, capital gains tax etc etc, I spend at max 18% of my income on taxes. So don’t tell me that half my taxes go to the government, cause it doesn’t and most people don’t end up paying 50%. The only bozos who do are the same ones who use H&R block or some other schister to do their taxes. Most taxes are easy to avoid as the gov’t has built a thousand + 1 loopholes into them. If you are paying 50% on your income to taxes, that is your own damn fault.

  8. James Davidson says


    Draw your own conclusions: The top marginal rate of federal income taxation is 36%. At that rate, a medicare tax of 2.9% also kicks in. Add to that five percent for the top marginal rate for Arizona state income taxes. making a total marginal rate of 43.9% marginal. When those rates are reached, a person’s itemized deductions begin to reduce. In addition, the alternative minimum tax kicks in, which has the effect of diluting the value of itemized deductions even further. If President Obama gets his way, the cap on social security tax will be eliminated, increasing the top marginal rate another 12.9%. That would make a top marginal tax rate of 56.8%. So that at the highest marginal rates, the federal and state governments will together take 57 cents of each dollar you make, leaving you with only 43 cents. If and when that happens, I personally will stop working, and take more time off.

    Besides income and payroll taxes, there are many others: If you own a home, you pay property tax, regardless of how much income tax you have paid. It has gone up emormously recently. You also pay a tax on your phone bill. You also pay 8.2% sales tax in most Arizona cities. (It was four percent when I was a youngster.) You also pay a tax on each gallon of fuel that you buy. You pay taxes on your power bill and water bills. What is not taxed? Only food and medicine.

    You quickly can see that taxes are ridiculously high. What do we have to show for our money? The education system is a miserable failure. Child Protective Services doesn’t seem to work very well. The border is not secure. The federal government is dysfunctional.

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