The Beginning of the End…

Well you all heard it. It was the perfect variation on a theme from 1988 – “read my lips” – and it will mark the beginning of the end of another Republican governor.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Janet Napolitano is the winner and gets the last laugh. It’s like the spouse who ran up the credit card and then bailed on the marriage except it’s a lot worse.

The losers in this are those who became dependent on Janet’s programs who now have to be weaned off the public teet. And then there’s the taxpayers who may have to foot the bill for Janet’s reckless and irresponsible shopping spree.

But the biggest single loser in this is the politician who just painted herself in a corner by proposing $1 BILLION in new taxes. ANY increase in taxes just became Jan Brewer’s. She owns it politically.

If for some reason Brewer’s temporary tax increase does make it to the ballot, God forbid there will be enough uninformed and ignorant voters who will pass it.

And this comes at a time when sales tax revenues continue to decline.

Yes, this is the beginning of the end of any expectation that Governor Brewer may have had of winning a second term. She just invited primary opponents.


Comments

  1. It is amazing just how narrow minded some folks can be. Instead of raising taxes seize upon the opportunity just thrown Arizona’s way by the tax happy Californians. Recent moves by California to increase revenue with a sales tax hike and the increase in any fee that ever existed means that we in Arizona should find a way to entice California businesses to move to Arizona. We could bring in businesses with JOBS. More jobs, more tax revenue.

    Assume that we give anyone starting a business in Arizona, whether a move or new, who upon employing a dozen people, full time, a special income tax rate of 0% for three years. We never would have had the income tax from the business anyway, but we now have 12 more jobs and 12 more people paying income tax and paying sales (privilege) tax.

  2. Amen, she is history. Now we need to get a real conservative to run. We need to draft JD Hayworth or maybe even Randy Pullen, and put an end to Brewer’s Obamaesque tax hike.

    $1,000,000,000 tax increase, she must be crazy!!!

  3. I stand corrected, forget Pullen:

    http://www.azgop.org/news.asp?artid=85&z=2

  4. Recently in California. Paid 9% sales tax in Orange County. Just think of that for a moment. 9%. And they are going to raise it? So they will have double digit sales tax.

    That is just plain nuts.

    We are not that far behind.

  5. nightcrawler says

    It is what it is..Both Brewer and Pullen (who knows more about accounting, finance and business than most) have had the courage to say and do what is right for the state. I don’t want my taxes raised any more than you ideologues do. That said, we are living in historic times and any miscalculation could have dire consequences on our quality of life and safety. The infrastructure of this state needed to be protected. If the cuts aren’t enough to balance the budget, there is only one solution short of debt. JD can rant all he wants about philosophy, got a better plan ?

  6. What about Trent Franks?

  7. Okay idealogues, what other options do we have?
    If the shortfall is $3 billion and there is only $3 billion total you can cut, does the state just not provide ANY services period?

  8. Precinct Committeeman says

    I found Governor Brewer’s comments about a temporary tax increase to be balanced with other proposals. She presented a five-prong attack on this wild fire of financial destruction – yet many of my fellow conservatives only see the tax increase.

    What’s the term you used – “political courage?” Why is going against the grain courage for one conservative and not another? Jan Brewer is our friend. She has been part of us for decades. Why would anyone in the conservative group throw her out for one proposal?

    I don’t believe that we can tax ourselves out of this mess. But, I’m not willing to dismiss my friends because they think it needs to be considered. I’ll listen and I’ll encourage my friends to keep explain how it helps. But, condemn them? No – I won’t do that.

  9. Maricopa GOP says

    A question for Precinct Committeemen.

    If Jan is our friend and part of us for decades, why has she not appointed any of us to her transition team or to any position in her administration?

    I have known and worked with her for over twenty years, but it appears by her appointments and new philosophy are geared to raising money for her re-election instead of her historical positions and friends.

    In addition, other options have been given to her aides, and have not been considered.

  10. Mr. Conservative says

    I hope Rep. Jeff Flake runs & beats her in the primary… No way would Jeff ever sign on to this sort of scam…

  11. When Secretary of State Brewer became Governor Brewer I commented here and at other conservative blogs that I believed she would end up being one of Arizona’s best governors because she would worry more about doing what was right to fix the mess than about winning an election in 2012. I think her courageous speech yesterday signaled that she intends to be that courageous governor.

    If her strategy is successful, and she decides to run, she will win.

    If her strategy fails, and she decides to run, she will lose.

    The majority of the electorate isn’t worried about her ideology – only about food on their tables.

    Here is the question? Are you more interested in turning the economy around and saving a safety net or are you only interested in checking off a politician’s policies against your ideological checklist?

  12. Are you more interested in turning the economy around and saving a safety net or are you only interested in checking off a politician’s policies against your ideological checklist?

    This really is a false dilemma. Don’t the schools teach logic anymore? Oh wait. They can hardly teach reading and math as it is.

    Besides, the “majority” worried “about food on their tables” couldn’t care less about a deficit otherwise the very budget Obama and his cronies are pushing wouldn’t even make it out of the gate.

    Maybe it’s time for people to consider that ‘tax and spend’ just doesn’t help us at all whether we’re talking about the government’s deficit issues or the economy.

    How about remembering that economic prosperity comes about as a result of profitable production of goods and services and not through rescue programs the government puts forward? All this racing around to cover a deficit that was created by irresponsible and inefficient spending in the first place needs to stop. We need to start over and take out that which is inefficient and unnecessary.

    Besides, I want to know why everyone has just accepted the $3Bil number without questioning if that’s really accurate in the first place.

  13. ron:

    Since when does it make economic sense to increase taxes during a time of economic plight? This isn’t just ideology it’s common cents, and the fact that Gov Brewer is acting more like Napolitano than Flake and Symington (who openly oppose this as well) then we need to ask ourselves if we really want Taxhike Jan to be our standard bearer.

    For me the answer is clearly NO WAY!

  14. Yes, now the libs who have spent the last month telling the world that Brewer doesn’t have the mental facilities to be governor, that she isn’t equipped to lead, are now singing her praises as a visionary.

    I’ll take “Disingenuous” for $500, Alex.

  15. We want a real Republican in 2010 says

    READ MY LIPS: NO NEW TAXES.
    What Republican who has promised not to raise and did, ever got reelected? Brewer’s done.
    http://www.atr.org/tax-threats-loom-large-arizona-a2962

    So who’s on the short list for challenging Brewer in the 2010 primary? Probably time to start figuring out which one of these would make the best conservative challenger. Here’s who I’ve heard so far:

    Flake
    Hayworth
    Pearce
    Franks
    Goldwater
    Pullen
    Thomas
    Romley

  16. Any one of those could defeat us Democrats! It would be a disaster at the polls for us liberals!

  17. Unless, maybe, we can get Gov. Brewer to run for re-election as a Democrat. Would that work?

  18. Kevin D. Johnson,

    Because Trent Franks is a liar, and for all the Christianity he regurigates as a philosophy, he can’t even remember the 9th Commandment (or he chooses to willfully break it – which you know, worse).

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/mar/04/congressman-lies-about-las-vegas-railroad/

  19. Klute…you can call me Kevin. I’d call you by your name, but the pseudonym will work.

    Anyway, that’s the best you got to demonstrate that Franks is a liar? Even that very article admits that he could have just been confused. Not very fair-minded of you that is for sure. I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt unless and until it’s clear time after time that someone is clearly not telling the truth–like our new President.

  20. BTW, There is nothing wrong with having an underlying Christian philosophy to drive your conservatism. It is the only real and proper undergirding of conservatism anyway and without it you really have no moral or other leg to stand on except personal whim and predilection.

  21. Show me the $3 billion that you want to cut. Enough of this rhetoric. Enough of this posturing. FIX THE PROBLEM!

    All of these etherial “attract business from California” concepts are NOT going to help us next year. We have a giant hole that needs to be filled quickly. So, how would you do it?

    Certainly Flake is no help. He hasn’t done zip since he has been in congress? You want that whiny, minority minded leadership here trying to win a General Election? Good luck, folks.

  22. Open borders Flake is no improvement.

  23. Kevin, you wrote:

    First, “Don’t the schools teach logic anymore?”

    Then, “We need to start over and take out that which is inefficient and unnecessary.”

    “Start over” means taking everything down. Let’s dismantle everything – tear up the constitution? Tear down every government building? Impeach all elected officials in state of Arizona and hold new elections?

    The word ‘and’ in the English language means that the first clause and the second clause have equal value or force. The ‘take out that which is inefficent and unnecessary’ isn’t a qualifying clause of the first.

    Help me understand the logic of the second quote.

  24. Steve, the whole government needs to be overhauled and really until that happens who cares if there’s a deficit. It’s not like the dollar is going to be worth anything over the next year or so…best to let the taxpayer keep all he can and meanwhile work to change how government works and keep it from spending and taxing.

  25. conservative….

    I don’t think Governor Brewer will run in 2010. Just my prediction. I think she would sooner be grandma than governor.

  26. Kevin

    “Steve, the whole government needs to be overhauled and really until that happens who cares if there’s a deficit.”

    I would buy this except I think the state constitution calls for a balanced budget.

  27. Veritas Vincit says

    Doesn’t anyone read the fine analysis that come from the Goldwater Institute?

    Primary 2010? Munger? No. He’s busy with his imagination and private ownership of public infrastructure. Thomas? No. He’s still the junior g-man with training wheels. Don Goldwater? No. That’d be a re-run and voters aren’t appreciative. Bill Bennet? … Tom Horne?

    JD? maybe you’re onto something there.

    As to the “hole” created by Janet Nappy spending money she didn’t have and creating expectations (supported by previous legislatures) … when you and I live beyond our means we do one of two things: we go further in debt, or we cut back on our spending. Usually we go much further in dept before we are forced to cut spending.

    There is a third option; increase our revenues. With the state in economic contraction, how do you squeeze blood out of a turnip?

    The Governor’s call for a tax hike, as I read the text, will be a decision the voters (fanned by special interests like the NEA et al) will have to make. I’m sure that the lame-stream Az media will shout for higher taxes and then turn around in 2010 and blame Governor Brewer.

  28. Ron,

    Thank you for the English lesson. However, you’ll find that an advanced use of English requires taking the statement in context and avoiding a hyper literalism at least when you’re communicating with me.

    I doubt anyone here is arguing to completely replace the Arizona Constitution and impeaching all elected officials. I’m certainly not.

    But, the government is certainly due for an overhaul especially after several years of having the helm managed by Janet Napolitano. Everything should be reevaluated, waste done away with, inefficiency streamlined, and spending money we don’t have forbidden.

  29. Ron,

    Go look up the word “hyperbole”. I’m for a balanced budget as much as the next man and I certainly think we should meet constitutional requirements.

    But, the way to do that is not to keep spending money we think we can replace with additional tax revenues.

    Instead, we shouldn’t spend the money in question at all. Stop writing checks. That’s the real way to get us to fiscal responsibility.

  30. Kevin Johnson- So in your government overhaul, how do you fix this budget? I hear everyone on here bitching about no taxes and NO ONE will come up with any details to fix it. To say CUT doesn’t cut it- it’s impossible to cut our way out of this mess because the deficit is too big.

  31. Governor Brewer never had a chance with you guys…

    Jan Brewer is going to lead Arizona through the most difficult economic times in 30 YEARS. She has incredibly difficult decisions to make, only to have fellow Republicans tear her apart. It’s a wonder we can’t keep our representatives in office, we don’t unite to support them in tough times!

    We have a Republican representative who wants to be part of the solution and all the “grassroots” does is hang her out to dry. Being narrow minded by focusing on one lone issue is what lost the election for JD Hayworth (who would never have a chance running for Gov., sorry) and you’re calling for Gov. Brewer to do the same on the tax issue?

    Arizona’s problem is bigger then party line platforms. We have a serious financial crisis on our hands. Gov. Brewer is first and foremost doing exactly what we all want – making $1 billion in spending cuts – and you’re chastising her for asking the legislature to put a temporary tax increase on the ballot for US to vote on?

    If the tax increase passes, it’s not Brewer who’s to blame.

  32. My guess is that targeting specific waste and inefficiencies in Education, Health and Human Services, and AHCCCS will do the trick in a real hurry.

    Since through Obama we are about to have national healthcare, I say ditch AHCCCS or severely limit it for all but the worst cases (including the outrageously expensive [read: virtual tax] that is healthcare.net for small businesses). Even without the Federal proposal, AHCCCS is a bloated overworked machine that is a royal waste of money.

    Schools should be closed that are failing and no new construction should go up. No state sponsorship of local schools. I read the other day that Arizona children in public schools receive over $9000 each every year to be educated. What a joke. Today you could send every public school child to a private school twice for that amount.

    Quit giving welfare benefits to people who take advantage of the system – polygamists in Northern Arizona and welfare mothers who can’t stop having babies out of wedlock.

    Reign the government in to be about law enforcement and appropriate licensing/regulation. Let private/faith-based agencies or local city/county governments take care of the poor. Reduce the corporate and personal income taxes to more reasonable levels and watch as jobs are increased by resources available in the private sector as a result of lower taxes.

  33. AZGOPgal,

    Disagreeing with specific policies and having discussion is not the same as ‘hanging someone out to dry’.

    As Republicans, we need to realize that the strategy Gov. Brewer advises is going to cripple her for reelection. It’s just not going to pass muster for the people of Arizona. Not when people can’t make their house payments.

    The old guard and power brokers of the Republican party have to realize they’ve utterly failed in the last Presidential election and things can and must be done differently or we will have another Democrat in the Governor’s office in short order. Mark my words.

  34. Kevin Johnson- you say target specific waste and inefficiencies. That’s good for maybe $2 billion. If there is $3 billion total that will be spent on all state services, not including voter protected stuff you can’t cut, and a $3 Billion deficit, what solution do we have? If cut is your answer, we’ve basically eliminated every program or service provided by the state. Every one.
    Now. What’s your solution.

  35. Roger,

    I just don’t agree given that budget reports over the last couple of years indicate that Napolitano engaged in almost a billion dollars in net new spending in 2008. With a budget hovering around 10 billion dollars, a 30% reduction in spending is not impossible. And that’s without the sweeping changes I identified in response to you in #33 above.

    The government just needs to tighten its belt like everyone else.

  36. Kevin (sorry for the formality ealier),

    That’s the only example of him dissembling I could find for yesterday.

    It would take a large amount (dare I say liberal?) of salt for me to believe that Rep. Franks actually was confused that a train was being planned from Disneyland to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, with Federal money.

    If he actually DID believe that, then I would worry about whether Rep. Franks had the intellectual acumen to be a public servant in his capacity.

    I do believe Rep. Franks is a man of intelligence, and he knew that was incorrect, but since it made his point, he chose not to correct Megan Kelly (who does seem to be not the brightest bulb in the marquee). It was either a willful lie, or a lie of omission, but he’s wrong, and he should admit it.

    Insert cricket chirp here.

    I’ve no problme with Christian philosphy guiding someone’s political beliefs, as long as they don’t discard that philosphy when it’s convienient. Especially for someone like Rep. Franks who’s especially keen for Jesus.

  37. Klute,

    Well, I’m hopeful you’ll be as liberal in your criticism of President Obama who has clearly lied on many occasions – not the least of which being his refusal to take public funding during the election as he promised.

    As I said, I give people the benefit of the doubt until it’s actually crystal clear and one misstep on Fox News does not for me anyway signal lying to the extent you claim.

    I do agree with you however that Christian philosophy shouldn’t be discarded when it is convenient. That is a great problem among Republican power brokers today in the main, imho.

  38. Well said AZGOPgal. I disagree with everyone who says this ruins Brewer’s 2010 chances. If this thing passes and the state starts to recover, should would be in the driver’s seat for 2010.

    Its easy to talk about platitudes such as “belt tightening” and “cutting waste,” but its a whole different thing to actually come out with a plan, especially with so much of the budget voter protected.

  39. Kevin,

    “…Not the least of which being his refusal to take public funding during the election as he promised.”

    As I felt that was a mistake, my problem was he let himself be goaded into making that promise, not that he chose to not do it.

    My real problem so far, has been 1. his failure to keep to the promise of posting legislation for 5 days for public comment and 2. his failure to end renditions. He lied about that (or whatever the administration wants to call it), and no, I’m not happy.

    He’s still better 1,000,000X better than Bush, and better than McCain would have been.

    Obama, unlike Franks, has never been the Pal of Jesus that Franks claims to be, so it’s less hypocritcal in my eyes.

    I could (and will, if you want), go back and find all of Franks’ false claims if you want, but I’m not sure that’s here’s the appropriate forum.

  40. Steve,

    There are no guarantees that the state will recover.

    Also, I’m not talking about platitudes–I’m guessing you missed reading #33 and #36 above.

    If part of the budget is “voter-protected” we need to do the hard work and unprotect it.

    Maybe you guys could do your part in this discussion and tell us specifically what programs are absolutely indispensable. It seems as if everyone on the side of Brewer is assuming that these things must remain in the Budget no matter what. Whatever happened to democratically making changes possible to fit in with the economic realities we face? Why is that impossible?

  41. ’10 Budget is ~$9B. Revenue is ~$6B+. $6 Billion is voter protected and can’t be cut. What do you do? This isn’t about inefficiencies.

  42. Roger,

    To deal with voter protected provisions, go to the voters. Not for tax increase but to fix the problem with less spending.

    But, voter protected or not you can’t spend money you don’t have. Stop spending.

    Voter protected parts of the budget do not automatically equate to “indispensable” – this is a democracy and it can all be changed.

    Besides, if we go by your numbers what you’re telling me Roger is that we need a 40% cut and our revenues match what is required by the voters. Seems to me the solution is to cut everything that’s not actually required so everything hangs at +-$6B. What am I missing?

  43. Klute,

    Sometime when you have a minute send me more at:

    kj@gmlogmd.com

    We differ on Obama but I agree that public officials should walk the walk and talk the talk and have integrity. I don’t expect them to be perfect but I do expect them to set an example. Both sides are bad at that, sadly.

  44. I have to wonder too if the constitutional requirement for a balanced budget trumps later voter inserted budgetary provisions. It seems to me it would unless something is made a constitutional amendment. In other words, you can’t spend what you don’t have.

  45. The everything you mention includes education, corrections, healthcare, and every other state service. The job losses alone could add 5% to our unemployment rate only lengthening the problem. Opening up voter protected funds doesn’t cut it. Cuts don’t cut it. Taxes don’t cut it. You have to have a combination of the three to make it work.

  46. Roger,

    Man. I’ve provided specifics but so far from you all I’ve got from you is cuts aren’t enough. Where are your specifics?

    I don’t see what you think is so essential. And, you didn’t respond to the last paragraph of #44. Why spend more than what is required?

    As to job losses, I doubt seriously we’d be looking at a 5% increase in unemployment – I’m guessing people could be efficiently retasked because as it is now state government is not exactly the pinnacle of efficiency nor are salaries the main component of government waste.

  47. Kevin, as great as it is to have the ideological viewpoint that government should do nothing, it’s not realistic. The State of Arizona is one of the biggest employers in the state. If you cut everything after the voter mandated stuff, you will absolutely see a 5% increase. Take a minute to see what is included in the $3B you are suggesting to cut. Remember, the Legislature covered this years $1B in cuts by using $500M in one time stimulus money from the Feds. Money that won’t be around forever.

  48. I think Arizona needs higher taxes (although, under the Keynesian economics I believe in, the Great Recession is the worst possible time to be raising them).

    But Republicans are in charge in Arizona. They believe the free market is always superior to government-run programs.

    So why not put your money where your mouth is and put your principles into action?

    Education is one area where you seem to think public education can’t work. You’d have a problem eliminating public schools altogether without amending the state constitution, but I believe you could constitutionally eliminate the state university system (please correct me if I’m wrong).

    As people earlier commented on Sonoran Alliance, college isn’t necessary for financial, business and corporate success (you invoked Bill Gates).

    Those who want to go to college can go to the many private colleges available in the United States. Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University provide higher education at bargain-basement costs to state students.

    But as you keep saying, these universities are filled with liberal professors who do little but indoctrinate students into socialism.

    That doesn’t happen at the private University of Phoenix, you’ll probably agree.

    So why not close down UofA, ASU and NAU and get those worthless state employees off the public teat, save the state millions, and then sell off the campuses to private proprietary colleges or other businesses? Then the property will also be taxed (but, I’m sure you’ll agree, not by much).

    Next, the community college systems should be closed. As always, private enterprise will do the job more efficiently and effectively. Why do we need Maricopa Community Colleges or Pima Community College or the rest when there are private technical and junior colleges, as well as institutions that grant bachelors degrees, all over?

    Kevin, how much money would closing the state universities and community colleges save for the state?

    Also, public libraries are “socialism” that should not be allowed to compete with the free-market bookstores like Borders, Barnes & Noble, Changing Hands, etc. Those libraries cost a lot of money that an Arizona in fiscal crisis can no longer afford.

    Shutting down the public libraries and public higher education would no doubt make the Republicans popular as Arizona would become solvent without any tax hikes.

    Is there any argument against what I’ve proposed?

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