Phoenix--While you're watching your budget and trying to balance spending on gas, the mortgage, and groceries, the state is spending hundreds in the blink of an eye.
Today marks the 100th day of the 2009 fiscal year and lawmakers are spending your money at a rate of $888 per second. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Goldwater Institute resets its online spending clock, which shows in real time just how quickly your hard-earned dollars are disappearing. By the time the fiscal year is over, $28 billion will have been spent.
"The Founding Fathers envisioned a limited and fiscally responsible government, but it seems like many state lawmakers missed that day in history class," said Darcy Olsen, President and CEO of the Goldwater Institute. "They spend more money in one minute than most Arizonans make in a year."
Adding insult to injury, in the first three months of this fiscal year, the state is already $300 million short of revenue. Some legislative leaders are calling for a special session in November to address the looming deficit. This past session the legislature used a variety of gimmicks to balance the budget, but it seems unlikely that this year's problem can be addressed without honest reductions in spending.
"While state lawmakers are out campaigning for re-election (many of them on the taxpayer dime) our budget deficit grows by millions. How big does the deficit have to get before lawmakers feel compelled to clean up their mess?" says Steve Voeller, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.
Without budget cuts, this year your money will be spent at a rate of more than $53,000 per minute, over $3 million per hour, $76 million per day, and well over $2 billion per month. You can watch the spending clock tick at http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/.
In the time it took you to read this, the state spent $57,860.26.