PHOENIX - Arizona is still spending at near-record levels despite a $2.7 billion dollar budget deficit and an 18 percent state sales tax increase to help fix it. Today marks the start of Fiscal Year 2011 and, according to a spending clock sponsored by the Goldwater Institute and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona is on track to spend $29.3 billion this year.
"It's hard to believe that after falling billions of dollars into the red, the state is still spending so much money," said Goldwater Institute economist Byron Schlomach. "Lawmakers should do the one thing guaranteed to slow down the spending clock - reduce spending."
The Goldwater Institute and Arizona Free Enterprise Club spending clock shows in real time just how fast the state spends taxpayer money from all sources including federal funds, license payments and user fees. Broken down, total state spending this year comes to more than $80 million a day.
The state spends more in one minute than the typical Arizonan makes in an entire year. Want to take a week-long Caribbean cruise? The state could pay for it in two seconds. Want to buy an NBA basketball team? The state could pay cash for one in about a week.
Even though Arizona has had a budget deficit for three years, spending is still on the rise. The state spent $888 per second in FY2009 and $920 per second in FY2010. Now Arizona is spending $929 per second in FY 2011.
"There goes the notion that government is doing more with less," said Steve Voeller, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. "It's doing more because it has more."
To watch the spending clock spin, visit www.goldwaterinstitute.org.
The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.