Who can forget Augustus Gloop, the robust tike whose voracious appetite led to his demise in the chocolate river. So goes one moral from this timeless story: Gluttony is bad.
Likewise with the Arizona budget. Government programs are devouring every dime in sight. Arizona state government is consuming half-again as many resources as it was ten years ago, growing almost three times faster than per capita personal income. Now, the Governor and legislature propose increasing spending by another 23 and 19 percent respectively over last year.
Taxpayers, on the other hand, haven't touched a piece of chocolate in years. It's been almost ten years since Arizona's last income tax cut. The average taxpayer today pays $1,000 a year in state income taxes, a figure that does not include federal income, sales, property, gas or countless other taxes levied by government.
Fortunately, with a billion-dollar surplus on hand, the Governor and legislature support reducing personal income taxes. The proposed rate cut is modest at ten percent, but it's a good start. The reduction would save workers an estimated $125 in the first year alone. That's meaningful to taxpayers but pennies to government, amounting to just two percent of Arizona's total budget.
Income tax cuts will improve the Arizona economy. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial summed up the history of tax cuts well, saying, "States such as Arizona and Colorado that cut income tax rates enjoyed about twice the pace of new job creation, and about one-third faster income growth, than states...that raised their tax burdens."
In other words, tax cuts mean plenty of chocolate to go around. Augustus Gloop has had his fill.
Darcy Olsen is President and CEO of the Goldwater Institute.