No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
Governor Janet Napolitano recently vetoed bills to freeze state hiring and spending, in spite of a state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.
It has been clear since last July that the revenues for fiscal year 2008, which ends June 30, would not be nearly sufficient to support the gigantic spending increases in the last four state budgets. During the Governors first term, real general fund expenditures increased 54 percent, 29 percentage points more than population and inflation, combined.
Late night infomercials introduce consumers to great deals they cant possibly pass up. For only $19.99, you can get this incredible Ginsu knife. But if you call now, you get two, and this special bonus gift, for no extra charge! Most of us pass up these deals because we recognize that they are too good to be true. An idea the legislature is considering to borrow money for new buildings is like that.
I think I understand Obamanomics. I buy a yacht that I can't afford. I default on the loan. The bill is sent to my children and future grandchildren (and to yours). The best part: I get to keep sailing.
In Arizona, education bureaucracy growth has greatly exceeded student growth. Between 2004 and 2008 growth in six key education components in Arizona outpaced the growth of the number of students plus inflation. At what point do we question the amount of bureaucracy in the education system?
Over the last five years, student population has increased 11 percent, but administrators and managers combined have increased nearly 46 percent.
As Janet Napolitano leaves Arizona for greener pastures, we should acknowledge that she was an innovative governor who changed the culture of her office. But not in a good way.
Her predecessors recognized the need for responsible management of the budget. Napolitano's reaction to both lean and fat budget years was basically the same: spend, spend, and spend some more. The result is Arizona's huge budget deficit.
From 2000 to 2008, spending by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (Arizonas state-funded health program for low-income families, AHCCCS) is expected to nearly triple. For all that spending, youd think wed have made some progress in increasing the percentage of Arizonans with health insurance. The graph below is evidence to the contrary.
The Arizona Republic reports that a recent study shows Arizona has a relatively high share of "bad" jobs. These are jobs that pay less than $34,000 per year and have no health or retirement benefits.
We don't like to think about it, but Medicare Part A has an unfunded liability over the next 75 years of $11.6 trillion. That means if we don't do anything, don't add new benefits, don't include new beneficiary groups, don't raise or lower any taxes, there will be an $11.6 trillion gap between the cost of hospital services we promised to people already alive and money available to pay for it.
A week ago Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon distributed a news release via email about the stalemate in Congress over illegal immigration. The email directed readers to the Mayor's very own website. When I say the Mayor's own website, I mean www.MayorGordon.com.
During law school, I mostly fell asleep during trusts, wills, and estates. But one lesson pierced the slumber: when you have a trustee relationship with someone, you'd better take it seriously.
Unfortunately, Governor Janet Napolitano and the lawyer members of the state legislature seem to have missed that class altogether. For in their zeal to close the state's soaring budget deficit without serious spending cuts, they "swept"-actually, the better term is "swiped"-funds held by the state in trust for Arizona farmers.