Government Spending

No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.

<p>No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.</p>

Like a suspenseful action movie that resolves all plot conflicts in the last fifteen minutes, the Legislature passed a budget just in the nick of time. Unlike after a good film, though, I'm left wondering what I waited for. The budget fails Arizonans on a number of fronts.

For one, the budget still isn't balanced. The assumption that only a $1.9 billion shortfall exists for 2009 is based on a rosy scenario of four percent revenue growth next year. According to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), a $2.2 billion spending gap is much more likely.

Despite the lineup at the trough in D.C. for bags of bailout dollars, I urge Gov. Janet Napolitano to resist seeking more federal tax money to help address Arizona's budget crisis. And I wrote her a letter telling her just that.

Arizona lawmakers and Gov. Brewer should heed the political fallout of the California ballot measures that failed in yesterday’s special election.

Voters were asked to approve five measures consisting of tax increases, new borrowing, and fund sweeps to help address California’s $42 billion budget deficit. All failed by wide margins. A sixth measure, one that prohibited a legislative pay raise when there’s a deficit, passed comfortably.

The most recent "economic stimulus" package the legislature is considering consists of tax subsidies for a chosen few. The good news is that the package as a whole lacks support. The bad news, however, is that parts of it may find their way into the final budget deal. They shouldn't.

Arizona's Voter Protection Act passed in 1998 (Prop 105) mandates that spending approved by initiative cannot be reduced by the Legislature. Thirty-five percent of Arizona's General Fund budget is voter-protected. The way to amend voter-protected spending is for three-fourths of the Legislature to vote to override a mandate. But there is more to the Voter Protection Act story, which is sometimes used as an excuse for not reducing spending when it needs to be.

A nearly perfect gauge of the wisdom and importance of a policy proposal is how loudly special-interest groups howl in opposition. By that measure, Proposition 101-the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act-must be a great idea.

After months of rumblings around the state capitol, a private coalition called TIME Transportation and Infrastructure Moving AZ's Economy has unveiled a $42 billion solution for Arizona's transportation problems. It can be summed up as tax and spend.

The Arizona Republic's front page headline on October 29 read "White House Pressures Banks." The article went on to describe how bankers were being accused of hoarding bailout cash and told to get out there and loan money.

Three law firms dominate the legal work that goes into issuing state and local government debt in Arizona, according to a review of bond documents done by the Goldwater Institute. That finding is consistent with what bond lawyers and government officials have said in interviews about the industry.