No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
State legislators looking to spur job creation should reject federal stimulus efforts as a model. In fact, there are at least two lessons in what not to do that policymakers can learn from President Obama’s failed effort to energize economic growth through government spending and temporary tax gimmicks.
Despite Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the national credit rating, the federal government’s rating is still better than Arizona’s.
Our rating, AA-, is the same as Kentucky, Michigan, and New Jersey. Not exactly state’s that are pictures of economic health. In fact, 44 states have a better credit rating than Arizona, including all of our regional competitors: Colorado (AA), Nevada (AA), New Mexico (AA+), Texas (AA+), and Utah (AAA). Only two states in the country have worse ratings, including California, which has the lowest rating (A-).
Governments are notorious for spending beyond their means. But they can be reined in through a range of tools, from ballot-box initiatives and legislative spending caps to simply using taxpayer resources more wisely. The Goldwater Institute is a tireless watchdog, analyzing and uncovering ways to make spending more efficient and accountable.
The Arizona Legislature and Gov. Janet Napolitano avoided a fiscal "crisis" this week by getting a state budget passed and signed before the start of a new fiscal year Tuesday, but that doesn't mean it resolved the financial troubles facing the state.
The first failing of the new budget is that although it is balanced on paper, as required, it likely isn't truly balanced in reality, as noted by the Goldwater Institute, an Arizona public policy organization.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Feagles, the punter for the Giants, grew up in the Phoenix area and remembers the suburb of Glendale as out in the boonies, a farming town northwest of the city that was really, really far away and filled with cotton fields.
Now, its amazing, Feagles said. Theres this big U.F.O. sitting in the middle of the desert. The U.F.O. is the University of Phoenix Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLII on Sunday between the Giants and the New England Patriots.
Gov. Janet Napolitano has a strange idea of how to deal with the state's expected huge revenue shortfalls this year and next year.
Granted she did say in her State of the State address this week that she planned to ask state departments to reduce spending to help deal with an estimated $1 billion shortfall in tax revenues this year - one-tenth of Arizona's $10.6 billion budget. That's a wise fiscal step, if it is truly implemented.
A proposal aimed at banning public spending on lobbyists faces an uphill struggle at the Capitol.
A Senate panel tackled the proposal on Feb. 4, but voting on it was held on the recommendation of the bills sponsor, who is mulling a possible amendment.
My sense is that the lobbyists are still in control and that the bill will not go forward, Sen. Linda Gray of Glendale, author of SCR1009, said a day after the hearing.
Scottsdale's Motor Mile auto dealerships will voluntarily forgo nearly $1 million in city-funded marketing money, saying its advertising campaign has brought in business at a rate that exceeded expectations.
The Scottsdale Motor Mile Association sent a letter to Mayor Mary Manross this week that said the results of the ad campaign for the dealerships were reached quicker than anticipated.
If you thought the state's recently approved $10.6 billion is a lot of money, that's not the whole story when it comes to the size and scope of state government. Try adding $16 billion to that total.
The record-high $10.6 billion budget worked out by Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Legislature entails only the state's General Fund. It does not include additional federal money and grants coming into Arizona for the state government's use, or funds from a number of secondary sources.
There's a general sense in governmental and political circles that, in recent years, state government has collected and spent a lot of money.
However, the extent to which this spending spree is unprecedented isn't widely understood or appreciated.
A recent study published by the Goldwater Institute provides the needed perspective ("A Comparison of State Spending Growth under Arizona Governors," available at goldwaterinstitute.org).
The study was written by someone whom at least I regard as authoritative: me.