No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
Closing the state budget gap is going to be more than a theoretical exercise.
When state lawmakers make their annual pilgrimage to the state Capitol in January, they're likely to be staring into a pit $1 billion deep. Legislators, many of them incoming freshmen, will be looking to the Governor's Office for a framework, particularly since the last budget was closed using a host of relatively painless fixes.
By William Hermann, Billy House and Tom Zoellner
After four years of planning and $37 million spent, Valley cities are planning to build a light rail system that may go nowhere.
Federal support of the project, once seemingly secure, is starting to weaken. And without millions of dollars of support from Washington, light rail could be doomed.
The project, which has a price tag of $1 billion, never has been popular with most members of Arizona's congressional delegation.
This Good Idea Should Go Somewhere
The better-living-through-bigger-government crowd keeps getting large holes blown through its arguments.
You know the refrain: Reckless tax cuts in Arizona during the 1990's irresponsibly drained education and social service spending, creating a low-wage economy poorly positioned for the New Economy.
This analysis supposedly justifies significant tax increases and a new state industrial policy to attract high-wage jobs.
It's an analysis that has never stood up well to scrutiny.
Engaged citizens make for good governments. That’s the central idea behind the ninth annual Goldwater Institute Legislative Report Card, which takes into account 375 votes during the first session of Arizona’s fiftieth legislature. The result is a citizen-friendly tool for evaluating legislators’ votes against a simple, important standard: their impact on liberty.
Taxpayers were impressed by Democratic criticism of the Republican fiscal foolishness during the last election campaign. Democratic leaders campaigned on not raising taxes. They agreed to eliminate 10,000 earmarks proposed by the previous Congress and institute an earmarks moratorium. Pay-as-you-go budget rules were established.
So how did the Democratic leadership do on its first real test of their new fiscal policies? They openly used pork to round up votes for the controversial bill calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq by a date certain.
In a recent Arizona Republic column, State Representative Phil Lopes called for universal health care. But, the Lopes proposal confuses government paid health services with universal health care. As Europe demonstrates, millions go without good health care under government paid systems regularly.
Every year lawmakers and lobbyists fight over how to spend Arizona's revenue. Thanks to voter-approved initiatives, about 63 percent of state spending is on auto-pilot and unavailable for lawmakers to divvy up.
During Gov. Janet Napolitano's first term, state General Fund spending increased by 54 percent. That's sharply above the average of the previous six gubernatorial terms, which was 40 percent. The extent to which this spending spree is unprecedented isn't widely understood, but a recent study published by the Goldwater Institute provides the needed perspective.
Gov. Janet Napolitano has proposed that Arizona expand coverage under its subsidized health insurance program for children, called KidsCare, from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 300 percent, or about $60,000 a year for a family of four.
According to Napolitano, it's a good deal, because the feds will pick up 70 percent of the cost. However, at present, there's no federal money to be had for the expansion.