No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
As Mark Twain said, “few things are harder to put up with than a good example.” Unfortunately for opponents of constitutional caps on runaway spending, Governor Napolitano’s proposed fiscal 2007 budget is a good example of why Arizona needs one.
Policymakers ignoring biotech’s economic track record
Despite the millions in public funding we have already spent, it’s unlikely that we can buy our way into becoming the new center of biotech research activity. And it’s not realistic to expect the biotech sector to anchor a surge in our rates of economic growth.
Arizona's state government currently includes over 140 agencies, boards and commissions, a list of which you can peruse here.
One of my personal favorites is the Board of Cosmetology, which is "mandated to protect the public." Fortunately, there is a separate Barber's Commission to keep the staff of 20 at the Board of Cosmetology from being overwhelmed.
Forecasts predict Arizona will have a $1 billion budget surplus this year. This surplus is simply an overpayment by taxpayers relative to the needs of state government. But the chances of politicians returning that money are questionable.
Governor Janet Napolitano is urging that Arizona “invest” the surplus in “the future.” Investing in Arizona sounds sober and responsible. But the dictionary says “invest” means using money to generate interest or profit.
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve heard we have a health care crisis, or at least some big problems in the way we pay for health care. Three common-sense steps can make health care more affordable and available.
Eliminating most of the state coverage mandates on health insurance policies would be a start. Mandates raise the cost of insurance by five percent to 15 percent. It doesn’t make sense that, at a time when the cost of insurance is such a significant problem, states impose a total of 1,500 requirements for inclusion of benefits in policies.
Big spenders nationwide were relieved that Proposition C, the proposal to suspend Colorado’s TABOR law, passed last year by 52 percent. They have rushed to proclaim that TABOR “didn’t work” and economically suffocated Colorado. Governor Napolitano says, “Anybody who thinks TABOR is a good idea . . . should talk to Gov. Owens.”
We did. Owens himself says that TABOR has worked well in Colorado. Indeed, Colorado voters were persuaded to support Proposition C only by assuring them that TABOR would not be eliminated by its passage.
The University of Arizona and the city of Tucson want to spend $350 million to build a bridge. The so-called “rainbow bridge” would span Interstate 10 and the Santa Cruz River and house the Flandrau Science Center. Just last year, the President of UA slated the Center for elimination in his Focused Excellence plan.
Supporters justify the expense by claiming it would establish an “iconic monument” in Tucson, attracting tourists and generating millions in annual economic activity. That’s some bridge.
One decision facing Arizona lawmakers this New Year is what to do with the state's $750-million-soon-to-be-$1-billion revenue surplus.
Ideas being kicked around mostly from Democrats include a major expansion of state government, as if last year's 14 percent spending increase wasn't enough. Some Republicans, who apparently don't want to be outdone, are also proposing new spending instead of tax cuts.
Choosing not to cut taxes is choosing government over private-sector growth. That's a bad choice.
In 1997, the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Foundation set a bold goal for its Campaign Arizona: raise $1 billion in private contributions within eight years. "It seemed like so much money when the campaign began," explains UA president Peter Likins, but "our leadership team knew we could do it."
Today, more universities are directing their fundraising efforts to the private sector. However, UA is one of only about 20 institutions to approach, much less achieve, the billion-dollar milestone.
What would you do with $350 million? The city of Phoenix decided to build a Sheraton hotel by the Civic Plaza at an estimated cost of $20 million a year, for the next 34 years. The city reasons the hotel will lure convention-goers--and their money--downtown.