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>

A Valley program for training orthopedic surgeons is getting ready to close its doors. Some are predicting the closure will deliver a blow to the Valley's already-scant supply of physicians. This concern is misplaced.

If you want to know why a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is a good idea for Arizona, see this Goldwater Institute report released yesterday. In it, you'll find out how TABOR maintains a fiscally responsible limit on the state budget, could have put $4.5 billion back in Arizonans pockets, creates predictable and sustainable budget projections, and shifts power away from budget-siphoning special interests towards voters.

Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini wants to call a spade a spade, but instead of unearthing the facts, his analysis throws up a lot of dirt about Arizona private schools.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $284 billion federal highway bill last week by an overwhelming vote.  The bill includes almost 4,000 earmarks, which are special projects included in the bill for the benefit of individual members of Congress.  The earmarks include funding for numerous local projects that have nothing to do with interstate travel and are prime examples of pork. 

When government picks winners and losers, it's often a losing proposition for everyone. 

Take the excitement over biotechnology exemplified by Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon's recent State of the City address.

Only a curmudgeon can't get excited about the mayor's vision of an "Opportunity Corridor" in downtown Phoenix, where new businesses bearing such names as "Surgical Robotics" and "Molecular Diagnostics" could spring up.

Last year, the Goldwater Institute reviewed decades of empirical evidence, which showed the bigger the district, the bigger the bloat. Moreover, Arizona's best smaller districts averaging around 300 students, along with the best medium-size districts, averaging around 2,400 students, consistently spent as little or less than the state's largest districts, averaging over 34,000 students.

One would think that a state that increased its budget last year by 14 percent and has a budget deficit of nearly a half billion dollars would think twice before lecturing others on belt-tightening.

Street construction starts tomorrow on Valley Metro's $1.3 billion light-rail system. Supporters of light rail claim that the project will help ease congestion on the Valley's roads, citing the alleged success of light rail in other cities.

Proponents of light rail assert that similar systems have benefited cities such as Portland and San Diego. But careful analysis indicates that light rail systems have failed to yield even marginal returns on those cities' investments.

According to an audit of the state Department of Economic Security, the state has overpaid jobless benefits by $85 million. As the East Valley Tribune reports, "nearly one dollar of every five paid out in state jobless benefits was given in error."

The federal government has formally committed to provide $587 million for an initial 20-mile light rail line between Phoenix and Mesa, the Arizona Republic reports. Valley Metro Rail chief executive Rick Simonetta said of the Federal Transit Administration's contribution to the estimated $1.3 billion project, "this is the ultimate expression of confidence from the FTA."

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