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  • Education Savings Accounts: A Path to Give All Children an Effective Education and Prepare Them for Life

    Posted on October 30, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher

    All parents want an effective school for their child. But no parent should have to take the drastic steps that Yolanda Miranda took to give her children a chance at a good education: Yolanda went to jail and was charged with grand larceny for sending her children to better schools in their grandmother’s district instead of their assigned schools.

  • Lessons from Texas on Building an Economically Healthier Arizona

    Posted on October 17, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach

    During the recent recession, the experience of Texas provides a marked contrast to that of Arizona. Arizona’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell at more than double the rate in the nation while Texas’s GDP barely fell at all. Texas’s employment in 2011 was at an all-time high and even greater than in 2007; by contrast, Arizona’s total employment in 2011 was 10 percent below its peak. Although most of the nation has seen hard times like Arizona has since 2007, Arizona’s economic challenges did not begin with the Great Recession. In fact, Arizona’s inflation-adjusted per capita income has lagged the nation’s for decades and stands steady at around 87 percent of the national level. While Arizona’s per capita personal income growth was fifth lowest among the states, Texas’s was seventh highest despite a large influx of people without jobs.

  • The Myth of Education Cuts and Why Money Can't Buy an A+

    Posted on October 11, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher

    A popular myth claims we severely underfund schools in Arizona. For years, teachers unions and other education interest groups have led a successful “crusade” in the media and the state capitol to spread this idea. “We have reduced education funding levels to the point where they’re really not sustainable for our students and our teachers,” says Ann-Eve Pedersen, who is leading a voter initiative to raise taxes to increase education funding.

  • Next Steps on Health Care Policy

    Posted on September 25, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach

    The United States Supreme Court ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius effectively made state policymakers the last line of defense against the federal takeover of the nation’s health care industry. Although it ruled that the federal government cannot coerce states into expanding their Medicaid programs, the Court allowed the federal government to tax individuals who do not obtain government-approved health insurance policies. That decision, despite opening the door to federal regulation, also means that state legislatures are in a unique position to adopt meaningful health care reform policies.

  • A New Tax Plan for a New Economy: How Eliminating the Income Tax Can Create Jobs

    Posted on September 20, 2012 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Stephen Slivinski

    Policymakers in states across the country are searching for solutions to unemployment and a faltering economy. The answers, though, are simple and within reach. Legislators looking for a bold economic growth strategy should seriously consider the benefits of unshackling state economies from the income tax—a tax that penalizes workers, creates double taxation, and inhibits investment.

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