No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
In 1970 when an oxygen tank on Apollo 13 exploded, the choice was not whether to land on the moon. The choice was between not landing on the moon and certain death of all on board. Likewise for the passengers of the Titanic; the choice was to find a lifeboat, or die. Ignoring a disaster in hopes that it will go away usually makes the disaster worse.
Since 2001, the number of employees in government regulatory agencies has grown from 172,002 to 244,000. Their funding has increased 44 percent, inflation-adjusted.
As a result, Americans face $30 billion more annually in regulatory costs than they did seven years ago. All told, we pay about $1.1 trillion for regulation and compliance costs, about the same as we pay in federal income taxes.
Governor Janet Napolitano recently vetoed bills to freeze state hiring and spending, in spite of a state budget deficit of more than $1 billion.
It has been clear since last July that the revenues for fiscal year 2008, which ends June 30, would not be nearly sufficient to support the gigantic spending increases in the last four state budgets. During the Governors first term, real general fund expenditures increased 54 percent, 29 percentage points more than population and inflation, combined.
Late night infomercials introduce consumers to great deals they cant possibly pass up. For only $19.99, you can get this incredible Ginsu knife. But if you call now, you get two, and this special bonus gift, for no extra charge! Most of us pass up these deals because we recognize that they are too good to be true. An idea the legislature is considering to borrow money for new buildings is like that.
I think I understand Obamanomics. I buy a yacht that I can't afford. I default on the loan. The bill is sent to my children and future grandchildren (and to yours). The best part: I get to keep sailing.
In Arizona, education bureaucracy growth has greatly exceeded student growth. Between 2004 and 2008 growth in six key education components in Arizona outpaced the growth of the number of students plus inflation. At what point do we question the amount of bureaucracy in the education system?
Over the last five years, student population has increased 11 percent, but administrators and managers combined have increased nearly 46 percent.
As Janet Napolitano leaves Arizona for greener pastures, we should acknowledge that she was an innovative governor who changed the culture of her office. But not in a good way.
Her predecessors recognized the need for responsible management of the budget. Napolitano's reaction to both lean and fat budget years was basically the same: spend, spend, and spend some more. The result is Arizona's huge budget deficit.
From 2000 to 2008, spending by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (Arizonas state-funded health program for low-income families, AHCCCS) is expected to nearly triple. For all that spending, youd think wed have made some progress in increasing the percentage of Arizonans with health insurance. The graph below is evidence to the contrary.
The Arizona Republic reports that a recent study shows Arizona has a relatively high share of "bad" jobs. These are jobs that pay less than $34,000 per year and have no health or retirement benefits.
We don't like to think about it, but Medicare Part A has an unfunded liability over the next 75 years of $11.6 trillion. That means if we don't do anything, don't add new benefits, don't include new beneficiary groups, don't raise or lower any taxes, there will be an $11.6 trillion gap between the cost of hospital services we promised to people already alive and money available to pay for it.