No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
Several states are facing some tough fiscal times. California's overspending problem amounts to more than $14 billion for the 2009 fiscal year. New Jerseys spending versus revenue gap could be $3.5 billion. Virginia and Massachusetts each face $1.2 billion gaps. Arizona's gap for 2009 is estimated at $1.7 billion.
The Morrison Institutes Beat the Odds report related a disturbing prediction made at an academic conference concerning Arizona's future:
Kentucky's leading demographer, pointed to a map of the United States and said, The Southwest will be the Appalachian region of the 21st Century. Why?
Because, he said, Demography is destiny.
In her State of the State address, Governor Napolitano made two rather remarkable statements. She said, I have always presented you with a balanced budget plan that moved Arizona forward, and We have passed a balanced budget every year.
Largely lost amidst attention over Super Tuesday was Sen. Hillary Clinton's admission on Sunday that her proposed universal health care program would come with a huge dose of government coercion.
Associated Press reported that Clinton said she would achieve universal coverage by "going after people's wages" and "automatic enrollment." The healthy must support the sick, the senator insists, and must be forced to join a government health insurance program willingly or not.
Well, blow me down, they did it--and with two and a half months to spare. The legislature and the governor have agreed on a fix for the fiscal 2008 budget. Both sides can claim victory and defeat, so the deal appears an artful compromise.
Going into the negotiations, the state faced a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, with budgeted spending projected to exceed revenues by almost 13 percent. Lets look at the math of the new deal:
What can Arizona lawmakers learn from guru of personal finance Suze Orman? Plenty. Orman's mantra is people first, then money, then things, which is pretty much the opposite of what we heard on Monday in the Governor's annual State of the State address.
Governor Janet Napolitano proposed 12 new government programs and initiatives for the state, in addition to the expansion of several existing programs. These proposed new and expanded programs are offered at a time when Arizona faces a $1.25 billion structural deficit.
Today is the Grand Opening of a development that took nearly $100 million from Phoenix taxpayers to be built. There, you are encouraged to "explore inspiring art galleries, refreshing landscaped parks and cascading fountains." You'll enjoy "entertainment in live-performance spaces . . . each step will be a journey of discovery."
The opulent CityNorth development's recent problems-construction delays and having to market luxury condominiums as rentals-illustrate the wisdom of the Arizona Constitution's framers in forbidding corporate subsidies.
Arizona's public universities have proposed issuing $1.4 billion in bonds for a university building program. The universities have been asking the legislature for this money for a few years, but the construction downturn provides an opportunity to market it as a Construction Stimulus Plan. This plan is fundamentally flawed.
Extending health benefits to domestic partners of government employees is a fiercely contentious issue. Arizona voters decided last year not to prohibit such benefits, but efforts to create them have come up empty in the state legislature.
No problem, says the Department of Administration, a state executive agency: we'll mandate insurance coverage for domestic partners of state employees and retirees by bureaucratic fiat. And it did just that in a proposed rule filed last November 30 to expand the term "dependent" to include domestic partners.