No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
As Arizona debates the merits of a proposed plan to expand Medicaid, we should consider whether it’s even legal. As currently written, the plan is unconstitutional. That’s because it gives sweeping power to the Director of AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid program) to make law, a job the state’s constitution says must be left to the legislature.
Two years ago, when the Legislature considered reining in handouts to the solar industry by the Arizona Corporation Commission, the hearing room was packed with lobbyists opposing the move. Solar subsidies, they argued, were the cornerstone of the state’s job creation program.
You may be wondering what the “sequester,” or cuts in federal funding due to a Congressional budget impasse, will mean for Arizona schools. The estimated reductions in federal money to Arizona schools could amount to $17.7 million, but before we stock up on canned goods and head for the hills, let’s put in perspective what $17.7 million represents.
In a recent unanimous decision, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that school districts can't spend bond money on unapproved purposes when voters authorized that money for specific projects. This decision protects the state constitutionally-guaranteed rights of taxpayers and ensures that governments can't renege on their bond agreements with the voters.
In the battle to get the Medicaid expansion being championed by Gov. Jan Brewer approved by the state’s legislators, her closest advisers are hanging their hopes on the number eight. That is how many of the 17 Republicans in the State Senate they believe they can get on their side.
With a population of 14,500 and a location south of Yuma, until recently I had never even heard of Somerton, Arizona. Yet, this tiny town serves as one of the best examples of what financial transparency by the government ought to look like.
The automatic spending cuts that have been enacted at the federal level – the “sequester” – have generated concern and outrage in some quarters. Breathless press releases from the White House and trade association groups that may receive slightly less federal money than they did last year have permeated the media reporting.
(By Darcy Olsen, National Review Online)
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama announced an initiative to make preschool universal, citing studies that purport to show academic benefits from earlier school enrollment. Unfortunately, this plan flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that preschool has no lasting impact on children’s future educational success.
A recent article in Time magazine by Steven Brill documents the enormously high prices we pay in this country for health care, including the markups and significant profits of “nonprofit” hospitals. For example, M.D. Anderson marked up an anti-cancer drug some 400 percent. Stamford Hospital billed an individual $8,000 for a test that Medicare would have reimbursed at $600. Blood tests are often marked up by more than 1,000 percent over verifiable costs. Brill’s article is 28 pages long and includes dozens of examples.