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>

On November 16, the Phoenix City Council will decide whether or not to float an estimated $850 million in bonds to finance various projects, including libraries, senior centers, and police stations. If it does, voters will have the final say come March 14. Are bonds a healthy way to finance current spending?

As a wise man might say, it is better to live within your means.

Arizonans may soon be raising their glasses to more than 10,000 varieties of wine. Black Star Farms, a Michigan winery, and several East Valley residents have filed a federal court challenge to the constitutionality of Arizona's wine shipping regulations.  

The challenge comes in the wake of Granholm v. Heald, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar programs in New York and Michigan. But Arizona still has not acted to repeal its unconstitutional laws.

The Arizona Republic reports that "the state is spending more than $150,000 to put Governor Janet Napolitano's face on billboards that promote Arizona tourism at several well-traveled intersections in Phoenix and Tucson." The headline sums up the question at hand: "Tourism promotion or political advertising?"

Entering election season, a number of the Governor's activities will invariably raise the question of what constitutes doing a job and what constitutes doing a job on taxpayers.

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, and U.S. Reps. John Shadegg and Jeff Flake, were among the 12 federal lawmakers who put principle above short-term political gain and voted against the recently passed transportation bill.

This $286 billion bill divvied up the money from the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax we all pay when we fill up. What's so bad about that?

The gas tax originated in the 1950's to fund construction of the interstate highway system. The system has long been completed, but the gas tax, as taxes usually do, lives on.

According to a new Arizona State University survey, 207 doctors serve every 100,000 Arizonans. By comparison, the national average is 283 doctors per 100,000 residents. 

That ratio is often cited as justification for the taxpayer-subsidized Biomedical Campus going up in Phoenix. Will training a few dozen doctors locally solve the doctor shortage?

A new national analysis of fiscal responsibility among the states gives Arizona state government a "D-." The Fiscal Discipline Report Card, published by Americans for Prosperity Foundation, grades the states' tax and expenditure limits on five objective criteria.

Mesa's projected $40 million budget shortfall is being called "Armageddon" and "Apocalypse" by city council members, as if the deficit were an unexpected calamity foisted onto the city from above.

The impending deficit, however, is the result of one thing: irresponsible budgeting. City officials set a budget without having the revenue to cover costs.

Moreover, the city's priorities are questionable. Consider that nearly one-quarter of Mesa's prospective deficit is for funding art and museums. However desirable, art is hardly a public safety or health issue.

You have to admire vested interests in the education status quo: they have a flair for reinvention that rivals Madonna's, and to the same end: more money. WestEd's June 23 report claiming that preschool can solve the Social Security crisis, however, is even harder to swallow than the pop star's latest turn as a children's book author.

In her mission to woo technology development in Arizona, Governor Napolitano shepherded the Knowledge Economy Capital Fund with the goal of raising $100 million in venture capital. Seeded with $25 million from the State Compensation Fund, high-profile fund partners such as Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon hoped to amass another $75 million from the private sector.

Not surprisingly, the private sector has yet to add a dime.

In 1995, California needed to relieve congestion on Route 91, one of its busiest arteries. Instead of trying to get drivers onto mass transit, California opted for a fresh approach parallel toll lanes that were privately owned and operated.

The lanes have proven so successful in reducing congestion that several states, including Virginia and Minnesota, are using California's solution as a model.

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