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>

The University of Arizona and the city of Tucson want to spend $350 million to build a bridge. The so-called “rainbow bridge” would span Interstate 10 and the Santa Cruz River and house the Flandrau Science Center.  Just last year, the President of UA slated the Center for elimination in his Focused Excellence plan.

Supporters justify the expense by claiming it would establish an “iconic monument” in Tucson, attracting tourists and generating millions in annual economic activity. That’s some bridge.

One decision facing Arizona lawmakers this New Year is what to do with the state's $750-million-soon-to-be-$1-billion revenue surplus.

Ideas being kicked around mostly from Democrats include a major expansion of state government, as if last year's 14 percent spending increase wasn't enough. Some Republicans, who apparently don't want to be outdone, are also proposing new spending instead of tax cuts.

Choosing not to cut taxes is choosing government over private-sector growth. That's a bad choice.

In 1997, the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Foundation set a bold goal for its Campaign Arizona: raise $1 billion in private contributions within eight years. "It seemed like so much money when the campaign began," explains UA president Peter Likins, but "our leadership team knew we could do it."

Today, more universities are directing their fundraising efforts to the private sector. However, UA is one of only about 20 institutions to approach, much less achieve, the billion-dollar milestone.

What would you do with $350 million? The city of Phoenix decided to build a Sheraton hotel by the Civic Plaza at an estimated cost of $20 million a year, for the next 34 years. The city reasons the hotel will lure convention-goers--and their money--downtown.

The Internet is probably the greatest boon to individual liberty and entrepreneurship since Ford started churning out affordable cars. It allows people to decide where and with whom they will shop. But as a recent headline in USA Today reads, "States hope to begin taxing online sales." The newspaper continues, "the group [of 18 states] hopes to convince retailers but does not force them? to begin collecting taxes and turning it over to state governments." Merry Christmas, shoppers.

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?

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