No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
There are a few issues on which economists almost unanimously agree, but because of public misconception or the haphazard detouring of the political process, that universal agreement never gets transferred to the public arena.
When government issues debt, you probably think it’s paying for the construction of a highway or water and sewer improvements – the sort of things that we usually expect government to provide.
Every Arizona household’s debt is getting bigger—but most people don’t even know they owe. In Arizona, every man, woman and child owes state and local governments more than $7,500 for bills ranging from sports stadiums to parking garages.
The Social Security reform debate is over for now. But as any ostrich can tell you, sticking your head in the sand doesn't solve the problem. According to the Annual Report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees, the Social Security benefits we've promised but cant pay rose more than $200 billion last year alone.
State Rep. Phil Lopes says that with his proposal to provide government-run health insurance to every resident of the state any person could visit a doctor any time, yet no health care provider would be forced to accept lower payments. That's not exactly the way government health programs work.
Patients in Canada and the United Kingdom commonly wait up to a year to see a doctor, while providers, especially of primary care, are becoming scarce due to declining revenue. Our Medicare and Medicaid systems are plagued with the same problems.
The Arizona Senate is recommending $7 million in business tax cuts this year, with many senators saying the state cannot afford more. That represents 0.06 percent of the Senates $10.6 billion budget proposal. By contrast, the Arizona House was able to come up with $46 million in recommended business tax cuts. To paraphrase occasional presidential candidate and magazine publisher Steve Forbes, maybe its the politicians we cant afford.
If car insurance were structured like health insurance, oil changes would cost only a few dollars with a co-payment. Low-income car owners would qualify for free coverage. Oil would be changed constantly, with the insured demanding the best, most expensive oil be used. Mechanics would not be able to keep up with demand; they would have to raise their prices regularly to comply with increasing compliance costs from insurance companies. Needless repairs would be frequent because car owners would have little incentive to prevent them.
Holy misdirection, Batman! Only sitting elected officials could make a spending problem seem like an economic illness.
Arizona's state revenues are short an estimated $600 million for 2008, just three months into the fiscal year. The culprit cited is a slowing housing market and falling home values.
However, under Governor Napolitano, every budget from 2004 to 2007 has grown faster than Arizonans' collective personal income. Nearly 7 percentage points faster in 2004, 12.3 points faster in 2005, 5.7 points faster in 2006, and 0.5 point faster in 2007.
The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) has released its latest Urban Mobility Report. The good news is that Phoenix is not the most congested city measured (15th worst out of the 85 areas examined). The bad news is that congestion is getting worse and it is costing Phoenicians lost time and wasted fuel.
President Bush is probably on the losing end of the political argument over his veto last week of the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. But that's in part because he hasn't established a pattern of vetoing excessive spending.