Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Republicans' budget proposal: Long term ugliness

The Arizona Economic Council has sent out an email where in memo format, they clearly summarize the regressive effects of the Republicans' plans for Arizona's tax structure.

Shamelessly copied-and-pasted from that email -

MEMO: Budget Deal Shifts Heavier Tax Burden to Middle Class

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Seth Scott, The Arizona Economic Council
DATE: July 30, 2009

Governor Jan Brewer and the State Legislature are at it again - desperately trying to bail out corporations and Wall Street insurance companies on the backs of Arizona's children and middle class families.

Just like the Governor's June proposal, the current plan concocted by Governor Brewer, Senate President Bob Burns and House Speaker Kirk Adams is wrong for Arizona. The Brewer-Burns-Adams Grand Tax Shift unfairly places a heavier tax burden on the middle class, and uses an 18 percent increase in the sales tax - as well as school cuts - to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways and bailouts we simply cannot afford.

Specifically, the Brewer-Burns-Adams Grand Tax Shift:

- Raises the state sales tax by 18 percent. Under Brewer-Burns-Adams, Arizona's sales tax would climb to the 7th highest in the nation, and that's before county and local taxes are taken into account. [Source: Tax Foundation 2009 Facts and Figures]

- Takes some revenue from the middle class tax hike to pay for a 30 percent cut to the state's corporate tax rate, shifting the burden to individuals.

- Takes another portion of revenue from the sales tax increase, which targets middle class families, and cut income taxes for those who make over $150,000 a year.

- Puts schools on the ropes and eliminates the $250 million education equalization fund, which goes directly to Arizona schools. This would shift funds from schools to the pockets of Big Business. For example, one of the biggest beneficiaries of this maneuver is New York-based Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. [Source: The Arizona Republic, April 4, 2009]

- Strips voter-mandated protections of school funds, so the Legislature would be free to override the will of the voters and further cut classroom resources in FY2010, FY2011 and FY2012.

The Brewer-Burns-Adams Grand Tax Shift is another example of misplaced priorities at the State Capitol.

Arizonans continue to lack confidence in the Governor and Legislature's handling of the budget crisis. A recent survey of 500 likely voters indicates that 72 percent of voters believe Governor Brewer is doing only a "fair" or "poor" job handing the state budget crisis. Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said the state legislature is doing only a "fair" or "poor" job handling the crisis.

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The Arizona Economic Council is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that aims to promote ideas and policies to create jobs, strengthen our schools and the state's economy and educate Arizonans about the economic issues that face our state.
Eli Blake at Deep Thought has his take one one aspect of the Reps' schemes here.

AZBlueMeanie has an excellent piece on the entire situation here. It seems that the Reps' are running into trouble from their own caucus because, as bad as the current proposal is, certain members (i.e. Gould, Harper, Gorman, aka "The Usual Suspects") don't think that it is anywhere near bad enough.

Stay tuned today...

3 comments:

Thane Eichenauer said...

In order that they get proper blame, those usual suspects are:

Senator Ron Gould
Representative Jack W. Harper
Representative Pamela Gorman

Those three apparently just refuse to allow funding of vital government programs.

Do you think they (secretly) want to close government schools? or do only Libertarians advocate that idea?

cpmaz said...

Actually, there's nothing secret about it.

In terms of destroying government and public services and infrastructure, they are with the most libertarian of Libertarians.

Of course, they are all entirely in favor of the government existing to regulate or even criminalize behavior that does no harm to others (bedroom issues, personal drug use, etc.)

Thane Eichenauer said...

But just to be clear here, *all* Libertarians (or libertarians) support the abolition of drug prohibition laws.

Which also means that Ron Gould is NOT a libertarian.
Jack W. Haper is NOT a libertarian.
Pamela Gorman is NOT a libertarian.

They all were (last I checked) Republicans.

Feel free to suggest they signup (and support the Arizona Libertarian Party) if their positions have changed since I last checked.