There was an interesting coincidence today - the Arizona Republic ran a piece touting the economic record and proposals of Jan Brewer while she's been governor of AZ while Business Insider ran a piece (with a related blog post from Yahoo! Finance) highlighting 22 statistics that show that America's middle class, once the envy of the world, has all but disappeared.
While minds far more perceptive than mine and voices far more eloquent than mine can parse and discuss the details, essentially the wealth of the middle class has been siphoned off to pad the wallets and bank accounts and property listings of America's wealthiest (what, you thought that the wealthy were taking from the poor? The poor don't have much worth taking. That's why they are called "poor"...)
The concentration of America's wealth into an ever-smaller segment of our society has been enacted/enabled by the corpratization/globalization policies fronted by Republicans (and yes, CorpraDems, too!) over the last 30 or so years.
And nothing in Jan Brewer's "Five Point Plan" is going to help AZ's middle class.
1. Structural Budget Reform. Possibly the least bad of her "points", but also the least meaningful. Not enacted yet, or even the subject of substantive proposals (aka - bills before the legislature)
2. Improve Proposition 105 - The Voter Protection Act. AKA - "Get rid of the Voter Protection Act." The measure was enacted to prevent legislative tinkering with things approved by a direct vote cast by the state's electorate. This has led to the lege's (and Brewer's!) inability to get rid of things like First Things First (an early childhood health and education initiative) and Growing Smarter (a program that gives Arizonans a voice in and some control over over growth in their communities and land conservation.
Things like societal infrastructure/safety net and citizen control of government and the world around them are antithetical to those Republicans (and CorpraDems) who are more concerned with protecting profit margins than with public service.
Those are things that Brewer and the Republicans running the lege have condemned since they were enacted by the voters, and the current budget crisis has provided the best hope that the Reps have had for a repeal - they hope that voters are frightened enough to roll over for them.
There are lege-initiated questions (here and here) on the ballot in November to push forward the anti-societal agenda.
3. Additional spending cuts. Well, that one *has* been enacted, mostly to the sort of spending that benefits society as a whole - education, AHCCCS, and other social safety net programs. One area set for an increase in spending is on the private prisons (and the deep-pocketed corporations that own them) that stand to benefit from Brewer's signature on SB1070, the anti-immigrant law scheduled to go into effect in less than a week.
There will be more cuts in the next budget cycle. In addition, there will be more cuts this year if one or both of the above measures aren't approved by the voters.
Not that destroying First Things First and Growing Smarter won't qualify as "cuts"...
4. Reform and modernization of Arizona's state tax structure. "Reform" and "modernization" are code words for "continue to shift Arizona's tax burden on to those who can least afford it (but also onto those who can least afford the
5. Temporary Tax Increase – Increase state revenues by $1 billion per year. Brewer got this one. Of course, her temporary tax increase was to the incredibly regressive state sales tax, not to the already low property tax. Of course, increases to the property tax, even property taxes themselves, are considered corporate/upper class-UNfriendly, hence the lack of discussion of a more equitable tax structure in AZ.
In short, Brewer's economic "plan" is nothing more than "more of what is destroying America's future."
Giving her four years to implement her "plan" for Arizona is something that the average Arizonan cannot afford.
...Earlier this month, John McCain accused President Obama of "generational theft"; McCain should look across the table at his fellow Republicans like Brewer (as well as in a mirror) before throwing around such accusations.