Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard, fresh off primary-election victories this week, shared the podium at the annual League of Arizona Cities and Towns meeting Thursday, painting completely opposite pictures of the state's economy and direction.
Brewer, a Republican, and Goddard, a Democrat, are vying for election to the Governor's Office in November.
In her remarks, Brewer described Arizona as a state in the midst of a comeback and touted her economic-development efforts and her work to bring thousands of new jobs to the region.
Ummm...just a few numbers for everybody's perusal -
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Arizona's unemployment rate in January 2009 (when Brewer ascended to the governor's office): 8.0%
Arizona's unemployment rate in July 2010 (the month with the most current info available): 9.6%
Number of unemployed people in Arizona in January 2009 - 252,224
Number of unemployed people in Arizona in July 2010 - 305,941
From the US Courts website:
Number of Arizona bankruptcy filings for the quarter ending December 31, 2008 (the last period before Brewer became governor): 5,792
Number of Arizona bankruptcy filings for the quarter ending March 31, 2010 (the most recent period for which data is available): 9,652
From the website of Arizona Indicators, from the Morrison Institute for Public Policy:
Monthly taxable sales in January 2009 (when Brewer took office): $4.831 billion
Monthly taxable sales in April 2010 (most recent available data): $3.64 billion
From the website of the Arizona Legislature's Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC):
The State of Arizona's General Fund revenues in January 2009: $662.5 million
The State of Arizona's General Fund revenues in July 2010 (latest date available): $622.1 million, including $64.6 million from the sales tax increase enacted by the voters in May. (Revenue would have been $557.5 million if the voters of Arizona hadn't stemmed the bleeding.)
Home prices are still declining in Arizona, with no real indication of when the housing market is going to stabilize:
AZRepublic article, dated August 15, 2010, on the continuing decline in Phoenix home prices here; EV Tribune article on the lagging housing market in Arizona here; ABC15 piece here.
So let's summarize the economic performance of Jan Brewer so far -
Unemployment - UP
Bankruptcies - UP
Economic activity - DOWN
Home prices - DOWN
State finances: STILL PLUMMETING
Insisting that there is an economic recovery in Arizona isn't the same thing as there actually being an economic recovery in Arizona.
Her performance on economic issues is like her performance in debates with Terry Goddard -