Tuesday, July 6, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 7/6/2010

  • Arizona Voters Should Decide If Secret Ballots Are Fundamental Right 
    • Arizona voters will have the opportunity in November to decide if secret ballots should be a constitutional right during public elections and the creation of labor unions, unless a union succeeds in its bid to have the proposed amendment removed as a ballot measure. 
    • In June 2009, the Legislature referred Proposition 108, also known as Save our Secret Ballot, to Arizona voters. The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents grocery store workers, went to court 11 months later and demanded that Prop.108 be struck down as a violation of the requirement in the Arizona Constitution that voters consider only one subject in each ballot measure.
  • State Keeps Spending at Record Levels Despite Huge Budget Shortfall 
    • Arizona is still spending at record levels despite a $2.7 billion dollar budget deficit and an 18 percent state sales tax increase to help fix it. Today marks the start of Fiscal Year 2011 and, according to a spending clock sponsored by the Goldwater Institute and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Arizona is on track to spend $29.3 billion this year.
    • Even though Arizona has had a budget deficit for three years, spending is still on the rise. The state spent $888 per second in FY2009 and $920 per second in FY2010. Now Arizona is spending $929 per second in FY 2011. 
    • "There goes the notion that government is doing more with less," said Steve Voeller, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. "It's doing more because it has more."
  • Sheriff Joe, Sheriff Mack and Derek Sheriff: Three Views on Arizona’s New Immigration Law 
  • Building Codes and Protectionism 
    • I have written a lot about state licensing typically being more about protecting incumbents from competition than consumer protection.  This is a story in a similar vein, where plumbers worked to stop the approval of waterless urinals because they required, well, fewer plumbers to install.  In the end, there was a compromise — the plumbers would support waterless urinals in the code, BUT the code would also say that water still had to be piped to the urinals that don’t need water.  I kid you not.
  • to Hyperinflate 
    • This potential move gives the deflation versus inflation debate a new perspective. We have written in the past that we had questions about the Great Depression based on conflicting opinions of Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman et. al. Living through the "Great Recession" has begun to clear them up. It is a little like being a lab rat; it is painful, but the experience gives you an insider's look at the scientific method. Or in this case a fiat-money economy.
Jan Brewer a Democrat or Neocon?
  • Jan Brewer Continues to Fabricate Position on Taxes 
    • As Jan Brewer continues to portray herself as a conservative, her record on tax and budget matters tells a different story. Brewer’s record on fiscal policy is one of higher taxes, more spending, and budget deficits as far as the eye can see.
    • In 2009 Brewer increased property taxes in Arizona by $250 million by vetoing the permanent repeal of a state property tax....As a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Brewer repeatedly voted for higher property taxes (Arizona Republic, 2002).
  • Brewer’s Idea on Jobs? Another Government Agency 
    • Since Jan Brewer took office, Arizona’s unemployment rate has jumped from 7% to nearly 10%. Despite efforts from state lawmakers to cut taxes, Brewer simply raised them $3.25 billion.
    • Her latest idea is to create yet another government entity focusing on job creation. To kick-start the new Commerce Authority, she handed them a government check for $10 million.
  • Arizona’s Truth-Teller-in-Chief Eyes Tried-And-True Violation of Truth-In-Taxation Law to Balance Her Unbalanced Budget 
    • The state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee official estimates say Arizona is $368 million in deficit already and we’re only a week into the fiscal year. Add to that the $400 million in federal Medicare matching dollars that was counted on that’s not coming. That’s a budget out of whack by nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars and we really haven’t gotten started on this year’s faux-balanced budget fashioned under the flinty Governor Brewer last February.
    • Oh yeah, that Brewer budget is also predicated on passage of both Prop. 301 and Prop. 302 this November. The former steals $125 million from the Growing Smarter fund for land preservation and the latter steals $325 million from the First Things First fund for “the children”. Well-funded “no” campaigns are already gearing up to defeat those measures ironically consisting of many of the same interests behind Prop. 100’s grand coalition of multi-millionaire spenders.

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