Archive for March, 2009

Dem’s budget now makes even less sense

March 31, 2009
Ok, so I was wrong about the House Democrats’ budget being $2.4 billion short, because you see, thats the hole that is going to be filled with magical stimulus money. 
Look, its the stimulus fairy!

Look, its the stimulus fairy!

According to their website, they are going to use “every federal stimulus dollar for Arizona.”  So, what if some of the dollars don’t come through? 

Also, I apparently missed the fact that they want to raise income taxes on top earners (so the “rich” are double-Obama’d), and don’t leave that computer on, because they want to tax energy consumption as well.

The budgets feel like a kid who doesn’t want to visit their grandma.  Sure, they are there and they make an “effort” but their lack of attention and half-hearted hug give it all away.  These budgets feel like half-hearted hugs from our legislators.

Democrats’ budget is $2.4 billion short

March 30, 2009

The House Democrats have launched a new website called Stronger Arizona to lay out some of their ideas for fixing the budget.  The site, they say is a place for “common-sense solutions to balance the state’s budget while protecting jobs, education and families”

We asked where they were, and here they are.  But where are they?

When I look at their 2010 budget, I must be missing something, because it looks like it still has a $2.4 billion budget deficit.  How is that a common sense solution?  Is the plan to have no plan? 

Even little Timmy is confused

Even little Timmy is confused

The Senate Republicans are $500 million short, the House Democrats are $2.4 billion short.  How come no one can fill the gap?  Doesn’t that say something?

Attacks on Governor and Supporters

March 27, 2009

Its no wonder why members of the legislature who may otherwise be supportive of Governor Brewer’s plan are not speaking out.

According to some, if you support the Governor’s plan, you must be a nefarious character, seeking nothing more than to line your own pockets – read the ridiculous OUTRAGE! here.  Here is the response which poses a fairly solid reality check.

What stood out for me was this chart regarding the fiscal crisis:

 

 

From what I can tell, the blue line is expenditures and the pink line is revenue.  What it looks like is what everyone fears is going to happen, revenues are going to continue to decline, while the expenditures continue to grow.  Even with the stimulus money, there still appears to be a gap.  Obviously, we need to cut expenditures, but is that going to be enough to make it through these tough times?

What am I missing? The Republican budget still short

March 27, 2009
I just saw the draft house budget, courtesy of Arizona Guardian posted on Blog for Arizona.  I am no budget expert, but from the best I can tell, the budget is still $465 million short. 

We heard three days ago that they were about $500 million short, and NOTHING has changed.  Its now three days later, and still no movement.  Like I said before, it means that you still have no plan!  How can you stare at a $500 million hole and tell us with a straight face that you have a budget plan?

Is this Puzzle finished?

Is this Puzzle finished?

Is this House finished?

Is this House finished?

How exactly are they going to cover that remaining amount?

Americans for Prosperity: Might as well give up

March 26, 2009

Americans for Prosperity did a survey in Phoenix and Glendale and are now claiming that not only is any sort of tax increase unpopular, but bascially all deficit reducing options are a no-go.  Then they throw in this doozy:

“Nearly all of the deficit-reducing options are unpopular,” Jenney said, “so our elected officials may as well vote on principle.”

Yeah, guys, you might as well vote to keep doing nothing.  Go ahead, give up.  Its hard, so don’t try.  Stick to your principles of doing nothing at all. 

They go on to talk about sticking to cuts and a bunch of other nebulous options.  Needless to say, they don’t really care what voters think about the cuts that have already been made or what the state will look like after another $2 to 3 billion in cuts.  Are there really enough cuts that can be made?  No one has been able to answer that question.

Legislators are bored?!?

March 25, 2009

There is another push for the Senate to reconsider hearing bills because several people apparently don’t have anything to do.  Can you believe that?!?

Apparently, every one is not working night and day on the budget, nor have they been asked to.  Four whole hours a day?  Way to burn the midnight oil!  A select few seem to be privvy to the secret details, but very few know whats going on. 

So what are the rest of the Republicans doing?  What are the Democrats doing for that matter?  What are we paying them for?  How about anyone who isn’t working on the budget doesn’t get paid until the problem is fixed?

Time to get mad!

March 24, 2009

We are not the only ones out there who are sick and tired of the rhetoric and the plans that aren’t really plans.  Check out what other people are saying:

Randy Pullen: Your hard hitting attack with claims such as taxes never go away, and this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back are inflammatory and will not change the outcome of this debate in Arizona.” 

Eye on the 9th Floor:  “Well, it would be nice to see this list which, of course we can’t. It would be nice to have those brainstorming ideas out there to see what they are thinking of if taxes aren’t on the table.”

Sonoran Alliance Commenter:  “So what’s the solution???”

Mesa Issues:  “If the legislature is going to refuse to act, they should put this to a vote of people. Let the people decide.”  

Blog for Arizona:  “Where are the Democrats on the tax issue?”

Its time for real open and honest dialogue about the problem and the real solutions that are out there to fix it.  More voices are speaking out every day.  The time for posturing and rhetoric is gone.  Its time to do something.

This is not just for the Majority folks, either.  Blog for Arizona is right.  Where have the Democrats been in this process?  Are they content with allowing the Republicans to disagree with eachother while they do nothing?  Will they really fiddle while Rome burns?

Yellow Pad saves the day!

March 24, 2009
Step 1 - Buy Yellow Pad.  Step 2 - Fix Budget.
Step 1 – Buy Yellow Pad. Step 2 – Fix Budget.

Senate leadership now say that they have a plan to fix the budget without a tax increase.  What is the actual plan?  Your guess is as good as mine.  However, here is a real confidence booster:

“Right now we’ve got the equivalent of a yellow pad of ideas that we have to winnow down to viable budget solutions,” said Senate Majority Whip Pamela Gorman, R-Anthem.

A yellow pad of ideas!  Wow!  All hope is restored.  All confidence has been returned.  That is totally press conference worthy!  Pay no attention to the fact that they say that they have a plan, and yet they turn around and ask people to find another $500 million to cut.

That means you don’t have a plan! 

AFP, Senate Republicans, Goldwater Institute, – they are all the same plan!  Make a bunch of non-descript cuts and call it a day.   I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

Borrowing future lottery and tobacco revenue WORST idea

March 20, 2009

In the land of double and triple negatives, columnist Robert Robb is now king.  In his piece for today, he called anything short of cutting all $3 billion, a bad option, and then he started giving degrees of bad (least worse).  The biggest point?

Securitizing the lottery and tobacco revenue streams are the worst option of all.

Worst.  Idea.  Ever.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

And he is right.  Its like taking out an equity line to buy gas.  Its like taking out a payday loan to pay the electric bill.  Credit card to buy comic books?

Robb says the least worst ideas are delaying payments and a temporary tax(!).  Good heavens!  Get Gould and the gang on the phone.  They may have lost an ally.

Arizona Needs a Payday Loan

March 19, 2009

The State is Broke, and is now forced into short-term borrowing (read: payday loans).   If you recall, then-Governor Janet Napolitano got into a big fight with Treasurer Dean Martin because she claimed that this would never be necessary.  Boy, I bet her face is red… back in DC… away from here… basking in the Obama glow…oh, wait. 

Probably not.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are busy kicking the media out of the Senate building (during transparency week, no less), and nothing is being done about the budget.  The longer this goes, the worse it is going to get.  We are already doing pay-day loans to keep the state afloat, and then they are going to suggest that we “borrow our way to prosperity” which is just another gimmick.

Ironically, Arizona voters rejected pay-day loans last year. Now the state is using one to stay afloat.