Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
The 49th Arizona Legislature is the most recklessly incompetent and fiscally irresponsible Republican-dominated legislature in the history of Arizona, without equal. Led by our Accidental Governor, Jan Brewer, it is the only Arizona Legislature to fail to balance the state budget by July 1 in each of the last two years, as mandated by the Arizona Constitution. Despite massive budget cuts to education and health care programs, and the added benefit of federal stimulus funds to help balance the state budget, the “Jan Sham Budget” is out of balance and is even more so today after the voters rejected the GOP gimmicks of Props. 301 and 302 on Election Day. Arizona is circling the drain.
So did Arizona voters hold these recklessly incompetent and fiscally irresponsible Republicans accountable for their failures and the wholesale destruction of the state of Arizona? Nooo.
Arizona voters rewarded reckless incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility by reelecting these radical Republicans to office and expanding their majorities in the House and Senate. The “accidental” governor is now Republican malicious intent. Republicans may have swept every statewide office as well.
The last of the moderate Republicans were purged from the party in the Republican Party primary. The handful of Democrats who remain in the Arizona Legislature will be disenfranchised and ignored by the Republican majority. Democrats are powerless to stop the insanity about to be unleashed upon this state. Redistricting will relegate Democrats to permanent minority status for the next decade.
The immediate consequences of this election will be a lame-duck Special Session before the end of this year to make additional cuts to education and health care programs, and additional fund sweeps to try to balance the out-of-balance “Jan Sham Budget.” Sen. Russell Pearce is already sharpening his budget ax.
The budget ax will come out again with a vengeance in January as radical Republicans, empowered by control of Congress, will challenge federal maintenance of effort requirements for federal education and health care programs, e.g, KidsCare and Medicaid (AHCCCS). You will see attempts to withdraw from participation in federal programs under the old segregationist banner of “states rights.” Those federal stimulus funds that helped to mitigate the damage to Arizona’s budget? Gone, thanks to a Republican-controlled Congress.
The radical Republicans will worsen Arizona’s structural revenue deficit when House Speaker Kirk Adams’ bogus-named jobs creation bill aka the corporate welfare tax giveaway plan is reintroduced. Corporations will be paying less in taxes, and you will be paying more as those corporate property taxes are shifted to residential property owners. This faith based supply-side “trickle down” GOP economics will further worsen Arizona’s structural revenue deficit, leading to calls for even more budget cuts.
To read the rest, check out Blog for Arizona.
In Baja Arizona, it’s time to hunker down, circle the wagons, and protect ourselves and our families from the financial, social, and cultural onslaught from the Republican raiders from the north– lest we become economic refugees from this backward-marching state.