Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

AZ Legislators rubber stamp multi-million-dollar corporate welfare bill– without reading it

Republicans actually like the other Grover (Norquist) better than this one. (Photo Credit: Sesame Street)

If only the Arizona Legislature could fix the state’s budget problems as quickly as they passed the corporate welfare package this week… sigh

In a matter of days, Governor Jan Brewer proposed a $538 million corporate tax cut package, it was passed by both the House and the Senate— with no amendments allowed– and it is expected to be signed into law today. This is a travesty.

How does giving away more than a half-a-billion dollars in corporate welfare help a state that is millions– if not billions in debt– hasn’t balanced its budget in years and is closing schools and parks, laying off teachers, and killing healthcare for the poor? The answer: It doesn’t.

At just over 6 percent, Arizona already had one of the country’s lowest corporate tax rates, and we have one of the country’s worst economies, worst unemployment rates, and poorest k-12 school systems. Reducing the state’s corporate to 4.9 percent will help no one but the corporatists. Even House Speaker Kirk Adams admitted the lawmakers don’t know the impact of the new legislation. From the East Valley Tribune:

The votes in the House and Senate came after extensive debate about whether there’s proof that anything in the package will actually create a single job in the state. Even House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, conceded there is no guarantee.

“But this much we know: By reducing taxes on business employers, on entrepreneurs, by getting competitive again, Arizona will finally, thankfully, be in the game,” he said.

None of the Democrats and a few Republicans in the Legislature voted against the corporate tax cut legislation. Some wanted to amend it; others complained that it was ramrodded through so quickly that legislators didn’t have time to read it.

What will the Chamber of Commerce and big-business lobbyists say to Governor Brewer today after she signs the corporate welfare bill into law? Wham. Bam. Thank you, ma’am.

Ironically, it was just a few short months ago (when Brewer was running for office), that she said there was “no way” she would support corporate tax cuts after asking the voters to approve a sales tax increase. Remember that sales tax increase we approved because they said it would fund k-12 education? Gotcha. They just gave that away!

What the New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote recently about Republicans on the federal level holds true for Republicans in the Arizona Legislature: They are sacrificing our future.

4 comments on “AZ Legislators rubber stamp multi-million-dollar corporate welfare bill– without reading it

  1. ferraribubba
    February 17, 2011

    WOW, Progressive, Passed without reading? It sounds just like Obamacare, doesn’t it? I guess they just followed House Speaker Pelosi’s advice when she said, “We’ll just have to pass it to see what’s inside it.” — Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba


    • Jim Hannley
      February 18, 2011

      Ferrari, you did not address the central issue of the article. Your champion, I suppose she is, Jan Brewer lied last year and Progressive has the link to prove it. Instead of commenting on the article, you create a false comparison.


  2. Jim Hannley
    February 18, 2011

    Pam, your article is spot on. I especially like the link you provide to prove that Jan Brewer lied to the public last year when she said “no way” she would support business tax cuts after advocating a 1% state sales tax increase. It is so clear that Brewer, Pearce and their cohorts are hell bent on serving caviar to their corporate supporters and throwing the rest of us under the bus. With Adam’s admission that he could not prove these cuts would create one single job, the evidence that they are governing by ideology, not by fact. The fact is, that anyone in the Legislature COULD HAVE predicted the outcome of this action because, as the Arizona Budget Coalition points out “Arizona has a long history of tax cuts. Since 1989 it has cut taxes every year except one (2003).” The fact sheet goes on to say “These cuts have resulted in a revenue loss of more than $1.5 billion in FY 12.5
    Considering inflation and population growth, revenue in the current fiscal year is nearly $2.6 billion less than it would have been had the long series of tax cuts not taken place”. The irony is that this fact sheet was prepared in advance of the LAST series of cuts, the one proposed in HB 2250. (for the entire sheet see http://www.azchildren.org/MyFiles/10%20legislature/abc%20fact%20sheet%20on%20hb%202250.pdf) If tax cuts do so much for economic growth, we should be living in utopia by now. Instead we see this state circling the bowl.


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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