Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

AZ Teapublican budget: Government against the People

[tnivideo caption=”Another Brick in the Wall: We don’t need no education” credit=”Pink Floyd”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_bvT-DGcWw[/tnivideo]

In signing Arizona’s devastatingly regressive Teapublican budget, Governor Jan Brewer chose to side with Legislative radicals– rather than the people, the business leaders, the healthcare professionals and hospitals, or the children of Arizona.

The most disturbing part of this whole exercise is her continuation of the BIG LIE that she is protecting education, as she promised to do when she duped Arizona voters into an additional sales tax in 2010 to protect education from the types of cuts she signed into law this week.

In recent weeks, business leaders warned Brewer and Legislative Teapublicans that continuing to cut education would further harm Arizona’s economic competitiveness. From the Arizona Daily Star

“The bottom line is that I’ve been the crusader for education,” Brewer said after the meeting. “I’ve led the charge to protect education. And I’m continuing to try … to protect education as we move through this budget process.” [The Big Lie.]

The governor said, though, nothing Barrett [former CEO of Intel] or anyone said would cause her to back off her proposal to cut university funding, or to scale back another part of her budget which would pare state aid to community colleges by half.

“We are going to do the best job that we can with the dollars that we have to deliver the best education to everyone,” she said, from preschool through college. [The Big Lie, again.]

Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, also said he has no second thoughts about the deeper education spending cuts his chamber approved.

Now that the budget has been signed, the Governor is trying to apply as much lipstick to that pig as possible. From the Arizona Capitol Times

Calling it a milestone on Arizona’s road to recovery, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a fiscal year 2012 budget that she said made painful – but necessary – cuts that would protect the state’s fiscal health for years to come.

Brewer acknowledged that many of the budget cuts will be difficult to implement, but said she had done as much as possible to protect priorities like education, public safety and safety-net programs for the vulnerable. [This, of course, is just BS.] She said the budget – Arizona’s first structurally balanced spending plan in several years – would reduce the size and scope of government, while helping the state keep future budgets balanced.

“If Arizona is to reclaim its standing as a national leader in economic growth, its state government must be cost-effective, efficient and fiscally stable,” Brewer wrote today in a letter to House Speaker Kirk Adams and Senate President Russell Pearce. “This budget plan puts the state on the right path in all three categories.” [Thus, totally ignoring what the business leaders told them.]

The budget included $183 million in K-12 education cuts, with $35 million backfilled by federal funds. Brewer acknowledged that the cuts were deeper she wanted … but said the majority of the cuts come from specific programs, such as vocational classes, instead of classroom spending.

“My goal was to avoid severely eroding base support for schools and core education programs. [Repeating another version of the Big Lie.] I believe this budget accomplishes that,” she wrote. [Emphasis added.]

More specifics from AZCentral.com

Critics have charged the governor with reneging on her promise to protect education, even though they acknowledge Brewer’s proposals were less harmful than those of legislative Republicans.

The Arizona Education Network, a Tucson-based group of education advocates, said Brewer and the Legislature “have violated the public’s trust with these deep cuts.” [Duh. She lied to us.]

In addition to about $150 million in cuts to K-12, the budget reduces university funding by $198 million and takes $70 million from the community-college system.

[Andrei] Cherny, [chair] of the [Arizona] Democratic Party, said that the budget decimates Arizona education and that Democrats will remind voters of that in next year’s elections.

The budget also cuts $50 million from the Department of Economic Security, which provides the state’s safety-net programs, and $53 million from the Department of Health Services.

The budget reduces funds that have kept the state’s parks system on life support; advocates say the cuts mean some parks will have to close.

Arizona’s attack on education reminded me of the classic Pink Floyd video above. The famous “We don’t need no education” line is about 2 minutes. Do Pearce, Brewer, and, of course, Attorney General Tom Horne want Arizona students to march in lock step like the uniformed zombies envisioned by Pink Floyd? You betcha. Citizens who are stupid, poor, and sick are easier to control and more willing to work for pennies.

What they failed to mention in any of the above articles is that cutting funding from healthcare and education means cutting good-paying jobs in the private and public sectors. This is truly government against the people— less education for our children, less healthcare for the poor and the unemployed, fewer jobs, higher unemployment.

When will this downward spiral end?

14 comments on “AZ Teapublican budget: Government against the People

  1. Art Jacobson
    April 8, 2011

    And on the national level the GOP threatens government a shutdown unless the Democrats fold on a number of issues that have nothing to do with jobs or deficit reduction.

    This morning’s editorial in the NY Times says it all.


    • Don
      April 8, 2011

      Planned Parenthood and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting don’t need federal money, so why not cut their funding?


      • Susan
        April 8, 2011

        yeah those bottom feeders called poor women and children don’t need heath care support from Planned parenthood.  Abortions are not being paid for with government money but why not take it all away? Just go to the emergency room for heath care!


      • Al
        April 9, 2011

        Rich Republicans and their tea bag followers  have this odd idea that only they should have the right to use various means of birth control, i.e., condoms, diaphragms, pills, etc. behind those closed doors. but then they will damn those who they these same methods for bringing children into this world.

        And then they  deny women a right to health care, i.e. pap smears, breast examination, etc. and damn those women for not keeping themselves healthy and leaving kids behind to grow up on welfare after they die from a treatable condition.

        That we are known by the footprints we leave behind us is something that you should ruminate upon.


        • jd
          April 13, 2011

          Wonder what the “RICH LIBERALS” would have to say to you?  Maybe George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, John Kerry, Barack Obama, etc…  Are you only saying that Republicans are the only ones with any money in this country?

          Also, please do show where ANYONE, regardless of party affiliation, wants to deny women of health care and leave kids behind….

          I am absolutely amazed by how little people think for themselves and do nothing but regurgitate talking points they hear from those they believe have their best interest in mind.

          Do you really believe any politician, regardless of party, cares $.02 about you, me or anyone else in this country?  Unless of course, they can help get them re-elected.

          People amaze me.


  2. Don
    April 8, 2011

    If the AZ GOP is against (drumroll) THE PEOPLE!!!…then why did (another drumroll) THE PEOPLE!!! elect so many Republicans in 2010?


  3. Jim Hannley
    April 8, 2011

    Great post, Pamela. I especially enjoyed the Pink Floyd video which I had not see before (the scene of the sausage hopper is over the top). You are spot on. Jan Brewer’s refrain that she is protecting education is pure Orwellian “newspeak”. I don’t think any economist (wake up, Marshal Vest!) has imagined the extent of economic havoc which these new laws will have upon the state of Arizona. It’s clear that even when those whom the Teapublicans claim to represent: the business “community” tell them that these policies are NOT good for business and economic growth, they continue their scorched earth policy apace. This travesty will end when either voters go to the polls and throw them out or there is sufficient heat in the streets, such as the occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol, that they withdraw back into the cesspool of Norquist ideology from whence they crawled.


    • jd
      April 13, 2011

      Occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol and then when the big vote comes up, which essentially put the union way of life on the ballot for a Supreme Court justice…..

      The majority of the people of Wisconsin shot down the Democrats and their big-money funding from the unions.


  4. Pingback: AZ Teapublican budget: Government against the People – Tucson Citizen | The Write Article

  5. Pat
    April 8, 2011

    The corporate tax rate may be 35%, but NO corporation pays anywhere near that amount.  In fact, something like 40% are able to find enough legal deductions to pay nothing at all.  Giving them more deductions, as Jan Brewer did, and then decimate education and health services just doesn’t make sense–unless you factor in where Republicans get funding for their campaigns.   This is shameful, is unlikely to bring more businesses to Arizona (businesses want to offer potential employees a viable community where they can live and work), and will ensure that Arizona stay near the bottom of almost every meaningful list such as spending per student, educational outcomes, health stats, etc.  Retirees may come here for the weather, but everyone else will think twice.


    • jd
      April 13, 2011

      Why don’t you do a little research and look to see how much GE paid in taxes….

      Then see who sites on Obama’s economic advisory council and lectures the country about jobs going overseas.  Then look at who is the worst offender of sending jobs overseas…

      Hypocrisy thy name is Obama.


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  7. Verdugo
    April 26, 2011

    “The corporate tax rate may be 35%, but NO corporation pays anywhere near that amount.  In fact, something like 40% are able to find enough legal deductions to pay nothing at all. ”

    What you fail to understand is that the tax rate is irrelevant. Corporations pay no taxes because the cost of those taxes are passed on to the customers of said corporation. YOU and me wind up paying the taxes for said corporation with everything we buy.  Unless you grow your own food and live in a cave somewhere, you are footing the bill whether you like it or not. And why hate on corporations anyway? Last time I checked, they employ thousands of people, who all pay taxes and buy stuff. It’s what makes the economy work.


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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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