Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
David Safier addressed Cap'n Al Melvin's guest opinion in the Arizona Daily Star today ostensibly for the purpose of defending his vote for the state budget. Sen. Melvin defends votes on 'honest, gimmick-free, balanced' budget. His opinion is an entirely fact-free rant of ad hominem attacks on the Arizona Daily Star and empty conservative economic platitudes.
The best that Cap'n Al could come up with was an editorial by the state's most conservative newspaper, the East Valley Tribune, which supported the budget even after laying out a laundry list of what is destructive about the budget. Unpopular budget is a bitter, but necessary, pill – East Valley Tribune. The Tribune's readers apparently disagreed with the editor. In an online (unscientific) poll accompanying the editorial, here is the result:
The editorial page of the East Valley Tribune is always far more conservative than the people who actually live in the East Valley.
The state's second most conservative newspaper, The Arizona Republic, had a different editorial opinion. They called it a "job killing budget." Budget passed by legislators will erase jobs:
Arizona's top-three priorities right now are: 1. Jobs. 2. Jobs. 3. Jobs.
But that didn't stop the Legislature from passing a budget that will kill jobs.
Arizona will lose jobs, likely into the thousands, directly as a result of budget cuts. And our prospects for future employment will be weaker.
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Here's some of the economic fallout:
– Health care. AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid program) is taking a $510 million hit, which will also sacrifice about $1 billion in federal matching funds. Some 160,000 Arizonans will lose medical coverage, jeopardizing nearly 14,000 private health-care jobs. The pain will ripple out, including to pharmacies and hospital suppliers.
It doesn't have to happen. A coalition of health-care institutions has proposed a way to bring in extra federal dollars, using a special assessment on their operations (structured so they're reimbursed).
Forty-four states do this. Arizona should join them. Especially with costly litigation on the horizon. The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest is about to sue, asserting that the budget will illegally end funding for Proposition 204, which expanded Medicaid coverage.
– Child care. Arizona has already scaled back the child-care subsidies that let low-income parents stay on the job without leaving kids in unsafe conditions. This is no giveaway: Parents pay up to 30 percent of their gross monthly income. This budget eliminates all state support, giving up $40 million in federal matching funds and leaving 13,330 kids in the lurch. An estimated 1,666 child-care workers will lose their jobs.
– Education. Arizonans know just how crucial education is to our economic future – that's why they voted to pay an extra penny per dollar in sales tax for three years. Now K-12 funding will be slashed by $148 million, leading to immediate job losses and eroding the ability to deliver a quality education.,/p>
Higher education had braced for big reductions, but this budget goes too far. The potential for economic energy and spinoffs from a strong university and community-college system is so great that the Legislature's long-standing lack of support is simply head-scratching.
There are lots of ways to balance a budget. The Legislature picked one with tremendous potential damage for Arizona.
No revenue options were considered. The state is shifting big expenses to local governments, especially counties, forcing them to raise taxes or cut services. And lawmakers did nothing to scale back the cost of prisons, which got a $10 million boost and now account for 11.5 percent of the budget.
The numbers may work out on paper, but this budget is badly out of balance in the real world. It's unnecessary self-inflicted economic pain.
Whaddya say now, Cap'n Al? Do you want to respond with another fact-free rant of ad hominem attacks on the Arizona Republic and empty conservative economic platitudes?
You are wrong. A real man is able to admit when he is wrong.