by David Safier
The Arizona Republic ripped the Republican budget apart today, saying it's going to cost the state jobs — lots of jobs.
The editorial begins with the same phrase I heard Al Melvin use on the campaign trail. The Captain said he only cares about three things: Jobs, jobs, 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.
Then the editorial lists some of the more obvious areas of job loss.
- Health care: When we decimate AHCCCS ($510 million cut) and lose fed matching funds ($1 billion), that's going to mean huge job losses in the health care arena. The Republic estimates 14,000 jobs lost.
- Child care: When we cut child care subsidies and lose fed matching funds ($40 million), working parents with children are hurt. The Republic estimates 1,666 jobs lost.
- Education: When we cut $148 million from K-12 educaton, that's going to mean lots of job cuts. The Republic doesn't have a job loss figure, but if all that money came out of salaries, the job loss would be about 50,000. Even if some cuts can be made in non-personnel areas, lots of people will be out of a job.
Of course, some of the slack may be taken up by new hires in the thriving prison industry, which got a $10 million raise.
Pro-business, pro-jobs Republicans are beginning to take a long, hard look at the monster they helped create in the last few elections. They must be saying to each other, "Wait a minute. I thought that was all crazy-base campaign rhetoric. I didn't think these folks we helped elect actually meant what they were saying."
The business community is beginning to reap the bitter harvest of what it has sown, but it's not nearly as bitter for them as the pain the poor and middle class are suffering.