12News’ Sunday Square Off: Jan Brewer’s “Let them eat cake” moment

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

Resnik – "Is it fair that businesses should get these tax breaks while universities suffer and those patients suffer?"

Brewer – "Absolutely.  Absolutely."

Earlier on Sunday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appeared on 12 News' (KPNX) Sunday Square Off program, hosted by Brahm Resnik, to defend the hundreds of million dollars worth of corporate tax cuts she signed into law a few days ago. 

Her appearance was an exercise in regurgitation –

She regurgitated the long-refuted theories of trickle-down economics (which should be referred to as "tinkle down" economics).

I regurgitated the undigested remnants of breakfast while listening to her spout (that's just a metaphor – I hadn't eaten breakfast yet 🙂 ).

My favorite quote is above, but there were other "profound" tidbits from the program (video clip embedded below) -


Brewer –  …I know that the free enterprise is what really stokes the fuel of the furnace, and the furnace is business in Arizona..

Resnik –  So it *is* something of a gamble?

Brewer –  Life is a gamble.

Or how about –

4:00 (talking about the impact of the corporate tax breaks on Arizona's unemployment crisis)

Resnik – People are asking "How soon will half a billion dollars in tax breaks create a job for me?"

Brewer - Because we know businesses, particularly high paying wage businesses, are the people who create those jobs and if you stymie them and you make it impossible for them to maintain here by charging them above their competitive states that we're competing with, they won't come here, they won't stay here, they will go someplace else and if we become competitive, they will bring new jobs, we will keep the jobs that we have, and that means that it's, [not] to use the phrase "the trickle down, the bottom line is that more people will have jobs, and therefore those people with the jobs are going to go out and it's going to trickle down to the lawnmower guy, to the dry cleaner, it's just the facts.

Resnik - So if those tax cuts don't take effect for another few years, how soon would you expect to see new jobs here created by those tax breaks?

Brewer – Well, you know, we have been very creative since I have been governor, and we've been very successful at bringing new businesses here. We've been named the solar king of the nation, which we're very proud of and that's one of my number one goals in regards to what kind of jobs that we're looking for. So we have been somewhat successful, but we know that if we have the ability to move forward, and now that we have done that with the competitive package, big businesses don't just pick up and move overnight. They need to know that there's stability and predictability, and then, they come, and so, we have the very best people working on the Commerce Authority, and it's going to be a good thing for Arizona.

Resnik - Speaking of predictability/unpredictability, you and many Republicans have said this year, next year, and the year after that, the state is going to have trouble paying its bills. A lot of folks might be wondering how you explain these tax breaks to universities who are going to be losing millions of dollars in funding, to tens of thousands of people who are going to be losing their health care. Help us understand how you can justify tax breaks on the one hand and all these deep cuts on the other hand.

Brewer - Well, we don't…if we do not encourage business growth, that brings jobs to Arizona, it's going to get worse. So we have to look out of the box, and have not the money to continue down that path of spending. So we have cut up into this point of time over two billion dollars out of government. Government needs to get smaller. And businesses need to be able to have and appreciate and work within the free enterprise system. That's what's going to generate, that's what's going to turn us around.

Yup.  In case you didn't notice, Brahm Resnik asked a direct question and for nearly three minutes, Brewer wasn't even in the same area code as a direct answer.

The quote leading this post happened at about the 6:58 mark –

Resnik – Is it fair that businesses should get these tax breaks while universities suffer and those patients suffer?

Brewer - Absolutely. Absolutely.

Resnik – Because?

Brewer – Because it is business that drives our economy. It's business that allows people to have jobs. It's the jobs that allow people to spend the money and it's jobs that allow people to become and be self-responsible for themselves.

And finally, on her cuts to education –

Brewer - Since I have been governor, I have been, really, the leading advocate for education, all the way from the grammar schools, to the junior high schools, the middle schools, and high schools, and the universities. And I went in, and I was the one that stepped forward to try to protect education from some devastating cuts the last year when I went to the public and asked for the temporary one cent sales tax because I knew that we needed that bridge to protect that portion of our education system. And then I went to the universities and spoke with the presidents and I spoke with the Board of Regents, of which I am a member, and told them exactly what's going to take place, that we were headed for a cliff, and it's not only happening here in Arizona, it's happening across the country, and they needed to come forward and bring me a plan, that was two years ago. During those two years, there was a lot of dialogue, they started working with the community colleges, and so they were very much aware of what was going to take place. So now, I am still waiting. They have presented a few things to me in regards to what they can do. The bottom line is they're going to have to streamline just like everybody else has had to streamline. We all know how important our research and development is at our universities. We know that businesses work with them. That's why there's an incentive piece in the Commerce Authority bill to allow that to happen. The bottom line is, is if you don't have the money, then everyone is going to have to share some of that responsibility, of streamlining, and doing a better job with the revenues that they have.  

The video included here is short, approximately 10 minutes, and it is included to both show that none of these quotes were made up, or were misleadingly taken out of context (hey, I may be partisan, but I have higher journalistic standards than, say,  Fox News.)


BTW, Brewer's handlers really might want to go back to their campaign plan of keeping her away from open mikes.  Resnik didn't ambush her or treat her poorly, but she still crammed both of her feet in her mouth.

Up to her knees.


0 responses to “12News’ Sunday Square Off: Jan Brewer’s “Let them eat cake” moment

  1. How right you are.Sounds abit like Sarah Palin trying to speak coherently…not going to happen.What you want for this state seems reasonable and smart and fair. The roadblock to what you (and a lot of us want)is the amount of incompetent,fringe,fearmongering individuals that are pushing an agenda that is NOT advantagous to AZ.We get them out, and maybe there is hope for a vibrant AZ. Until then, not so much.

  2. Why don’t people in AZ (sensible people in power) not step up and point out to Jan that she is full of crap. Her explanation sounds like a cocktail shaker of memorized statements all jumbled up and spat out as a strange brew(er) of contradictory ideas. Jan claims she knows that free enterprise creates jobs and in this case (the tax cuts) in AZ it will, and then moments later she says it is a gamble. Which is it Jan? Wow. Unbelievable that her level of office is not questioned when she speaks; used car sales at Jalopy Jungle come to my mind when I hear her speak–ignorance is ruling this state. Why is she the governor, she’s not in the slightest way worthy of the position. I find it so hard to watch as these grifters have convinced certain Arizonans that they are legit. This makes me so very sad. Can we all march down to the capital like in WI and tell these frauds we won’t tolerate their policies from hell. I want to see my state restored to sanity where we have wealth, love of education, thriving community with all ethnicities, strong middle class, care for the less fortunate by maintaining the safety nets that bring our collective efforts together that make us proud to be from Arizona.

  3. I’m so glad you can stomach watching that BS so I don’t have to!So many things to say…where to begin.AZterritory, you are absolutely correct.falcon, read up.I would like to know, if corporations are now “people” why aren’t THEY doing their duty and paying taxes like the rest of us? Does Jan realize that “tickle down” doesn’t work and never tickles down? What companies are going to want to relocate to AZ when the place is in the shi**er? No money,no jobs, foreclosed homes, poor education,and add bullgoose loonies running the asylum and I can tell you I would never come if I was them! About those solar plants…NOT YOUR DOING, JAN!The Feds gave that $$$ to start those. You know, the Fed you hate unless you can take credit for something they did that wasn’t on your radar.The only GOOD thing, if one can call it that, is that when her grand scheme fails…there is no one else to blame.R’s own it. The Whole Enchilada.

  4. Intel was already planning on expanding here . . . but by waiting to announce they get tax breaks that they wouldn’t have gotten for already planning to come here under the existing tax status anyway. You just can’t make this stuff up.

  5. Complain all you want, a day later, Intel announced billions in plants.