As easy as stealing cigarette (taxes) from a baby

by David Safier

I'm going to miss Billie Stanton when the Citizen folds next month, a lot. She combines passion with research. Good combination.

Stanton's latest column is about the Republicans stealing money from a fund, First Things First, designed to pay for early childhood education and health issues with a tobacco tax. Voters approved it in 2006.

The Rs took the $7 million interest the $300 million fund has accrued. And they're talking about dipping into the rest of the fund.

Why is $300 million sitting around? Because the Board overseeing the funds doesn't want to just "throw money at education." It set up a bunch of regional councils to figure out how best to spend the funds, and how to assure the money will be around long enough to assess the educational benefits, if there are any. To do a reasonable assessment, that's 8 to 10 years.

So the fund has grown since 2006, and it's earned interest, making the Council's careful decision making even more valuable.

And the Rs took away the interest. And they're thinking of taking the rest.

I'm keeping a list and checking it twice. When these folks go beyond supposed thrift and into something bordering on theft from little children, that goes on the unbelievably naughty side. Let us not forget this come election time.

5 responses to “As easy as stealing cigarette (taxes) from a baby

  1. Francine Shacter

    Our rally at Flowing Wells this morning barely got one sentence on the 10:00 o’clock news I watched. Seems to me, we have to find a better way to get their attention – suggestions???? We also ought to get our heads together and present some solutions. I hate to suggest such a thing – but I think we need a committee to do some hard work identifying solutions. I’m willing to serve and do some research if some of us decide to do that.

  2. true, the masses just don’t know. and if the GOP has it their way, the public won’t know until it is too late. but these politicians are underestimating how determined some of us are to get into their districts and let everyone know (voters included) how the GOP is killing public education and how the budget is not the problem but the excuse. we must tell everyone we know, especially people in the Phoenix area. it is nothing short of an outrage what they are doing to 82 to 90% of Arizona’s children. they plan to continue funding private schools with corporate money while about 90% of AZ kids are in public schools desperate for textbooks and simple paper?

  3. Will somebody PLEASE bring all this b.s. to the attention of the media? Does Daniel S. read this site? How about a 911 call to KGUN 9 on our side? I’m f-ing serious. It’s major media blow out time, Dems!

  4. The legislature is sweeping approximately $500 million in funds, which is separate from the almost $600 million in cuts to agencies.

    Will the legislature be writing an IOU to the fund you’re talking about?

  5. Can we bring a class-action lawsuit against these ass-clowns for violating the state constitution? They are raiding several funds that were established by the VOTERS.