Fact Checking Doug Ducey’s new ad

“Cathi’s Clown” Doug Ducey began his general election campaign with what the GOP-Friendly Arizona Republic (it endorsed Ducey in the GOP primary) referred to this way: GOP governor nominee Ducey airs new upbeat ad:

ice creamThe 30-second ad shows Ducey speaking one-on-one to the camera, sitting at a conference table in a business meeting and speaking in a park with constituents.

“The next governor comes in at a time of real opportunity,” Ducey, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, says in the ad. ” On day one, I want to put forward a plan to kick-start our economy. I want to make our tax code more simple, I want to sign a moratorium to stop any new regulations going forward, and I want to have a bill that helps fund and clear our wait list at our finest schools.”

He continues, “The border’s critical, but so is growing the economy and creating jobs. I built a business, now I want to shrink a government and grow an economy.”

I recommend that political reporters invest in an Enigma machine to break the conservative code language that Dicey Ducey speaks in. Let’s break it down.

“I want to make our tax code more simple.”  This is what Dicey Ducey actually said. AZ Cap Times: Ducey officially kicks off gubernatorial campaign:

If elected, Ducey said he would “pick up where we left off” in the battle against Proposition 204, a 2012 ballot measure that would have made permanent a temporary sales tax increase [to fund public schools], by reducing Arizona’s income tax. Ducey, who chaired the anti-Prop. 204 campaign, said he would reduce the income tax rate with a goal of eventually eliminating it altogether.

After his speech, Ducey told reporters that, in order to lower the income tax rate and cope with the lost tax revenue, Arizona’s economy must first improve.

“Moving the income tax to zero is a worthy goal. It will take great growth in our economy and it will take a plan to grow our economy. Anybody that tells you they can reduce the income tax on Day One hasn’t done the math,” he told reporters.

snakeoilThe snake oil Dicey Ducey is peddling is more blind faith in the entirely discredited and disproved faith based supply-side “trickle down” GOP economics.

During her term of office,  Gov. Brewer has signed bills to cut taxes on capital gains, provide tax breaks for new investments and eventually slash the corporate income tax rate by 30 percent. The price tag of just those efforts, when fully implemented, has been estimated to exceed $630 million. The result: a stagnant state economy and unemployment above the national average. Gov. Brewer’s ‘Arizona Comeback’ is a lie. If “trickle down” GOP economics worked, Arizona would be at full employment with a booming economy.

Experts have “done the math,” and dismiss eliminating the income tax as  a reckless and fiscally irresponsible thing to do.

Arizona has a state budget with a structural revenue deficit built in due to 22 years of GOP tax cuts. There are several tax cuts currently being phased in until 2018 that will further reduce tax revenue. And then there is the recent court ruling on Prop. 301 and school funding.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported, Analysis shows state could face big deficit in wake of school inflation ruling:

A state budget analysis shows that Friday’s decision on school inflationary funding by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper could send the state into a severe fiscal jam at a time when revenue collections are falling short of expectations.

If her opinion stands, the state will be compelled to spend an additional $316.8 million on K-12 public education this fiscal year.

That could rise steadily over the following four years, for a total increase of $1.6 billion in the base level for public education spending. Add in back payments of $252.6 million each year to make up for previous inflationary costs, and the total could reach $2.9 billion over five years, roughly a third of the state’s budget for the period.

In an analysis of the impact of the decision, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee noted that general fund revenue collections have lagged behind the forecast over the past several months. Through the end of May, they were $55 million less than had been estimated in January.

This year’s budget had predicted an ending balance of $130 million. If the July 11 ruling stands, the balance “would become a shortfall of between $187 million and $220 million,’’ the JLBC reported, adding, “If the court were ultimately to concur with the plaintiff’s back payment proposal, the FY 2015 shortfall would further increase to a range of $440 million to $473 million.

After the second year, the state’s shortfall would be between $874 million and $932 million without the back payments and up to $1.44 billion with those payments.

According to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the individual income tax accounts for 40 percent of state’s general-fund revenue, while the corporate income tax accounts for 7 percent.

So Dicey Ducey proposes to eventually reduce state revenues by 47% “with a goal of eventually eliminating [the income tax] altogether,” when the state is already facing massive budget shortfalls from a structural revenue deficit due to previous faith based supply-side “trickle down” GOP tax cuts. How can any reasonably intelligent and sane person take this snake oil salesman seriously?

“I want to have a bill that helps fund and clear our wait list at our finest schools.” Clearly Dicey Ducey is not talking about funding our public schools. While serving as State Treasurer, he supported the most devastating cuts to education funding in Arizona’s history by our Tea-Publican controlled Arizona Legislature, the largest cuts in the nation. RGA attack ad fails the sniff test.
Governor Jan Brewer said she would appeal the decision on school inflationary funding by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper to avoid payment of restitution to Arizona’s school districts. Dicey Ducey has said that he would continue the appeal if elected. “I wouldn’t comply with it.  I would appeal it.” [Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission Debate, 7/21/14].

So Dicey Ducey is on the record as opposing paying restitution to Arizona’s school districts already ordered by the Arizona Supreme Court. Dicey Ducey would continue the tradition of our Tea-Publican lawless legislature and governor pissing away your tax dollars on attorneys fees and costs defending their unlawful and unconstitutional actions in court — while shortchanging our public schools.

So the key language here is the conservative code: “clear our wait list at our finest schools.” Keep in mind that Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy is a key adviser to the Ducey campaign. CAP and the “Kochtopus” Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, sponsored bills in the last legislative session for a massive expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA), now  green-lighted by an incorrectly decided opinion of the Arizona Supreme Court this year. The bills failed late in the legislative session.

Dicey Ducey and his gal pal Cathi Herrod will be back with these bills in January. As I posted earlier this year, “The goal is to eventually expand the program to the state’s more than 1 million public and charter schoolchildren. Opponents of the bills say an expansion on that scale would be a deathblow to public schools.” Action Alert: tell your legislators to vote no on privatization of public education.

“I want to sign a moratorium to stop any new regulations going forward.” This just further demonstrates Dicey Ducey’s ignorance. There already is a moratorium on new regulations. Gov. Jan Brewer’s first act as governor was to impose a “moratorium” on new state regulations. See, Continue Moratorium on Regulatory Rule Making (.pdf).

Earlier this year, The Grand Canyon Institute issued a policy report finding that Gov. Brewer’s blanket suspension of new government regulations was unnecessary and prevented state agencies from adequately protecting the public. Report: State-regulation suspension unnecessary, unsafe (4/22/14). The report found there is no clear connection between job creation and regulations, and that job losses or gains are not necessarily tied to increases or decreases in regulations.

Like “trickle down” GOP economics, this is yet another one of the things that Tea-Publicans believe on faith that have no basis in reality.

You see the problem here, don’t you? Dicey Ducey only needs 30 seconds to lie to you in an ad. It takes substantially more time and effort to fact check and decode his deceitful ad. And the GOP-Friendly media in Arizona are not inclined to do this kind of fact checking.

h/t Ice Cream Truck graphic: beatofthedrum.buzznet.com

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