NY Times says cuts most disruptive in AZ

by David Safier
The NY Times headline is States Slashing Social Programs for Vulnerable. And what state does the article focus on? You guessed it.

Perhaps nowhere have the cuts been more disruptive than in Arizona, where more than 1,000 frail elderly people are struggling without home-care aides to help with bathing, housekeeping and trips to the doctor. Officials acknowledge that some are apt to become sicker or fall, ending up in nursing homes at a far higher cost.


“There’s no question that we’re getting short-term savings that will result in greater long-term human and financial costs,” said Linda J. Blessing, interim chief of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, expressing the concerns of officials and community agencies around the country. “There are no good options, just less bad options.”

Arizona has one of the nation’s highest deficits in relation to its budget. As revenues sank late last year, forcing across-the-board cuts this spring, the child protection agency stopped investigating every report of potential abuse or neglect, and sharply reduced counseling of families deemed at risk of violence. Some toddlers with debilities like autism and Down syndrome are not getting therapies that can bring lifelong benefits. And here, as in other states, the drive to help disabled people live at home has been set back.


Ms. Blessing, of the Department of Economic Security, said her agency had already laid off 800 workers, including 15 percent of its child protection investigators, and imposed furloughs amounting to a 10 percent pay cut.

In one bit of good news for the department and its clients, the state has secured $18 million from the stimulus package to save child care subsidies for the working poor.

But some efforts to prevent child abuse, like in-home counseling of troubled families, have been deeply cut. This presents investigators with a stark choice: either remove children and put them in foster care or, as one case worker put it, “wait for something bad to happen.”

I guess all of this is good news, at least according to Russell Pearce who said Wednesday, as I mentioned in another post, Arizona needs to "get back on the track of government doing very little for us."

0 responses to “NY Times says cuts most disruptive in AZ

  1. Richard = Having been a fairly long time reader of media in the state I would say that many politicians hate Fischer because he is one of the few actually genuine journalists still left here. He is pretty aggressive in his reporting and I am sure he has a fair share of enemies in state and county government.

  2. The Estate tax.

    I don’t know sheapenny. Given a choice of lower taxes while I’m alive, or higher taxes after I’m dead, I think I would prefer the latter.

    I’m not sure how much sympathy you are expecting sheapenny. Most of us had to work hard for what we have, instead of just inheriting it all and living off of the work of your parents as you did.

  3. shepenny – The Estate tax affects very few small businesses and corporate taxes have been declining for a generation and account for only a small portion of expenses of most companies and many don’t even have any in some years. I suppose people who fail at something would like to put blame on others but in the cases of most businesses it has nothing to do with taxes but decisions made by those in charge.

  4. Howie Fischer has responded to my charge that he is the Sonoran Alliance blogger “Chewie Shofir”:

    Mr. Fischer wrote, “i’ve been called a lot of things in my nearly 40 years in journalism. but i have to admit to a certain surprise that someone has concluded i am writing under a pen name which is an anagram of my own name.

    for those of you who follow my writings in various newspapers (and my radio reports), i have never been shy about calling things as i see them — and doing so under my own byline. and for those of you waiting for an official denial, i am not, have never been and never will write under the name “chewie shofir” — or, for that matter, any other pen name.

    anyway, if i were, i wouldn’t bother to leave clues (like an anagram of my name). i might consider writing under charles u. farley, or chuck u farley for short….

    – howie fischer”

    Fine. I accept his denial and apologize. However, left unexplained is why a right-wing blogger would post using a pseudonym that is an anagram of Howie Fischer’s name – which surely would lead someone who noticed, as I did, to make the obvious connection.

    I would hope that Mr. Fischer, as a journalist, would be curious enough to investigate.

  5. sheapenny, you crossed the line AGAIN!

  6. todd:

    If the government would not take 50% of the net worth of a family owned business when an owner dies maybe they would not go out of business.

    My family business was formed in 1928 and we have survived the Government Death Tax for Three Generations trying to run us out of business!

    We employ 50 employess and its jerks like you todd that cause unemployement who vote for tax increases on business to fund Government jobs that make NO contribution to the tax base!

    Y^ou have just pointed out why manufacturing jobs left the United States ; IT THE TAX STRUCTURE STUPID!!!!!

  7. Chewie Shofir writes Sonoran Alliance blog posts that quote reporter Howie Fischer:
    A freshman at the Cronkite School could figure out they’re the same person.

  8. Howie Fischer is also a great fan of Joe Arpaio:
    He’s obviously Chewie Shofir.

  9. Howie Fischer is a registered Republican who votes early in Republican primaries:
    So why couldn’t he be Chewie Shofir?

  10. sheapenny – since half of new businesses fail in five years i don’t think it makes sense to hold the business world up as a model of success vs. government.

  11. It is sad to see programs that are Government financed fail because of the fools in Government unable to run that program;as we in the business world must do everyday!

    That IS the problem with Government into everything we do; it can’t help itself from failure!

    And this is the same Government you want to run ALL of your healthcare under Obama’s madness?

    In the United States,the concept of “social insurance” can be traced back to the beginning of the twentieth century and the work of Columbia University professor Henry Rogers Seager. The ideas expounded by Seager in his work “Social Insurance”: A program of social reform provided a rationale for the modern welfare state. Seager , in turn, was heavily influenced by European models of socialism. As he explained,” For other great sections of the country- the sections in which manufacturing and trade have become the dominant interests of the people,in which towns and cities have grown up, and in which the wage earner is the typical American citizen- the simple creed of individualism is no longer adequate. For these sections we need not freedom from governmental interference, but clear appreciation of the conditions that make for the common welfare,as contrasted with individual success, and an agressive program of governmental control and regulation to maintain these conditions.”
    Of course , Seager’s advocacyfor “an aggressive program of governmental control and regulation” was a radical departure from the nation’s founding principals and constitutional system. Yet Seagers views are featured today by the Social Security Administration, which has republished his book in its entirety on its website!

  12. I bet if you showed up at one of the “tea tantrums”, along with all the people who claim to be worried that “big gubmint” is infringing on their rights, with a sign showing you discontent with our ineffectual and classist system of prohibition, that you would be torn limb from limb.

  13. Francine Shacter

    Who knows not history is condemned to repeat it – see articles on prohibition!

  14. David Safier

    Thane, I think you’ve hit on an area of agreement with some others who hang around here. (I know, we have a few). Lots of libertarians and liberals agree our drug policies are destructive and need to be changed. I’m one of them. The details will be difficult to work out, but we need to change our mindset about people’s use of recreational drugs, and the laws.

  15. Thane, I agree completely with you re: drug enforcement. However, you don’t strike me as someone who supports state health aid in any form.

  16. Richard – I really don’t think it is actually Howie Fischer writing those pieces even if the pseudonym is an anagaram for his name. What one can gather about his politics would be quite at odds with what gets written on SA.

  17. Doing further research, I see it’s actually “Howie Fischer.” Does everyone know this? Why not? It took me about 10 minutes once I started thinking about it.

  18. I’m sure Howie C. Fisher — or “Chewie Shofir” — will also think this is good news.

  19. I’m still waiting for a proposal to suspend sentences for non-violent so-called drug crime prisoners. I’m keeping my eyes open on the New York Times and Arizona Republic for an article covering the wasteful, unnecessary and counterproductive war on drugs.

    I wonder how many health care aids could be paid for by abolishing one drug war enforcement squad (and the court and drug costs that follow). I imagine quite a few.


  20. Here in Goldwater land, instead of saying that we are cutting off health care to invalid seniors, we like to say that they are “going Galt from the Socialist health care system”.
    Course Matt Ladner’s parents and sheapenny are not among those “going Galt”.