If the magical thinking of faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics actually worked, Arizona would have full employment and a booming economy after 22 years of tax cuts from our GOP-controlled legislature.
But “Reality has a well-known liberal bias,” as Stephen Colbert once observed. Arizona’s lost decade is due to GOP magical thinking and fiscal mismanagement of the state. Ariz. tax rebound still among U.S. worst:
Only eight states have seen their tax collections remain lower than Arizona’s since 2008, a new analysis of state finances has found.
In 2013, Arizona still took in 10.1 percent less in taxes than it did in 2008 after adjusting for inflation, the Pew Charitable Trusts reported in the latest update to its report on the fiscal health of all 50 states. Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis. The collections are measured against 2008 because that is when tax collections peaked nationally.
As a group, the states finally edged ahead of 2008 tax collections at the end of 2013. But they did so even with 26 states still taking in less than they did at the peak, Pew noted.
Arizona was among the states where taxes had rebounded the least.
Pew notes that tax collections are in part connected to the economic strategies of the states. Revenues can go up because of tax hikes or stay low because of tax cuts.
“One of the ways Arizona stands out is its spending,” said Barb Rosewicz, director of Pew’s Fiscal 50 project. “It has spent less of its own funds than any time since 1961.”
“States with below-peak tax revenue have less purchasing power to fund essentials such as schools, safety-net programs, corrections, employee salaries and pensions, and road maintenance and construction,” Pew said in its report.
For Arizona, the persistently lower revenues mean there is less money to serve the state’s growing population.
The revenue picture is just one indicator of a state economy still in tatters from the Great Recession. Arizona is among the worst states in the nation at replacing the jobs lost in the downturn.
Wait, what? So much for Jan Brewer’s bogus “Arizona Comeback.” That’s just a sick joke.
Through April, the state still had regained less than 60 percent of the jobs lost. By contrast, the nation as a whole is expected to fully replace every job lost when the employment report for May is announced early next month.
The GOP has controlled the Arizona legislature since the election of 1966. You read that right. The GOP has had one-party control of state government offices since 2010. If you want to end this economic catastrophe that is the result of GOP magical thinking, you must elect Democrats to statewide offices and as your state legislative representatives. Let’s restore fiscal sanity and reality-based public policy.
What’s the best way to boost the Arizona economy? Stop getting mentioned on “The Daily Show.” Arizona economists: Time to get serious.