Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Budget Talks Start Today— - Tell AZ Politicians to Stop Over-Spending

Wally the (Empty) Taxpayer Wallet


Legislative budget talks begin this week. Please contact your Arizona Legislators today and tell them to stop over-spending. In their quest for ever-expanding government programs, the Governor and the Big Spenders in the Arizona Legislature have emptied the state's wallet. The state's budget deficit has now climbed to $900 million, exceeding the money in the state's rainy day fund.

To “fix" the deficit, the Big Spenders plan to raid the rainy day fund, use accounting gimmicks, and transfer funds from dedicated revenue sources (such as state highway money). Some of the Big Spenders are even talking about raising taxes--taking even more money out of taxpayer wallets!

But there is no need for gimmicks, fund transfers, or for raiding the rainy day fund.

The FY2007 budget, for the fiscal year that ended on June 30 th, was $9.7 billion. The FY2008 trial budget, which the Legislature and Governor approved in June, is $10.6 billion.

The Legislature can fix the deficit and save $900 million by spending the same amount it did last year. No spending cuts are necessary.

To stop overspending in the future, Legislators must give voters a chance to lower the state's existing constitutional spending limit. The current limit is 7.41 percent, which was helpful back in the big-spending days of Jimmy Carter, but we do not want state government to ever get that big again!

The state's spending limit should be reduced to no more than 6.5 percent of state personal income, which is a little less than what the government is currently spending. That way, if the economy grows, the government can grow with it—but the government should not be allowed to grow faster than the economy.

Last session, the spending limit bill was sponsored by Reps. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), Trish Groe ( R-Lake Havasu City), Rick Murphy (R-Glendale), Kirk Adams (R-Mesa), Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert), Sam Crump (R-Anthem), and Michelle Reagan (R-Scottsdale), as well as by Sens. Jack Harper (R-Surprise) and Karen Johnson (R-Mesa). This coming year, we need every state Legislator to sign on and support the spending limit reduction.


Wally the Wallet to greet Taxpayer Champions, Big Spenders

PLEASE JOIN US down at the Arizona Capitol Mall this coming Monday, January 14, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Wally the (Empty) Taxpayer Wallet will be there to give awards to the Legislators who scored as Champions of the Taxpayer on our 2007 Legislative Scorecard.

We will also see if we can find Rep. Steve Farley of Tucson, and give him the “Empty Wallet" Award, for earning the lowest score on the Scorecard.

The Capitol Mall is located at 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Public parking may be available off next to Bolin Park (entrances on Adams and Jefferson Streets). It will be hard to miss Wally… We will bring a supply of coffee and doughnuts for the taxpayer activists who join us.

RSVP today with an email to, so we know how much coffee and how many doughnuts to bring.

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