Friday, November 28, 2008

Goldwater Institute: AZ should just say 'no' to bailout bucks

By Steve Voeller

Despite the lineup at the trough in D.C. for bags of bailout dollars, I urge Gov. Janet Napolitano to resist seeking more federal tax money to help address Arizona's budget crisis. And I wrote her a letter telling her just that.

Gov. Napolitano testified on Nov. 13 at the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in support of federal assistance to states that face serious budget troubles. The governor characterized the federal assistance as a fiscal stimulus package that would provide a "win-win-win" for taxpayers.

The unfortunate news here is that there are no free lunches and there are no "win-win-wins." If there were, the financial meltdown would be over, states would be brimming with cash, and we would be thanking the Tooth Fairy for a job well done.

Governor, the federal government is broke and is in no position to take on more risk, let alone provide bailout resources for anyone. And although many states are faced with obese budget deficits, the answer is not more food, but a strict diet.

In her testimony, Gov. Napolitano said that "States do not have easy options in front of them." But politicians need to understand that voters don't expect their jobs to be easy. Voters want real solutions to real problems. We elect-and expect-our leaders to make these tough decisions.

Steve Voeller is president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance policies that promote a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.

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