Tuesday, January 27, 2009

AFP: Students to protest at AZ Capitol tomorrow--on your dime

More than a thousand students from the University of Arizona are planning to rally at the state capitol tomorrow to protest proposed budget cuts. As the Arizona Daily Star reports, some will be getting class credit for doing so:


That means they will be spending your tax money to go down to the Legislature and agitate in favor of taking yet more of your tax money. (Talk about taxpayer-funded lobbying!) The alternatives to budget reductions are either tax increases in the short term, or borrowing, which will deepen Arizona’s structural deficit and eventually result in heavy tax increases, with interest.

Meanwhile, ASU’s PR office has produced a chart showing that the proposed budget reductions would reduce the state government subsidy for a full time student by about $3,000 a year:


Taking the estimate at face value, ASU has a point: to keep the subsidy the same in real terms as it was in 1989, today’s subsidy would have to be about $6,900. By 2007-2008, with heavy pushing from Napolitano and Crow, it had risen to $7,976. According to ASU, the proposed budget reductions would cause the subsidy to fall to $4,902 per full-time student per year.

But the relevant question is, Should students become more dependent on government over time? Or should students become less dependent on government over time?

Dr. Matt Ladner of the Goldwater Institute makes a similar point in a recent email titled “Eating Crow”: http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/AboutUs/ArticleView.aspx?id=2498

Meanwhile, AFP Arizona is trying to put the proposed state budget cuts into perspective, with two new charts we have posted on our blog page:


The first chart puts the proposed reductions in the context of total government spending in Arizona. The second chart puts the proposed reductions in the context of total state spending—government and private—for the services in question.

Tax-takers in Arizona will be in for some tough trade-offs over the next couple of years—especially those whose budgets are not voter-protected. But it’s nowhere close to the end of the world.

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
(602) 478-0146

No comments: