Monday, March 16, 2009

Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen: enjoys fishing and raising taxes

by Patrick Gleason, Americans for Tax Reform

Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen has posted what he calls "A Modest Response to Americans for Tax Reform," on the official blog of the state party, which addresses a letter that ATR sent to all Arizona lawmakers last week urging them to oppose Governor Jan Brewer's proposal for a multi-billion dollar tax hike. In his response, Pullen explains why he thinks it's a good idea, in the middle of a a recession, to impose the largest tax increase in state history on Arizona taxpayers.

What the chairman fails to address in his retort is just who, exactly, he thinks isn't paying enough. Not only does this tax increase do nothing to address the fundamental and structural problems with the state budget, but it is the worst thing to do when Arizona families are experiencing such a severe economic downturn.

What about the underemployed single mom who is just trying to keep the job she has, keep gasoline in her car and keep food on her kids' table.

Randy doesn't think she's paying enough? Randy just wants to raise her taxes and go fishing.

What about seniors and those approaching retirement who have seen their savings decimated over the past year. Some may never recover sufficiently to enjoy the savings that they built and planned to use.

Randy just wants to raise their taxes and play on his boat.

And what about the small businesses that are struggling to keep their doors open in this slowing economy, just trying to keep employees on payroll and afford health care?

Randy just wants to raise their taxes and go fishing.

If Randy was more interested in supporting Arizona taxpayers, Arizona working families and Arizona's future, he would at least seek counsel of someone who could explain to him that at times of recession, the answer is to conceive of policies that encourage growth and economic development, not suffocate it.

Arizona lawmakers don't need to look very far for a demonstration in why raising taxes in the current economic climate is a bad idea. California just enacted the largest tax increase in their state's history last month. Yet, not even four weeks later, the California legislature's budget analyst has stated that those tax hikes will miss their revenue projections by $8 billion. This is a perfect example of what Napolitano, and now Brewer and Pullen, failed to understand - the behavior and actions of people and employers responds to adjustments in tax rates.

If Brewer and Pullen are successful in enacting their proposal - companies like Intel that have fled the hostile tax climate of California for Arizona - in the future will just skip over the Grand Canyon State on their way to ribbon cutting ceremonies in Texas.

Let's be clear, raising taxes is not governing. Tax hikes are the preferred policy of those that abdicate responsibility in governing.

In his response to ATR, Pullen justifies the burden of Brewer's multi-billion dollar tax hike by claiming that the net effect will be that Arizonans will give back "20% of their tax rebate from Obama." While Obama, Pelosi, and Reid must be just tickled pink to know that state officials are using their legislative monstrosity, the stimulus bill, as justification to further raise taxes at the state level, what Pullen fails to recognize is that this money that Obama is dropping from the sky is not free money. Point of fact, Obama and the feds can't give anything other than what they have already stolen from Arizona taxpayers.

The only gift Randy and the AZ Republican Party are giving to anyone is a perfect lesson on how not to brand your party.

Americans for Tax Reform is, and will continue, working with lawmakers on crafting a budget that does not raise taxes on hard working Arizona families who already spend 194 days out the year, well over half the year, just to pay for the cost of their government. Apparently Governor Jan Brewer and Chairman Randy Pullen think that's not enough.

Click here for a pdf copy of the original letter that ATR sent to all Arizona legislators.

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