What happened to my Party? The Republican Party became the dominant party in Arizona because it followed the guiding principles of limited government, economic freedom (low taxes) and personal responsibility under the guidance of Barry Goldwater, Paul Fannin, Eldon Rudd, Bob Stump, Fife Symington and others.
Last month, a poll was conducted by Margaret Kenski of Arizona Opinion at the direction of the Arizona Republican Party. The questions were designed by Chuck Coughlin of High Ground, the Phoenix-based political firm that handled Gov. Jan Brewer's transition into office. Polling about the viability of a major tax increase, this poll is in stark contrast to every other poll on this subject on whether Arizona voters support a "temporary" tax increase to rescue the state from its deepening budget crisis.
The "supporters" of this new proposed sales tax don't have to wait until the legislature passes a tax increase or refers the measure to the ballot. The 39.7 percent respondents who found the tax increase, "Very Acceptable" or the 26.9 percent who found it "Somewhat Acceptable" should begin to back their words with deeds and start paying the additional sales tax to the state of Arizona as proof of their sincerity.
I believe that Margaret Kenski, Randy Pullen, Chuck Coughlin, and other moderate advisors to the Governor should show their leadership and set the example by being the first to start paying the additional proposed 1% sales tax increase on all their purchases and not wait for the formality of future legislation, initiative or referendum. Based on their leadership, I eagerly await the state's economic problems showing significant improvements immediately.
In the meantime perhaps you would like to see some "real" polls:
PHOENIX - Likely voters in Phoenix and Glendale rejected sales and income tax increases by large majorities, in poll results released today by the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP Arizona), a taxpayer watchdog group committed to fiscal responsibility and limited government.
Gov. Jan Brewer's proposed billion-dollar-a-year tax increase fared badly in the poll, with 62 percent of respondents in Phoenix opposed, and 64 percent in Glendale. Opposition to tax increases crossed party lines, with 47 percent of self-identified "strong Democrats" in Phoenix opposed, and 52 percent in Glendale.
The unseen consequences and victims of a state tax increase
To date, the discussion about whether to increase state taxes has focused on the effects of budget cuts.
This makes for a compelling political narrative. The cuts are deep. State workers are losing their jobs and being furloughed. Program beneficiaries are losing services. These people are identifiable. They can be found and quoted. They can organize and protest.
There would, however, be adverse consequences from raising taxes as well. The Goldwater Institute recently provided useful perspective by trying to quantify those adverse consequences.
According to its analysis, increasing the state sales tax to raise $1 billion would cost over 14,000 private sector workers their jobs. It would cost the state $1.2 billion in private sector output.
Raising the income tax would be even worse. It would cost over 26,000 jobs and reduce output by $1.6 billion.
As with the conclusion from any econometric modeling, the specific numbers can be quibbled over. But not the headline point: If the state raises taxes, some private sector workers will lose their jobs, all will experience a reduction in after-tax income, and private sector production will diminish.
Unfortunately, this makes for a less compelling political narrative. Identifying the private sector workers who lost their jobs because the state raisedtaxes is impossible in retrospect, much less in advance. ClickHEREfor the full story
Robert Robb (column for 4.5.09)
Useless tax hike survey From the political notebook:
* The public opinion survey being peddled by the Arizona Republican Party purporting to show support for Gov. Brewer's tax increase is, to use a technical term from my erstwhile days as a political consultant, useless. (Actually, the technical political consulting term is more descriptive, but I eschew such language since becoming a genteel journalist.)
First, the survey didn't ask whether people favored, or supported, or would vote for a tax increase - the conventional ways of soliciting a response.
Instead, respondents were asked how "acceptable" they found a sales tax increase. According to the survey, two-thirds of voters found it very or somewhat "acceptable." That doesn't tell you much about whether they would actually vote for one.
Then the poll provided what will undoubtedly prove to be a false premise about how the proceeds from the $1 billion tax increase Brewer is proposing would be used. The survey said this: "All of the funds raised from these taxes would be dedicated toward maintaining 2010 spending levels for K-12 education, universities, community colleges and health care for the poor."
All of those programs, however, are substantially protected by the maintenance of effort requirements attached to the federal stimulus money. To get the federal stimulus money, states have to agree to maintain state funding for education and not reduce Medicaid eligibility.
At the end of the day, the combination of state general fund appropriations and federal stimulus funds for next year will probably equal or exceed the current level of general fund support for these programs.
Americans For Tax Reform Arizona Budget Update: Majority of Polled Arizonans Oppose Tax Increases From Patrick Gleason on Monday, March 30, 2009 5:51 PM
A recent commenter on this blog contended that most Arizonans wouldn't mind having their taxes raised in order to help address and prolong the state's overspending problem, currently standing at $3 billion for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
I followed up with the commenter to request polling support for such a bold claim yet, not surprisingly, he has not been able to produce anything. Thanks to our friends at AFP-AZ we now have a poll proving his claim patently false. As it would happen, most are opposed to Gov. Brewer's proposed tax increase and this sentiment cuts across party lines.
According to AFP-AZ's poll, conducted in the state's major population centers of Phoenix and Glendale, "Gov. Jan Brewer's proposed billion-dollar-a-year tax increase fared badly....with 62 percent of respondents in Phoenix opposed, and 64 percent in Glendale."
Need more reasons why tax hikes should be avoided like the plague? A recent report produced by the Goldwater Institute and Boston's Beacon Hill Institute shows that Gov. Brewer's proposed tax hikes, if implemented, would result in the loss of 14,400 private sector jobs.