Arizona's politicians have a spending problem, now it's time for the voters to tell them enough is enough. Tomorrow, Arizonans will go to the polls to vote on Proposition 100 ("Prop 100"), an 18 percent hike in the state's sales tax. For weeks, Arizonans have been reading newspaper stories and watching television ads about how the state stands on the edge of fiscal oblivion. Arizona, the proponents of Prop 100 say, will collapse unless this tax hike is approved. Additionally, proponents of Prop 100 claim that this is the least painful option when compared to cuts to the state budget.
However, what the politicians and their allies fail to mention in the debate over Prop 100 is that the state's fiscal problems are the result of years of overspending in the State Capitol. Rather than try to restrain spending, as all prudent families and small businesses have done since the economic downturn began, the politicians prefer the easy way out: spending more on social programs and raising taxes on the politically powerless to pay for it all. Moreover, the tax hike will cause real pain on families if it passes. But don't take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal has a great editorial highlighting the costs Prop 100 will inflict on working families and the causes of the current fiscal situation in the state of Arizona. Some highlights from the editorial include:
"The pro-tax deluge highlights why so many states and cities are bankrupt. The interests in state capitals that live off tax revenue have gained inordinate political power over the diffuse interests of taxpayers. The average Arizona family will pay $400 a year more if the sales tax increase prevails, which is a lot when you consider that President Obama's "making work pay" tax credit is limited to $400 for individuals."
"Taxpayer groups rightly object that the tax hike comes with no spending restraints. Arizona got into this crisis because during the boom years—2003 to 2007—then-Governor Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, and Republicans in the legislature let spending climb by more than 100% to $10 billion from $6.6 billion."
Let's hope that Arizona's voters will stand up and tell the politicians that enough is enough with more spending and higher taxes by voting "NO" on Prop 100.