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12th February
2009
written by Sean Noble

President Barack Obama will visit Phoenix next week in what will be his first trip west as POTUS.  Arizona has been hit particularly hard by the housing slump, and Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, led the state into a budget deficit that, as a percentage of the budget, is the LARGEST in the nation.  Do you think Obama will ask for a “thank you” for taking Madame-spend-a-lot off our hands?

Think about it.  Can you imagine how much worse off we’d be if Janet was still Governor?  We are downright lucky to have Jan Brewer in charge.

Some commentators are dead set on defending Napolitano.  Linda Valdez has a “quick hit” in the Republic in which she writes:

If you want to blast our former governor, do it for the right reasons. Gov. Jan Brewer’s suggestion that Janet Napolitano is responsible for the state deficit is silly. Napolitano had smart spending priorities. She did not cause a national economic meltdown. She did chase her political ambitions to Washington, leaving Arizona just when we needed her most.

“When we needed her most”?  Really Linda? Now that is silly.  No one blames former Governor Napolitano for the national economic meltdown, but it was Napolitano who cooked the books to show that revenues into the state coffers would increase this year, at the same time every rational economist was predicting serious decreases in state revenues.  It was, in fact, Napolitano’s version of “voodoo economics” which enabled her to spend at a record pace when she knew that she was digging a deeper and deeper hole.

Need hard evidence?  Here is just a small example.  The Governor’s office is set to cut 1,000 jobs from Department of Economic Security (DES).  Now, that is a lot of state jobs, but 500 of those positions were created in the last 6 months.  So as Napolitano was headed out the door, she was adding state employees, while at the same time claiming there was a hiring freeze to deal with the shortfall.  Bold, but very, very deceitful.

Given that she had a compliant press corps in Arizona that looked the other way, it will be interesting to see how she deals with the budget at Homeland Security now that she will have to answer to the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congress.  She’s not used to having to explain herself in these matters.

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  1. […] And that’s because the real pain of the budget crisis is just starting to be felt.  As I warned on Thursday, DES announced yesterday that 620 jobs will be cut, and that there will be more to […]

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