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17th February
written by Sean Noble

There is no question that the budget mess we are in here in Arizona rivals any state in the nation.  We have the largest deficit as a percentage of our budget than any other state.  The good news is that we haven’t fallen into the trap (yet) of trying to tax our way out of it.

California is trying to pass a budget, but they haven’t been able to because Republican legislators are holding firm on opposing a $14 BILLION tax increase as a part of the package. With the impending layoffs of more than 10,000 state employees in California, I would guess they will get a budget out today or tomorrow – someone is going to break to the pressure.

Unfortunately for California, that will not fix their long-term problem.  They are already losing population as a result of their fiscal policies that squeeze the middle class to the point of literally driving them out of the state.

Which means that California’s loss may be Arizona’s gain.  If Governor Brewer and the Legislature deal with the 2010 budget mess in a constructive way, Arizona could be a magnet for businesses and individuals (many from California) which could help us grow our way out of the fiscal crisis in the mid-term and long term.  No, it won’t help the short term, that is still going to be very painful, but if Arizona avoids gouging individual taxpayers and businesses, we can make significant strides to dealing with our housing crisis and budget shortfalls.

Let’s do the right thing and put out the welcome mat.

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  1. Mr. Conservative

    Amen, brother!!!

  2. Margot

    It seems like for some time Arizona has received a steady stream of people tired of the high cost of living in California, but this massive influx will be fun to watch. Not only because it will be good for Arizona, but because people in Arizona will have to get used to hearing “like” three times per sentence. I can say that because I’m from there…

  3. Joe

    Be careful what you wish for. Do you really want to californicate Arizona?

  4. 18/02/2009

    In the meantime there are some of us who are just stuck here and can’t wait for the day they can get out of this mess. The real problem is the CA legistlator sincerely cannot see another way to fix the budget. Maybe a few remidial accounting lessons would help out all state legislatures (throw in a dash of algebra while you are at it).

  5. […] As I wrote a couple days ago, California’s mess could work to Arizona’s benefit.  Here is one of the comments on the Sacramento Bee website under the story about the budget deal. […]

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