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6th March
written by Sean Noble

Arizona GOP Party Chairman Randy Pullen announced his support for Arizona Governor Brewer’s budget reform, including a call to consider, if necessary, a $1 billion tax increase:

Governor Brewer has called for a public vote on temporary tax increases, if necessary, to bridge the gap, but only after all other avenues of budget reductions have been exhausted.”

Most of the reaction to the Governor’s speech is that she specifically called for a tax increase.  I read the speech, and I didn’t see an explicit call for a tax increase.

But as a very last resort, after considering every other option, and after doing a truthful and honest assessment of our economic situation, we must be willing to consider the passage of a temporary tax increase – approved by you and signed by me – or approved by the voters at a special election, of roughly $1 billion dollars per year.

I’m going to give her the benefit of a doubt that she will find a way to deal with the mess she inherited from Janet Napolitano without abandoning the most basic of Republican principles.  Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see a proposal to raise taxes.  I see a challenge from her to the legislature to find ways to avoid raising taxes.  I hope, for the sake of our economy and for our future, she doesn’t raise taxes.

I’m also giving her the benefit of a doubt because I can’t believe a state Republican Party Chairman would support a $1 billion tax increase – which would be the largest tax increase in state history.  I don’t believe a Chairman would do that, especially when that Chairman considers himself a “platform Republican.”  In order to pass the largest tax increase in state history, the Governor would have to have some Democrats vote for a budget, (since there are lots of Republican legislators who would honor their “no tax increase” pledge) and I don’t think she wants to become a mini-version of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.   At the end of the day, I could be wrong.  Time will tell.

So there is no ambiguity, here is the most recent Republican Platform on taxes:

Republican Tax Policy: Protecting Hardworking Americans

The most important distinction between Republicans and the leadership of today’s Democratic Party concerning taxes is not just that we believe you should keep more of what you earn. That’s true, but there is a more fundamental distinction. It concerns the purpose of taxation. We believe government should tax only to raise money for its essential functions.

Today’s Democratic Party views the tax code as a tool for social engineering. They use it to control our behavior, steer our choices, and change the way we live our lives. The Republican Party will put a stop to both social engineering and corporate handouts by simplifying tax policy, eliminating special deals, and putting those saved dollars back into the taxpayers’ pockets.

The Republican Agenda: Using Tax Relief to Grow the Economy

Sound tax policy alone may not ensure economic success, but terrible tax policy does guarantee economic failure. Along with making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent so American families will not face a large tax hike, Republicans will advance tax policies to support American families, promote savings and innovation, and put us on a path to fundamental tax reform.

Lower Taxes on Families and Individuals

  • American families with children are the hardest hit during any economic downturn. Republicans will lower their tax burden by doubling the exemption for dependents.
  • New technology should not occasion more taxation. We will permanently ban internet access taxes and stop all new cell phone taxes.
  • For the sake of family farms and small businesses, we will continue our fight against the federal death tax.
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax, a stealth levy on the middle-class that unduly targets large families, must be repealed.
  • Republicans support tax credits for health care and medical expenses.


The Democrats Plan to Raise Your Taxes

The last thing Americans need right now is tax hikes. On the federal level, Republicans lowered taxes in 2001 and 2003 in order to encourage economic growth, put more money in the pockets of every taxpayer, and make the system fairer. It worked. If Congress had then controlled its spending, we could have done even more.

Ever since those tax cuts were enacted, the Democratic Party has been clear about its goals: It wants to raise taxes by eliminating those Republican tax reductions. The impact on American families would be disastrous:

  • Marginal tax rates would rise. This is in addition to their proposal to target millions of taxpayers with even higher rates.
  • The “marriage penalty” would return for two-earner couples.
  • The child tax credit would fall to half its current value.
  • Small businesses would lose their tax relief.
  • The federal death tax would be enormously increased.
  • Investment income – the seed money for new jobs – would be eaten away by higher rates for dividend and capital gain income.

All that and more would amount to an annual tax hike upwards of $250 billion – almost $700 per taxpayer every year, for a total of $1.1 trillion in additional taxes over the next decade. That is what today’s Democratic Party calls “tax fairness.” We call it an unconscionable assault on the paychecks and pocketbooks of every hard-working American household. Their promises to aim their tax hikes at families with high incomes is a smokescreen; history shows that when Democrats want more money, they raise taxes on everyone.

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  1. Woody

    Its simple: Arizona “Overspent” by hundreds of millions or even a billion dollars. The only solution is “Underspending”, and yes, it will hurt. Maybe next time you will remember the pain and not overspend.

    AZ is coming off a spending binge, and just like any family trying to dig itself out of debt, AZ has to reduce its spending below its income. Asking for a raise to support your habit when the Owners are barely keeping the joint open will only put you at the top of the pink slip list.

  2. John Doe

    I was wondering when you would address her speech. Unfortunately, I don’t share your optomism. First, Gov. Coughlin, I mean Brewer, hasn’t shown the courage to stand up to the special interests, and seems particuallry sppoked by the education crowd. Nevermind that they Universities are offere degrees that add no value to society or prepare students for getting a job and being productive members of society. Also, she should be shaming the Teachers union for their continued opposition to reforms that would help educate kids. Last I checked, AZ was near the bottom on education. Also, Chairman Pullen has again shown that he has no vision and will parrot the what the Gov.’s office wants him too. Barrak, I support a tax increas, but only if necessary, barrack. He is a clown dressed in plaid sansabelt pants. Thank goodness we have some adults in charge of the legislature that have spines and recognize that the best way to encourage economic growth is to ensure that we become more business friendly, not less.

  3. 06/03/2009

    Brewer’s words are “we must be willing to consider the passage of a temporary tax increase”. There are two important words there, one “must” is something plenty of Arizonans are not willing to consider. Second is “temporary”. Historically no tax is temporary, some government spending advocate will baseline the alleged temporary tax. There maybe examples otherwise but I’ll bet there are far more than 51% of “temporary” taxes that are still with us, such as “temporary” income tax withholding. Brewer also throws out the terms truthful and honest but I find it do be a dishonest assessment that Arizona *must* consider higher taxes.

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