Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Arizona Circus

by Pa Rock
Mortified Resident

I started catching up on the Arizona news from National Public Radio about the time that I drove across the Arizona state line yesterday morning. Things were getting crazy when I left, and now they are at a point that is so pitiful so as to almost be laughable.

Arizona, like most states, is having budget difficulties. Well, Arizona's budget problems are actually much worse than those of most other states. In fact, the state appears to be on a collision course with bankruptcy unless our leaders grow some cajones and begin to serve the public needs instead of their own political self-interests.

Our legislature is Republican, and those good ole boys are agin raising any taxes to meet the state's needs. They have gutted public school funding through budget cuts and wacky programs like letting people have tax deductions for giving money to private schools - even to the point that they can name the individual students at private schools that they want their money to benefit. And if that blatant raid on the treasury wasn't enough, they have pared all social spending to the bone. The only time these goobers address the issue of taxes is to figure out ways to cut business taxes.

Several months ago some Republican lawmakers proposed an idea about selling the various state buildings - such as the capitol - and then renting them back. We all thought it was a joke - at least I did. Yesterday I heard that they are indeed going to sell many state buildings including the Capitol, and interested parties will be able to buy bonds for the purchase in the amount of $5,000 each. The newscaster telling that tale said that the logic is that the bonds will be good because the state would never default on its buildings.

Wanna bet?

Now our governor, a dim bulb named Jan Brewer who inherited the job when Janet Napolitano headed off to the Department of Homeland Security, wants to raise revenue with a sales tax. A sales tax would make perfect sense in Arizona because it is regressive and would impact the poor more negatively than any other group. Arizona is also big on casinos which are basically a tax on the poor.

To call Arizona's budget "voodoo economics" would be an insult to voodoo!

Our esteemed Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, was also all over the news when I returned - and this time it wasn't just him blowing his own horn. Sheriff Joe, who has the irritating habit of opening investigations on anyone who ever questions his authority, and has been accused on numerous occasions of using his police powers to intimidate political enemies, is now the subject of a federal investigation. The feds have heard rumors that Joe might be abusing his power. Well, duh!

Unbelievably, no one has asked me what to do about the political and economic mess in Arizona - so I will just have to volunteer my plan. I propose that Arizona formalize this circus into a money making event - something like the world's largest PTA Carnival. Sheriff Joe could park his wrinkly butt on a dunk tank, and his sidekick and partner in nuisance lawsuits, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, could handle the balls - maybe three throws for a dollar. But, on second thought, that would place an unfair tax burden on Hispanics, liberals, and anyone capable of independent thought.

And how about Jan Brewer in a kissing booth? One big, sloppy, wet smoochie from the Governor for a dollar. It could be called "Luv that Guv!" Oh, wait. That would be an unfair tax burden on the mentally ill and the seriously drunk!

Another possibility for the Arizona Circus would be to place State Superintendent of Schools Tom Horne (a career politician) into a cage and let the public pelt him with spit wads or chalkboard erasers - sort of acquaint him with a more realistic view of education than just budget cuts and test scores. Darn, that would create a tax burden on the thousands of school teachers who suffer under his antiquated and worn-out ideas on how schools should be run! They would be lined up from here to Tucson waiting to contribute their dollar bills to fixing the state's budget shortfall!

Well if those ideas won't work, here's one that will. Tax the hell out of ammunition, hymnals, and white bedsheets. This is Arizona, after all!

No comments: