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March 19, 2010

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nearly 47,000 low-income children without coverage

Freed from the shackles of socialist tyranny, they are finally free to enjoy the blessings of untrammeled liberty. God Bless the U.S.A.

Hey! Quit pickin' on Arizona.
(At least we have cactus.)

...and John McCain AND John Kyl... and... OK. Never mind. Pick away.

But they've got plenty of money for prisons.

Economic recessions/depressions are a boon for Republican policy-makers.

Think of all the Personal Liberty they'll now be enjoying via the Magic of Choice!

We'd riot but we're too sick to hold the pitchforks.

Perhaps Trey Wilson can make a bundle reprising his role as Nathan Arizona and sell cut rate medical procedures at "Uninsured Arizona." They can offer a great layaway plan for those who survive last long enough.

Yeah, I have nothing of substance to add to this conversation...

disgraceful.

To be fair, taxes will be raised to build a new stadium and training facility to keep the Cubs spring training in Arizona.
Priorities.

left with few choices because of a $2.6 billion projected shortfall

Population of Arizona: 6.6 million
Per-capita cost of covering $2.6 billion shortfall: $393
Per-capita income in Arizona: $27,232
Average percent rise in income tax to cover the gap: 1.4%

"Few choices" my ass. $7.50 a week per person. Two Starbucks lattes, to cover the gaping hole in the state budget (which presumably includes a lot more than S-CHIP and Medicaid).

I'd laugh, but I live in California.

And of course I am assuming a totally unrealistic zero multiplier there - i.e. that failing to maintain funding for state services has no knock-on effect on the economy and therefore on the income of Arizona residents.

But, you know, keep clutching that $7.50 a week. That's what we do here in California - hold onto every last penny we earn and watch the system all apart around us. Yay?

They also lose the federal matching funds.

This is the kind of policy that the sanctimonious fetus fetishists love.

Davies, c'mon. Those making $27,232 a year don't pay any income tax. Puhlease.

don't create brackets with slightly higher rates at the very top

As if there are enough rich people in AZ to make up $2.6B with slightly higher rates. Cite please about how slight we're talking about?

Let's assume that the "very top" is 1% and they earn "rich guy" money of $250k per year (per Obamanation). So, each of the 6,600 rich guys needs to pony up about $40K. Hmmm, 40/250 = 16%. Is that slightly higher? Maybe in your world, but not most people's.

Let's assume that the "very top" is 1% and they earn "rich guy" money of $250k per year (per Obamanation).

This suggests that it's closer to 2%.

So, each of the 6,600 rich guys needs to pony up about $40K. So, each of the 6,600 rich guys needs to pony up about $40K. Hmmm, 40/250 = 16%.

If they all make exactly 250k, that would be true. But that doesn't seem like a very good assumption, does it?

Math is hard. Let's go shopping!

People making $27k do in fact pay (state) income tax in Arizona, but given that I was talking about a tax increase what people currently pay isn't really the point. I didn't say anything about distributional effects or dumping it on the rich guys.

If we're not to let everything decay around us, everyone who currently pays tax is going to have to pay a little more and some who don't are going to have to start. "Rich guys" are going to have to pay a little more too, tragically - I guess they'll have to go home and mop their tears with $100 bills, which, coincidentally, is an option not available to the rest of the population.

My point is that the "average Arizonan" - like the average Californian - could pay for the state budget shortfalls and consequent serious service cuts by giving up the equivalent of a couple of trips to Starbucks a week. Not negligible, but not crippling by any means.

I think it's good for state budgets to go through both tightening and loosening cycles, the loosening to find out what kinds of state spending might be useful, and the tightening to cut back on the stuff that isn't useful. Neither one should be taken to excess, but S-CHIP & Medicaid don't seem like excess to me. Of course, Arizonans are welcome to make their own stupid decisions just like we make our own stupid decisions here in California.

And I don't expect to make a dent in someone convinced that this is all a plot to eat the rich.

Well said JD.

I can't speak for Arizona, as I know nothing about the relation of their budget to anything. But as to California, the problem essentially is that we want to be a high services state with mid level taxes and we need to choose to be either high/high or mid/mid.

And again, as to California, I don't think " it's good for state budgets to go through both tightening and loosening cycles, the loosening to find out what kinds of state spending might be useful, and the tightening to cut back on the stuff that isn't useful. Neither one should be taken to excess, but S-CHIP & Medicaid don't seem like excess to me." really applies.

California never goes through real tightening cycles. The per capita inflation adjusted spending has grown enormously in just the past ten years AFTER the dot com bubble that was used as an excuse to pretend that tax revenue would always go dramatically up. In the last 6 rounds of 'tightening', cuts are only proposed to essentials so that no real cuts have to occur. Only this year have such cuts occurred, and even that is because the legislature hasn't even attempted to make tough choices so they just slashed things across the board.

Of course the main procedural problem is that CA has a different number of votes needed to spend from the number needed to tax. Which is a whole nother ball of wax.

That, and the people get to join in the spending too with ballot propositions. But ask them to pay for anything, and it's a whole other story. Then there's the amateur hour in the term-limited legislature... I guess what we're really saying is, direct democracy might not be such a hot idea.

I wasn't suggesting California as a model of fiscal sanity. I'm not completely crazy.

If we're not to let everything decay around us, everyone who currently pays tax is going to have to pay a little more and some who don't are going to have to start.

That's about the size of it.

Thanks JD.

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