“I believe that as a practical matter spending cuts must come before tax cuts. If we reduce taxes before firm, principled decisions are made about expenditures, we will court deficit spending and the inflationary effects that invariably follow.”

Barry Goldwater
Conscience Of A Conservative

Arizona is in the fiscal mess it’s in because the Republicans have ignored Barry Goldwater’s warning. ¬†They began to believe the notion that tax cuts create economic growth while spending cuts reduce the amount needed. It’s a win-win, right? As they say, when things sound to good to be true, they probably are.

The problem is, it doesn’t work that way. Tax cuts don’t create growth and, just as Barry Goldwater predicted, our state is now $8B in debt, needed programs are underfunded, budget projections indicate even more deficit spending as the one-cent sales tax sunsets, and what do the current slate of Republicans promise? More of the same?

This isn’t a wise choice.

What we should be doing is thinking about how to modernize the tax code, including rethinking rates, closing loopholes, and making sure individuals, families and business pay their fair share. We should learn from history and see how rates affect revenues. We should study what types of rate structures contribute to growth and which to recession and worse?

We also have not allowed the previous year’s tax cuts to prove they actually generate the additional revenues they promised. What’s wrong with asking for proof? Why should we plan a state budget on blind faith instead of solid evidence? If they work, we can continue with them. If not, then we should admit it and look for other answers. The one thing we can’t accept is passing massive debt onto or children or rob them of a bright future because we’re to afraid to make the investment.

Think about it. If your family is growing and you need more money to support it, the last thing you would rationally do is take a job that pays less money. Yet that’s what the current Republican tax strategy is and that’s a recipe for disaster as Barry Goldwater so accurately predicted.

As your state representative, I will fight for a responsible tax policy that allows government to invest in and support necessary programs for the times and demand accountablity for anyone asking for any change to tax rates.