Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why is Senate president Bob Burns writing "Conservative calls for sales-tax hike?"

AZ Senate President Bob Burns (R) has an article in the Republic defending a referral to the ballot of an 18% sales tax increase. Why is the leading Republican in the Senate publicly calling for a tax increase referral? Shouldn't this be coming from the Democrat Party?

Instead of criticizing Republican Governor Brewer for line-item vetoing the spending cuts the legislature had included in the budget in order to balance the budget, Burns attacks everyone else. He criticizes budget gimmicks but doesn't criticize the governor's budget gimmick of using the line-item veto to increase the budget! Governor Brewer is equally at fault, especially since she has been the main Republican advocating for the sales tax increase. Governor Napolitano got us into this mess, but Governor Brewer is not fixing it by increasing taxes. Raising taxes never improves the economy but merely enables big spenders to continue their bad habits.
I surprised many people when I announced earlier this year my support for putting a 1-cent-per-dollar sales-tax increase on the ballot. Do not misunderstand me. The revenue generated from such a tax increase (less than $900 million in current economic conditions) will not entirely solve the problem. I also recognize the distinct possibility that voters may reject any such proposal. In either case, I will continue to advocate for more reductions in state spending to balance the budget.
And here he sounds as if he is somewhat supportive of voting for the tax increase once it makes it to the ballot!
We have lost enough precious time already. The question needs to be asked: Are you willing to pay, in addition to your current tax burdens, another penny on the dollar in sales tax in order to provide more revenue for your government? There may not be an official declaration that Arizona is in a state of emergency, but in my view, we're in one.
This is real disappointment. Burns should not claim to be a conservative if he is advocating for sales tax increase referral. The article should have been more correctly named, "Republican caves into pressure for 18% sales tax increase and fails to call out Governor."

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