Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ALEC Gives Arizona an 'Economic Outlook' Magic Pony Award

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 2:46 PM

I missed this when it came out a few weeks ago, but with the proposed Arizona state budget being revealed in dribs and drabs this week, it seems like a good time to talk about the assessment by ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) regarding Arizona's economic outlook. It's excellent! We're Number 5! We're Number 5! We're Number 5! You can read all about it in the ALEC-Laffer, 2016 Rich States, Poor States publication. It's called the ALEC-Laffer report, by the way, because the lead researcher is Arthur B. Laffer, who, according to his bio in the report, has often been called “The Father of Supply-Side Economics.” You know, trickle down economics, and the Laffer curve that explains it all. The co-authors: Stephen Moore, who was "the founder and president of the Club for Growth and founded the Free Enterprise Fund"; and Jonathan Williams, "the vice president for the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council." It's a like-minded group.

The top magic pony states, the ones that most closely adhere to the doctrine that low taxes and minimal regulations bring prosperity, are, in order, Utah, North Carolina, North Dakota, Wyoming and Arizona: the world beaters driving our national economy. The bottom states — I guess all you'll find there is magic pony poop — are California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont and New York: the loser states where nothing much ever happens economically. I remember Ducey talking about California's imminent economic demise in his State of the State address, which I guess is why Arizona's U Haul lots are full to bursting with trailers and trucks from California carrying businesses from that "economic outlook" loser to this "economic outlook" winner. Oh, the lots aren't full? Maybe all those businesses just hopped a ride on a magic pony heading our way.

From what I've seen of our governor's budget proposals, ALEC would be delighted with Arizona's stinginess and its proposed business tax cuts. It might not be too happy with the state proposing a $32 million raise for our universities, which takes a bite out of last year's $100 million cut. But I'm sure it's delighted with the state spending $5 million of that raise to support the universities' "Economic Freedom Centers" which were set up with Charles Koch Foundation money. Because spending government money in the service of cutting government is no vice. And ALEC certainly loves our regulation cutting, limited government Republican governor and legislators who believe in their right to regulate what city and country governments can decide to do within their boundaries.

Our economic outlook is so bright, I have to wear shades.

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