California and Arizona’s Budgets: Different Sizes, Same Woes

‘Imagine taking off in a plane after siphoning some gas from the tank.

“From a budgetary perspective, that’s about what Arizona has done. 

“For years the state managed to cut many of its taxes while taking on greater spending obligations. Rapid population growth and the housing and dot-com bubbles helped obscure the reality that Arizona had an unsustainable long-term strategy.

“There are no shortages of reasons, theories and scapegoats, but it’s undeniable that the state’s finances have nose-dived, forcing it to make agonizing choices about budget cuts and tax proposals.

“As lawmakers again consider how to close a budget shortfall that could top $4.5 billion over this fiscal year and next, many leaders and policy experts are considering how to chart a more stable and prosperous course for Arizona over the next decade and beyond.”

Among some of the suggested strategies: Increasing sales and income taaxes, broaden the sales tax base to include services, cut salaries and pensions for state workers.

(For more eerie similarities, read more of Ronald J. Hansen’s article in The Arizona Republic)



Filed under: Budget and Economy

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