Although we are still in the midst of our mid-March Town elections, Mike Caccioppoli, "Proposed Bush budget hurts Arizona," Payson Roundup, Feb. 17, 2006, wants us to start looking toward the November elections.
He particularly wants us to urge our current representative, Rick Renzi, to outspend President Bush's budget. This is a rather weird request to those of us who believe the federal government should exercise fiscal prudence and restraint. President Bush's budget already contemplates spending billions of dollars more than expected tax receipts. In plain words, the U.S. again plans a deficit as it has every year since 1996.
To put some things into perspective, Mr. Caccioppoli's letter suggests a total increase in spending for Arizona of $779-million over and above what the Bush budget already allocates. The last figures I saw, the average Democratic congressman sponsors and co-sponsors legislation to the tune of $509-million per year. The average Republican congressman sponsors and co-sponsors bills to the tune of $36-million per year.
Out of this comes the present budget that is already in the red. Now, Mr. Caccioppoli suggests an additional spending level that is even above the level of his Democratic peers.
This means that, if adopted, one of three things would happen, and two of them are bad. The two bad ones are either taxes would be raised or the country would go further into debt.
The good option is that $779-million of other government expenses would be eliminated. What present expenses does Mr. Caccioppoli propose to eliminate?
Dan Adams, Payson