The governor and Republican-controlled state Legislature will not consider raising taxes to help balance the budget. They will not even consider closing tax loopholes. They are willing to reduce funding for the universities —forcing layoffs and increased tuition. They are willing to drop thousands of people off AHCCCS — placing major costs on hospitals. They are willing to reduce other state agency and education budgets — forcing more workers to lose their jobs and transferring costs to counties and cities.
I suggest that we are all in this together and should try to help the state out of its budgetary problems. We should not place the whole burden on the unfortunate few. We should think “win-win” rather than “win-lose.” If we closed all of the special tax breaks, it would greatly increase state revenues. If every fully employed or comfortably retired person received a 1 percent state income tax tax increase, it would hurt a little, but help a lot. It would keep people in their jobs so they can pay taxes, keep their homes, and avoid costing the state for welfare and AHCCCS. Our children could get better educations and the poor could get quality health care — allowing them to be more productive. Graduates from our universities could get good jobs, pay taxes and buy houses. We would once again attract people and businesses to our state.
Why not try to make us all winners? If we don’t, will we simply continue our downward slide?