By Colin Marston ’13
Arizona is in a budget crisis, and there’s no denying it.
According to a Sept. 30, 2010 azcentral.com article, Gov. Jan Brewer has proposed a state budget with a shortfall of $825 million for this year and a shortfall of $1.4 billion for fiscal year 2012.
It’s not the solution.
Her plan uses spending cuts for the vast majority of budget savings with no tax increases.
Critics, according to a Feb. 3, 2010 Sedona Times article, have pointed to tax increases, particularly a closure of $10 billion in corporate tax loopholes as the essential way to raise revenue, and close the deficit.
Brewer has largely ignored this, and the results will be disastrous.
Her proposal, according to a Jan. 15, 2011 article in the Arizona Daily Star, is to cut 20 percent of funding towards universities and slash aid to community colleges.
This will impede the growth of an educated population to compete in an ever-increasing global environment.
She proposes slashing $750 million of K-12 public education funding.
Arizona already ranks 49 out of 50 states in the amount spent per student, according to National Education Association statistics.
But the governor’s cuts don’t stop at the schoolyard.
In her budget she will eliminate health care coverage for more than 280,000 people under Medicaid.
We have already seen the acute manifestation of the effect of this in the inhumane denial of organs to desperate people enrolled in Medicaid.
In light of the recent Tucson shooting, Brewer plans to tackle the problem of mental health issues by ending all state mental health care programs.
Besides the deranged hatred coming from this state, Arizona is also known as a place of immense beauty and natural wonder.
To further preserve this image for visitors foreign and local, Brewer plans to close 13 out of Arizona’s 22 state parks, including Red Rock State Park.
Behind the construction industry, tourism is one of Arizona’s largest industries and unlike the previous, actually sustainable.
Through Brewer’s budget plans, she’s determined to rob Arizona out of the state’s most sustainable path to long term growth: education, health care and tourism.
In addition to this, an intact and preserved social safety net is essential for a functioning society and the day to day living of the now growing disadvantaged (according to USDA information almost 40 million qualify for food stamps).
Instead Brewer lavishes away on unproductive, inefficient and at times racially tinged immigration policy.
She paces for hours on how to expand privatized prison proliferation to lock up more of the populace for minor drug use.
There is a concerted war in this state on poor people, the brown skinned and anyone who doesn’t agree with the faux-populist tea party vitriol.
Add ordinary people to that list.