The front-page story, “Analysts predict state budget short $104M to $200M,” should not surprise anyone who has lived in Arizona, Kansas or Wisconsin. This headline has played in all three states, and it comes from the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers’ playbook.
Governors Walker and Brownback slashed corporate taxes claiming job creation. Both economies tanked, education and social services were cut to the bone, and their job growth was among the worst in the country. Sound familiar? In Kansas it got so bad that Republican legislators raised taxes to keep solvent. In addition, both claimed to be for education while slashing education. Sound familiar?
Governor Ducey is on that playbook page. He pledges to never raise taxes and continues to cut corporate taxes. Thus, the math is easy. Ducey will announce that Arizona is broke and needs budget cuts. However, since Ducey wants to be known as the “education governor,” his spokesperson said, “Ducey will present a balanced budget … that will use any available cash to boost education spending.”
Are you kidding me? Ducey’s first priority was to cut education. Thus, Arizona continues to pay the least for teachers and education. Unfortunately, the Governor’s biggest focus is helping those who bankrolled his election: private prisons, corporate owned schools, and billionaires.