Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Nobody does bumper sticker slogan gimmicks better than the Republican Party. They have excelled at this "simple solutions to complex problems" that you can reduce to a bumper sticker for years.
The latest gimmick from the GOP's "Gimmicks-R-Us" shop comes from Arizona Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley. Burges has convinced 33 of her Republican colleagues in the House to sign on as sponsors, and 12 of 30 senators have signed on in support of her gimmick Voluntary tax proposal. You really didn't think Republican legislators are serious people, did you?
So how much are you willing to give, voluntarily, to help the state out of its financial hole?
You may get a chance: Legislation introduced for the upcoming session seeks to create an "I Didn't Pay Enough'' fund where Arizonans, on their income tax forms, would be able to make a donation to the state above and beyond what they owe.
Burges acknowledged that the purpose of the legislation is strictly partisan politics (but of course). She wanted to address the insistence by some - mostly Democrats - that Arizonans are willing to pony up more money to protect vital services.
That being said, Burges said the measure has the potential to help bridge the gap between revenues and expenses, even if just a little bit: If every one of the 3.4 million households that files a state income tax return kicked in an extra $5, that would generate $12 million.
That's a far cry from the estimated $3 billion that will be needed to balance next year's budget. But Burges, in her second two-year term as a legislator, said she views this as far preferable to mandated higher taxes on everyone.
Let's break this down. Rep. Burges is essentially saying that if socially responsible Arizonans want to pay more in taxes to make up the difference for what Grover Norquist anti-tax deadbeats refuse to pay in taxes, they should voluntarily do so. Her own estimate shows this would generate but a drop in the bucket (which is why taxes are compulsory, not voluntary).
Haven't we all had enough of this "Gimmicks-R-Us" crap from Republicans? It's about time we elect serious people with educated thoughtful solutions who are willing to lead by making the hard choices for Arizona's future.
The editors of the state's two major newspapers rightly mocked Rep. Burges' "Gimmicks-R-Us" proposal today. The Arizona Republic said Lawmakers, spare us the tax jokes:
The cutesy idea for the "I didn't pay enough" fund has heavy support from Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform. Yep. The same guy who brought us the simplistic no-new-taxes pledge that gummed up efforts earlier this year to solve Arizona's budget problems.
The "grobots" who follow him are contributing to his agenda: shrinking government to a husk.
This bill is designed to push a philosophy of minimalist government. It has nothing to do with the state's daily business of teaching students, patrolling highways, fighting forest fires and investigating child abuse.
In the tough times ahead, we need creativity, thoughtfulness and courage from our legislators.
I have not checked the list of cosponsors to Burges' "Gimmicks-R-Us" proposal, but I am guessing it is nearly identical to those legislators who signed Grover Norquist's "no new tax" pledge. This should serve as a list of ideological extremists who should not be returned to the Arizona legislature under any circumstances next year.
The Arizona Daily Star said 'I Didn't Pay Enough' bill mere distraction:
In these trying times, our legislators will try just about anything to appear as if they are doing something to meet the state's budget crisis.
Case in point: A proposal by Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, to create an "I Didn't Pay Enough" fund that would allow Arizona taxpayers to voluntarily pay more in taxes than they owe.
Can bake sales and car washes be far behind?
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If Burges and her 45 colleagues truly wanted to test our willingness to do that, they might try backing Brewer's call for a vote on a temporary one-cent hike in the state sales tax.
Better, they might try backing an earlier Democratic plan to put an expansion of a sales-tax base to a vote.
If she and the 45 colleagues who so eagerly signed on to this bill were truly serious about meeting the crisis head-on, they would be busy revamping the mix of taxes that produces state revenue and letting the people vote on that.
Arizona has shifted the tax burden from its historical "three-legged stool" of property, sales and income taxes to one that relies first on sales tax, second on income tax and hardly at all on property tax.
This is a recipe for volatility that makes budgeting difficult even in good times.
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Nobody likes to raise taxes but when the alternative is to shirk our responsibility to educate our children and keep a minimal safety net beneath those suffering the most in this recession, then higher taxes must be considered, along with elimination of tax credits, fee hikes and borrowing.
Our legislators should be busily involved in meeting the current crisis and planning to avoid future ones.
House Bill 2001 is a distraction from that task, crafted to make a point and not to solve a problem.