Friday, October 31, 2014

Dicey Ducey: The shady salesman would be a disaster for AZ

It may be panic time.  Attack ads are running 6 or 7 to 1 against Fred.  And Dicey continues to hide his fundamental commitments to extending the disastrous economic policies of the Republicans in AZ (and which are now known to have failed in Kansas).  So, sorry for the long post here, but you need to spread this far and wide.

Stephen Lemons in the Phoenix New Times has an extensive expose' of Ducey's policies and his personal history.  To the latter, I will just say that his family is reported have been involved with organized crime.  Neither Lemons nor I like the guilt by association tactic, but that is exactly what Ducey and the Rs are doing to Fred.  So, turnabout is fair.  But enough with the family history - you can read about that in Lemons' report.

I think that there is enough economic dynamite in Lemons' report to sink Ducey's campaign. So that's what I will feature in the snippets from Lemons' column here.

Let's start with the status quo inflicted upon AZ by the converging actions of a GOP lege and a GOP administration (which includes Dicey as AZ Treasurer).

A DuVal governorship would be as welcome as Babbitt's was back in the day, and it would end a six-year trifecta by Arizona Republicans, with that party's owning the executive office and both chambers of the state Legislature.
For part of this time, the GOP even had a supermajority in the state Senate and the state House.
What did they do with all of this power?
You know, other than offering up divisive, sometimes bigoted, and often downright nutty legislation, from the anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070 to the anti-gay SB 1062 to the anti-Obama "birther" bill to a bill that would have made it a criminal offense for transgenders to use the "wrong" bathroom?
Well, they cut taxes and they cut government services. A lot!
The tax cutting was justified partly as a way to make the state more attractive to businesses and also as a way to spur growth and spending in the private sector, which hypothetically would result in more taxes getting collected.
Those who grew up in the Reagan era will remember this as supply-side economics, "voodoo economics," as Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush once called it.

What did all that tax cutting do for AZ?

How has this long-discredited economic theory worked for Arizona? Not well, according to a new economic report, released recently by ASU's Morrison Institute for Public Policy.
"The tax cuts that have been implemented in Arizona have had no measurable impact on economic growth," states the Morrison Institute's report. "That is, the loss of revenue resulting from tax cuts has not begun to be offset by greater economic growth, even years after the reductions were implemented."
Evidence for these statements lies in various economic indicators, where Arizona continues to lag behind most other states, which are recovering from the Great Recession faster.
Arizona's economy has recovered only 60 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, according to the Morrison Institute report.
And Arizona's unemployment rate is a full point behind the national unemployment rate, almost on par with that of California, often maligned by Arizona Republicans as some sort of failed socialist state.
According to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal based on U.S. Census data, Arizona currently suffers from the fourth-highest poverty rate in the nation, with nearly 20 percent of the state's population living below the poverty level.
What does the Morrison Institute recommend? Restoring cuts in spending made by the Republican Legislature, particularly in education.
Why education? Because the Morrison Institute finds that a sound system of public education and a skilled workforce are far more likely to encourage businesses to move to Arizona than lower taxes.
This, by the way, is exactly what DuVal has argued on the stump.

So what is Ducey's prescription for what ails Arizona?

... He wants to persist in the folly of the last six years and keep cutting taxes and spending.
During the primary, and on his website, Ducey promises, if elected, to "submit legislation to reduce taxes every year, with the goal of pushing income tax rates as close to zero as possible."
During the general election contest, Ducey's backed off this promise just a tad, calling it "aspirational" during one debate with DuVal.
Still, Ducey pledges to cut spending even further, by going "line by line" in the state budget and by not replacing some of the state employees set to retire in coming years.
But in talking to the Wall Street Journal's Riley, Ducey suggested that he remains hopelessly devoted to the supply-side theories of much-debunked voodoo economist Arthur Laffer.

Lemons' conclusion:

Should voters trust a politician who refuses to discuss his biography with reporters, who remains devoted to crackpots like Arthur Laffer, and who claims -- despite telling his plutocrat patrons otherwise -- that his goal of cutting income taxes to zero is "aspirational"?
It is courting disaster to do so. The Republicans have had their chance at leading Arizona, and they have made a mess of it.
The state needs new leadership, a new direction. Electing Doug Ducey governor will only ensure further economic catastrophe.

Now, if you have gotten this far, you might be skeptical about this fact-based argument against Dicey and for DuVal.  But you will have to queue up in the line of skeptics behind AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona:

Voters should give a damn about Stephen Lemons is writing about. But experience tells me that Republican voters in this state just don’t give a damn. And that is more of an indictment of Arizona Republicans than it is of Doug Ducey.

Actually, it is an indictment of all things Republican including the SCOTUS ruling permitting those with money to secretly buy our elections.  If Ducey wins, it will be because of the Rs who are informed only by attack ads on TV and the flood of dark money inflicted on us by a partisan Supreme Court.

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