The choice to be presented to the voters on May 17 is similar to that presented to Sophie in the book and movie Sophie's Choice. If it passes, Proposition 123, among other things, will take funds from the state land trust to provide more money for public education now. So the voters are asked to choose between more funds for education now ("yes") and preserving the trust which will fund education in the future("no"). It is akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul. Because that is the essence of the doozey of a deal cut by Guv Duce, I named it Ducey's Choice.
The thing is, the choice is unnecessary. The state has sufficient funds to cover what is owed public education without raiding the land trust. But that would mean that the Guv would not be able to keep his promise to eliminate the state income tax. The corporate interest in such additional tax breaks can be measured by the cash raised by the Prop 123 campaign hence the slogan I offered to the campaign: 1,2,3,Tax Breaks for Me.
In this morning's Blog for Arizona, AZBlueMeanie reviews all of this as well as the failure of the office of the Secretary of State to disseminate information about how to submit arguments for the information pamphlet - a failure I described in detail and the lackadaisical reporting by the media.
The Sky Island Scriber blog proposed an apt slogan for this ballot measure: 1, 2, 3, Tax Breaks for Me.
As I have explained, this is “robbing Peter (future generations of students) to pay Paul (current generation of students)” for the money the legislature stole from Arizona’s children and for which it has been ordered to pay restitution by the court. Only the legislature is committing a double theft, reaching into the school district’s bank account, the state land trust for education, to pay the restitution owed with the school districts’ own money. Sweet!
This way Tea-Publican legislators can ignore their constitutionally prescribed duty to raise taxes to pay for public education and the debts of this state, while at the same time preserving the corporate welfare tax cuts they have enacted, with the promise of more tax cuts to come.
Corporations care more about preserving their corporate welfare tax cuts, and Arizona’s “education leaders” have already sold out by committing themselves to this bad deal. The GOP-friendly media in this state will support Prop. 123 and turn a blind eye to the double theft occurring and the legislature’s refusal to comply with its constitutionally prescribed duty to raise taxes to pay for public education and the debts of this state. Not one Tea-Publican legislator should be returned to office.
And you should note the obvious, if these corporations can afford to contribute millions of dollars to pass Prop. 123, then obviously they can afford to pay more in taxes to support public education. So why not do that?
Because, to state the obvious answer, the cash they fork up now is an investment towards realizing the tax breaks promised to come later. In other contexts it would be called a transfer payment - here transferring education funds from the future to corporate welfare payments in the present.
Prop 123 (#AZ123TaxBreaksForMe) is not just a fiscal shell game. Ducey's Choice is a prime example of the immorality of the GOP stranglehold on the state of Arizona.