Despite failing to vote for any revenue for Arizona's budget last year, Democrats in the Arizona State legislature sounded off today, claiming that they do not approve of the Governor's budget and the massive cuts that are being proposed. They now agree that more revenue is needed, but when pushed for specifics, their answer was taxing spa treatments and country club memberships. No more details appear to be available, but it is doubtful that taxes on such items are going to fill the budget gap.
Meanwhile, John Munger took Governor Brewer's slightly challenge seriously, and has unveiled his own plan, one that he claims does not raise taxes. It does have some financial gimmicks that Munger's key endorsement could be proud of. According to Capitol Media Services, Munger fills the budget deficit with $500 million from borrowing against revenue from a mine that hasn't even been approved, and refusing to give the Federal Government $600 million in gas taxes.
While all of these options should be explored, it's important to note that the two main options that were dedicated to taking down big chunks of the deficit are in no way guaranteed. Monetizing the taxes on the coppermine would appear a lot more reasonable if the mine was closer to being approved and operational. Refusing gas tax money to the federal government as a punishment for the costs of illegal immigration is a little more problematic. Punishing the federal government for their inaction is a noble cause, but it may prove difficult to provide a direct legal reason why gasoline income should pay for immigration.
So the question remains, are either of these proposals realistic? Will they fix Arizona's current problems or merely push them down the path so that someone else has to deal with them?