Stimulus Update: AZ GOP legislators show tough love..and TX rejects UE funds….
This may sound harsh, and it is, (but I am a Hobbesian not a Locke follower, so I expect it to be brutal, LOL) and I will feel the pain, but it is true, and if we do not want to wind up like CA, this is where we are going to have to go..we simply cannot afford to give unemployment to Part Time workers or to workers who quit when their spouse relocates..we cannot keep adding people to programs who do not pay into the system, it is simply unsustainable as demonstrated perfectly by CA right next door…
You cannot escape the pain of the Great Recession by adding new safety net programs, you simply delay the pain, we will lose more jobs if we add UE taxes on employers so we can give new benefits..Gov Perry is right. If Tucson wants to pay for these programs, they can Go to Cali, to Cali to Cali…sing it LL…
An Op-Ed from a Tucson Citizen in the paper of the same name, this citizen wants to expand the safety net as a matter of logic :
I guess that’s why I’ve had difficulty understanding the seeming indifference of Republicans in our state Legislature to the effect of the budget cuts they’re making. I don’t get their stubborn refusal to consider a temporary tax increase – or to even refer the matter to the voters – to preserve basic education, health care and social services.
See, I naively thought that everybody agreed – even those who rail against big government – that times like the ones we’re experiencing now are precisely when government must step in to help its most vulnerable citizens. I thought it was accepted that such times are when government plays its most vital role and does its best work.
No we do not all agree, yes we need the safety net in the post industrial world, but we need it to be sustainable ot the economic collapse we precipitate through our unsustainable actions leads to more loss, the negative cycle again…so, here is the Tough Love our states need to show to get us through the next two years..
…a commentary written by Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, for the March 6 issue of the Arizona Capitol Times.
He outlined the reality of the budget crisis – the state has a $3 billion deficit for fiscal 2010. …
…Harper ended his commentary with a message to those Arizonans who are “underemployed or overexpectant.”
“If you are relying on any services from the state that are not mandated by the federal government, I advise you that those services may end June 30, 2009.
“If you have children that require expensive experimental treatment or therapy that is not provided by the federal government, I advise that the state does not have the money for it after June 30.
“If you have been laid off from your job and are not willing to take a job that is available, unemployment benefits, food stamps and AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) for health care are going to fall short of what you could make by being employed.
“Arizona will not follow the country into socialism. If you feel you need greater assistance and are not able to move to another state, please turn to your local churches and give them the opportunity to show their generosity and love.”
The person who wrote the Op Ed thinks this is mean and harsh and hurtful, she apparently does not understand that economic contraction IS harsh and making bad decisions we cannot afford because we feel bad will make it hurt longer….
That’s right, my fellow Arizonans, get off your lazy, free-loading unemployed butts and start digging some ditches or get out of town.
Sen. Scrooge – oops, I mean Sen. Harper – also argued that the state should reject the federal stimulus money that would allow Arizona to increase the maximum unemployment payment from $240 to $265 per week and extend the benefits to more jobless people.
So is Senator Harper just a mean man as the author suggests? No, he is following a model in which we avoid raising business taxes when we will just be coming out of a recession, when the money runs out two years from now:
“This would cause a tax increase on business to keep the fund stable and makes the provision unworkable,” he wrote.
To get the money, states must expand unemployment benefits, such as covering part-time workers who lose their jobs. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he doesn’t want the stimulus money because his state would have to raise taxes on businesses or cut back on benefits once the federal funding runs out.
Texas, which had an unemployment rate of 6.4% in January, was entitled to $555 million.
“It seems really unreasonable that the federal government would require a change in state law as a condition of accepting these funds,” Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said. “The governor’s main message is Texans who hire Texans drive our state’s economic engine, and the last thing we need to do is burden them with higher taxes.”
Led by Republican Governors Association chairman Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a group of conservative GOP governors has rejected or considered rejecting the unemployment money or other funding from the $787 billion stimulus package. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Bob Riley of Alabama also have rejected the unemployment money.