It was a small sign of hope: a member of the Navajo Nation switching over to the Republican Party. It may or may not represent something big.
Native Americans, long beholden to the party of socialism, may cast him out of the Arizona State Senate in 2016. They may seem him as an outcast, a renegade. We will see what happens come election season.
Carlyle Begay made his decision based on fiscal reasons. Reasons of fiscal sanity. The Republican Party is, with a few exceptions on the state and national levels, the party of fiscal responsibility.
Republicans welcomed Begay to the party and said he is now better positioned to serve his legislative district, including in areas of education and the economy.
The GOP is right, and Legislative District 7 is now in the hands of a state leader who has their better interests in mind.
After all, the socialists are the people of Big Government and Small Citizens with less freedom, the party that refused to even create a budget in recent years when they held power in the U.S. Senate. They are the party that spends more money than the government actually has, and the party that — without resistance — will always call for deficit spending.
You and I can’t operate our personal finances like that, or we’d soon be broke and wouldn’t be able to live within our means.
Hopefully other Navajos will see the wisdom of Began and state leaders who demand the state keep its financial affairs in order.
Hopefully, they’ll realize they’ve been duped by the Democrats for as long as they can remember.
Hopefully they’ll realize you can’t tax yourselves into prosperity, that socialists eventually run out of other people’s money.
Hopefully Navajos and other Native Americans will come around on social issues as well.
They have to, some day. The socialists have led them down the path of destruction. Reservations have been pockets of poverty. Socialists have done them no favors. The socialists are the purveyors of a culture of death, social deconstruction and family disorder. They preach a sexual anarchy that only destroys.
Socialism hasn’t improved employment on reservations. It hasn’t ended social problems. It has not the capacity to do anything to positively impact Native American society. Or any other part of society, for that matter.
Being served by an elected official who understands that is a positive step forward for the Navajo people. We hope they understand that and will re-elect Begay again next fall. Many of his fellow citizens would do well to follow his courageous lead.
Dear Arizona Taxpayer:
Maricopa County Treasurer Hos Hoskins made headlines with the policy letter he included with recent property tax bills for Maricopa County residents. (Note for those living outside of the “Great State of Maricopa”: this does apply to you, as well.) Hoskins has re-opened an interesting policy debate about the extent to which property tax burdens have been shifted from business property taxpayers to residential property taxpayers (or vice-versa, depending on your point of view). We have included some links below about that debate.
Setting aside the debate about the burden shift, Hoskins made a claim that is very counterproductive to the efforts of property taxpayers to fight for tax relief. Multiple times in his letter, Hoskins made the following claim: “Voicing your opinion to anyone other than your legislators will change nothing.”
That claim is highly misleading.
Consider just a few examples from your property tax bill. If you look closely, you will see several line-item levy amounts from several different local government taxing authorities: your K-12 school districts, your community college district, your city government, your county government, and multiple special taxing districts. Each of those taxing districts have authority, completely independent of the state Legislature, to raise (or more rarely, lower) your property tax levy.
(Note: Always focus on the levy, which is the actual number of dollars you must pay, rather than the rate. If local officials brag to you that they have lowered property tax rates, hold onto your wallet and ask them what is going to happen to your actual levy.)
Many Arizona school districts and municipalities have put budget override and bond measures on your November 3 ballot. If passed by voters, those measures will increase your property tax bill. Those measures were not placed on your ballot by the Arizona Legislature. They are on your ballot, and driving up your tax bill, at the sole discretion of local elected officials. Your school district board members are under no legal (or in our opinion, moral) obligation to try to push for an override.
For example, Phoenix Union school board members could have decided that spending $9,627 per student (in current expenditures, not counting capital and other costs) is enough. Even without the override, Phoenix Union will spend more than $9,000 per student – enough money to put two teachers in every classroom of 25 students and pay each of those teachers $75,000 per year. Instead of trying to raise taxes via an override, the Phoenix Union board members could cut excess administration and other waste. See our Phoenix Union flyer HERE, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want us to send you a flyer for your own school district.
We as citizens and taxpayers must hold the local officials in our cities, counties and school districts accountable for the dollars they choose to spend. See AFP’s Local Government Scorecard to learn more about holding your local officials accountable.
Back to the interesting debate on the business-residential property tax levy shift… For a defense of the shift and Proposition 117 (which passed in 2012), go here for the response of the Arizona Tax Research Association to the Hoskins letter. Or go here for Senator Debbie Lesko’s response.
Arizona Policy Analyst
Americans for Prosperity
By Tom Jenney, President of American For Prosperity-Arizona
Arizona State Senator David Farnsworth is the highest-scoring legislator on this year’s Americans For Prosperity-Arizona’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard, and will receive AFP-Arizona’s Barry M. Goldwater Legislator of the Year Award.
The scorecard assigns weights to over 300 bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers and producers, with $1 million equaling one point on the scorecard. AFP-Arizona’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard assigns the heaviest weight to the budget bill crafted by Governor Doug Ducey and legislative leaders.
The budget passed March 7 is in many ways the most fiscally conservative state budget we’ve seen in at least two decades. By making over $300 million in spending reductions, Gov. Ducey and the legislators who voted for the budget have put the state on track to achieve a structurally balanced budget by 2017, so that government will be made to live within its means – just like our families and small businesses do.
Perhaps most importantly, the budget is designed to eliminate administrative waste in school districts and focus more money into our classrooms to help teachers and students boost academic achievement.
First-year Governor Ducey earned the designation of “Friend of the Taxpayer” on the 2015 Scorecard – the first time a governor has earned a good rating from the group since the Arizona chapter of AFP launched in 2007.
Also heavily weighted on the Scorecard are bills that will bar state agencies from using personnel or resources to enforce ObamaCare, attempt to reform abuses in the state’s Medicaid program, put roadblocks in front of the EPA’s efforts to hurt affordable energy generation in Arizona, expand school choice scholarships for children, remove burdensome regulations on ridesharing services, abolish the state’s “Inflation Tax,” and allow patients to order lab tests directly without having to have them prescribed by physicians. As it has done in past years, AFP-Arizona also grades legislators and the governor on missed opportunities: important reform bills that are prevented from reaching floor votes in the House or Senate.
Of course, many special interest groups are not happy with this year’s budget and legislative session:
- The school district bureaucrats who steal money from the students and front-line teachers in our classrooms hate the fact that the budget reduces spending on administrative bureaucracy – even though the budget provides a net increase in K-12 classroom spending. The bureaucrats don’t want you to know that our school system in Arizona already spends over $9,400 per student each year, or that there has been a nearly 20-percent increase in general fund spending in K-12 since 2010. Your school district officials also don’t want you to know that on average they have routinely failed to put more than 53 percent of available dollars into classrooms (and even that figure is inflated).
- The educrats who waste taxpayer money and student tuition dollars at our community colleges and universities are screaming about the $100 million in reductions to higher education budgets – even though the cuts reduce total university revenue by only two percent.
- The corporate crony capitalists are going to miss the $75 million that has been taken away from the Arizona Commerce Authority’s corporate-welfare slush fund.
In the coming months, the big spenders will continue to wail and moan and spread false information to you and your neighbors. And some of your neighbors will complain to their elected officials. That is yet another reason why you need to thank your elected officials for supporting the responsible budget.
Hero of the Taxpayer Award Winners
Sen. David Farnsworth, Score: 93
Sen. Judy Burges, 93
Sen. Sylvia Allen, 92
Sen. Steve Smith, 91
Rep. Warren Petersen, 91
Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, 91
Rep. Steve Montenegro, 90
Rep. Anthony Kern, 90
Rep. Darin Mitchell, 90
Sen. Debbie Lesko, 90
All the top 10 lawmakers are Republicans. Not a single Democrat earned anything remotely close to a “friend of the taxpayer” honor. Virtually every Democrat in the legislature ranked as “Needs Improvement,” “Friend of Big Government,” or “Champion of Big Government.”
State Sen. Bob Worsley is one of the least friendly Republicans to taxpayers and ranks cumulatively as a “Friend of Big Government,” though he did better this year.