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Old 03-26-2010, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
6 posts, read 19,328 times
Reputation: 18

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I am thinking about accepting a job in Tucson and have been following the news on the budget cuts to Medicaid and CHIPs program. I have also been reading about Brewer's plans to join the lawsuit against the health care reform bill, despite no chance of winning and spending money that the state clearly doesn't have. This is all after she admittedly has not read the reform bill. Is Tucson this conservative in political thought? Or is Brewer a representative of the more politically conservative Phoenix area? And what are the chances that a democrat takes the office in the next election and reinstitutes the cut social programs and the federal matching funds that come along with it?
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: western slope of the Sierra Nevada
15 posts, read 38,014 times
Reputation: 25
I'm moving to Tucson, too, and to be blunt, hearing this kind of junk makes me not want to live in Arizona. I feel sad and defeated about the current state of affairs in the US in general, especially at the government level. Why won't Arizona provide decent social services to its people??? It's the only state I've lived in (of 7) that charges (a lot of money!) for basic women's health services to low-income persons. Very sad indeed.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:38 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,709,105 times
Reputation: 1815
It's a conservative state where our legislature is vehemently opposed to tax hikes and would much rather cut social programs to save money. Our state has never been really supportive of social programs, so these cuts aren't really unexpected. Last I heard, our economy should recover somewhat by 2015 or so, and be back to normal in the early 2020s.

Luckily, the Obama administration that has many strings that come with its federal support, so Arizona can't cut social programs as deep as it could if Obama wasn't in office. The state just tried to kick 310,000 people off of AHCCCS, the state's Medicaid program, and also tried to end a special health insurance program for children, known as KidsCare. Because of the health bill was just made law, the state will NOT be allowed to kick ANYONE off of AHCCCS and will NOT be allowed to end KidsCare. In response, our governor wants permission to sue the federal government for the health bill, but she'll likely fail at that effort.

Oddly enough the SAME Republican governor was successful in getting the legislature to allow a special vote on a proposed sales tax hike in May. Last I heard there were MANY influential state organizations FOR the tax hike, but I'm pretty sure it will still fail. Many Arizonans really hate taxes, distrust the government, and think that they're being riddled with taxes, despite the fact that Arizonans have one of the smallest tax burdens of any state in the country.

You have many Republican legislators who are trying to CUT corporate income tax to entice business here. This state can use every dollar of revenue it can get and now is NOT the time to cut taxes to entice business. As far as I'm concerned, corporate income taxes should have been cut BEFORE the recession. Everyone here thought the construction industry was enough to sustain the state's economy, and people are now looking for a quick-fix. Not going to happen.

Schools are taking tremendous cuts as well. However, there have been numerous district-wide budget override measure across area school districts. Most have failed, leaving those districts with whatever measly funds the state gives them. Also, all-day Kindergarten in many Arizona schools will soon become a thing of the past to save money.

With ALL that said, I feel like reactions around Tucson to the governor's and legislature's antics are mixed. It seems that many are in disbelief at our governor's willingness to reduce the quality of life for so many Arizonans. On the other hand, many do not favor a tax hike, and mainly believe that our budget issues would be COMPELTELY solved if all the illegal immigrants in Arizona were sent back to their home countries or if the legislature took a pay cut. Nevermind that Arizona is a couple billion dollars in the hole and that the payroll of our legislature is a MINUTE fraction of our deficit.

Arizona's economy will definitely NOT recover anytime soon with this kind of squabbling going on. We have a chance to elect a new governor in November. My skin crawls everytime I see a TV campaign for a Republican candidate. It just sounds like the CUT, CUT, CUT mentality is just running wild. I think Democratic state attorney general Terry Goddard is running for governor. I haven't seen any ads out from him, so I guess he's confident enough that he'll be a competitor in the race this fall. I guess we'll just have to see.

There is a lot to consider if you are planning to move to AZ. I'm glad that the OP asked this question instead of blindly thinking that Arizona is some kind of paradise with no problems. We have SO many prospective residents on the Tucson and Phoenix who are focused on the weather, who think they can come out here unemployed and expect to find work, and that the budget problem in Arizona is no worse than where they're from. Boy are those people in for a nasty, nasty shock.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
6 posts, read 19,328 times
Reputation: 18
great info miamiman. Looking at it as an outsider, it seems like many of the state's residents are extremely narrow-sighted when confronted with the budget crisis. Opposing a 1% increase in sales tax seems comical when the alternative is a major cut in social services that has major downstream effects on everyone. Even the Arizona state chamber of commerce has condemned the budget cuts because the health care cuts will mean a loss of jobs, higher insurance premiums with the greater number of unisured and estimated loss of billions in revenue from federal matching programs.

Much of this has been picked up by the local media and yet the people still seem so naive. Sure, higher taxes suck for everyone, but clearly all of the federal tax cuts over the past 10 years have done nothing to help us avoid the economic situation we are currently in.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,922 posts, read 8,087,566 times
Reputation: 8031
The state's residents are not narrow minded when confronted with the budget crisis. If the majority of the population could afford a tax hike, and would support a tax hike, it would be passed. What we have that is different from many other states is a very broad demographic population. We have many Native Americans on reservations who are poor and cannot afford a tax hike; we have a very urban demographic in Phoenix that is predominantly conservative, and we have a less populated, but more liberal demographic here in Southeastern Arizona. We also have many immigrants who are barely subsisting. Our population per square mile is so much less than other states, that we are considered rural except for the two major population centers, and they are diametrically opposed politically. We are also a state that has a heavy tourist population, as well as a seasonal population that doesn't vote here, but owns property here. Our state is very diverse compared to states east of the Mississippi River, so, for a lot of the population, a 1% tax hike is a HUGE amount of money, even though they're probably the ones to benefit the most from the tax hike.

It is definitely not comical to oppose being taxed when you're making very little money and living way below the poverty line. Everything they buy is a necessity probably, and to hike the price might just make the necessities prohibitive. It is very narrow minded to lump a whole state's demographics into one outsider's opinion of the tax impact. You need to understand that many of the Western states are rural, demographically isolated, and opposed to tax hikes and government spending even though it may mean a loss of jobs or cuts in health care, because in the long run, tax hikes to those just barely subsisting in economically hard times, is the difference between surviving and not surviving. So, before you start opining on what you think our state should do, you need to understand the people who make up our state's population and realize that many of them cannot afford a tax hike no matter how much it might benefit them in the long run.

I am not saying whether I approve or disapprove of a tax hike, but what I am saying is, that until you live here, work here, pay taxes here, and understand the population here, please don't be preaching about what our state's residents should or shouldn't do. Just because you or I wouldn't notice a 1% tax hike, doesn't mean that many of our state's residents wouldn't notice it.

By the way, I don't think many of us would go to your city's data web site and tell you what is bad about how your state's population is making decisions. Take the time to know and understand us by living and working here before you judge us.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
6 posts, read 19,328 times
Reputation: 18
The amazing thing about this Tucson site is how sensitive responders can be and how no one likes to be challenged. I am not blithely making insults nor uneducated comments - these are just observations that could be applied to many states that are currently in the same economic situation. Your argument about how the poor can't afford a 1% sales tax hike still does not make a whole lot of sense to me. The fact is that for every penny on the dollar that the poor would have to pay, they would receive many, many times over that in social services. That is the definition of being narrow minded - the inability to see the forest through the trees.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:43 AM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,922 posts, read 8,087,566 times
Reputation: 8031
Quote:
Originally Posted by biglex View Post
Your argument about how the poor can't afford a 1% sales tax hike still does not make a whole lot of sense to me. The fact is that for every penny on the dollar that the poor would have to pay, they would receive many, many times over that in social services. That is the definition of being narrow minded - the inability to see the forest through the trees.
It doesn't make sense because you're not poor. You want to know about private schools and Ivy League colleges as you wrote about on another thread. You obviously are in a different tax bracket from the majority of people. Try not being able to afford a gallon of milk and then adding a 1% tax to that. It's not narrow minded. It's realistic. Logically, I'm sure many people see that by paying a tax they get more benefits, but the reality of not being able to afford a tax hike is a truth of life. Just because you can afford it, and you see the logic in it doesn't make it "sensible" to people who are barely scraping by in life.
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
6 posts, read 19,328 times
Reputation: 18
like i said in an earlier post .... you take things so personal. try to stay away from the personal attacks and characterizations of the individual poster and keep to the facts. your thoughts would be more credible if you did so
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:52 PM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,922 posts, read 8,087,566 times
Reputation: 8031
I take Arizona personally, I don't take your comments personally. I am speaking for the people of Arizona who can't afford a tax hike.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,873 posts, read 15,481,835 times
Reputation: 29185
Typical lack of foresight. Arizona will be a vast wasteland in the future if the current attitudes toward education (refusing to fund it) and infrastructure (refusing to fund it) carry on much longer. No money-making company wants to move here because they can't get educated workers and they get little governmental cooperation on locating here.

In this land of fundamentalist churches, people only believe in taking care of their own -- and too bad for you if you think there should be a separation between church and state. I was in a meeting at the unemployment office last week where the counselor broke it to us that all the funding for re-training has been used up in Pima County. They still have lots in Maricopa Co., but the state won't let them transfer funds between counties (which speaks volumes right there). A man in the group (who is currently cashing UI checks, mind you) began berating the Federal government (which provides the funds, AZ only adminsters!) and a woman in the group piped up cheerfully, "Well, I'll just pray on that." Those two attitudes just about sum up the current state of affairs in Arizona.
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