Green: A reluctant yes
I voted yes on Proposition 100, but I'd be lying if I said I feel good about it.
It's not that I don't think the state can use the money; no, I'm sure it can. I understand that without this added revenue there will be cuts in many areas of the budget, affecting services and education. I get that.
I'm also a person who is very much willing to pay more in taxes if I believe the money will benefit us all - I'm not selfish enough to sit here and say, "I have no kids, why worry about education?"
But does anyone really think this extra revenue is going to help the children get a better education? Even when the economy was good, we were one of the worst states in the union when it came to funding education. Why now, when we are in a difficult recession, are we finally deciding to focus on that area of the budget?
Picture this: There is an organization that is important to society and the economy, yet you rarely hear from it about any issue. Suddenly the economy tanks and with it goes the organization. Of course, this cannot happen, as this organization struggling is bad for the rest of us. So, the government steps in and gives them money to prop them up, making sure the organization stays afloat on our dime. Don't you hate those bailouts?
The problem is somehow, some way, we got to this point. Money was wasted like no other in a horrible business model, and that won't change just by throwing more cash at the problem. Sure, this tax may help over the next three years, but the very same reasons why they are in this predicament will remain unless significant changes are made. Does Proposition 100 just act as a band-aid, delaying the inevitable crash that IS NEEDED in order to finally restructure things in a way that benefits us all?
With my yes vote, though, I do have a few requests:
Please don't waste any more money. I'm looking at you, Governor Brewer, and the ridiculous decision to file a frivolous lawsuit against the president's health care plan. Never mind the fact that it won't win - even if it did succeed, all it takes is ONE STATE to win the lawsuit and the results will apply to everyone in the Union. But, in your infinite wisdom, it was a good decision to spend the money it will cost to file the lawsuit (and don't tell me it won't cost taxpayers a thing; we all know it will). You can't reasonably continue to cry to us about a deficit and then decide to play politics with our money.
Speaking of politics, our government can not complain about a lack of revenue and then pass legislation (right or wrong) that brings on such a backlash that the state is still losing money because of the decision. Don't get me wrong, the move by these other cities to boycott Arizona is purely political as well, and it is really a shortsighted idea. But if our legislature, and governor, didn't at least predict this may happen, then they need to look in the mirror and us at other candidates in November.
Most of all, fix the system. Hopefully this tax (if it passes) buys you a window to make the necessary changes to make things better for the long run, because if you're asking me to approve another tax in 2013 then you can rest assured you will have at least one fewer vote.