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Nov 21 2020

Arizona Under Attack: Prop 208 Explained

What happened to Arizona? Until recently, this was the quintessential red state. Then Trump and Biden finished in a virtual draw, moonbat gun-grabber Mark Kelly was elected to the Senate, and possibly worst of all, Proposition 208 passed, comprising the largest tax increase in state history and demonstrating how the Land of Barry Goldwater is under attack from both within and without:

The proponents of Proposition 208 relied heavily on the class-warfare argument, framing it as a “millionaire’s tax” designed to give more money to the state’s K–12 education system. The reality is that the measure nearly doubles the income taxes imposed on small-business owners and individuals making over $250,000 a year, and it is devoid of accountability measures that would ensure the dollars end up in classrooms. An in-depth study we published at the Goldwater Institute found that the initiative would result in the loss of over 100,000 jobs as well as a significant loss of revenue to local and state coffers.

Prop 208 is a Marxist looting spree. It passed due to a massive advertising blitz and a still more massive displacement of the native population by refugees from California, where people cannot afford to live or to run businesses due to high taxes and other liberal policies.

The result of this population boom is that there are 51,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans since 2016, and 49,000 more independents — most of whom say they lean toward the left. Considering the last permanent tax increase to come before Arizona voters was in 2012 (which failed by a two-thirds margin), it’s not hard to decipher the significance of these shifting population trends. Unfortunately, most people moving to Arizona are not doing so to escape the politics of their home state, but rather the housing costs therein. Most of these transplants simply don’t see the intrinsic connection between the two — and so their liberal proclivities accompany them when they move.

The cancer that is making the erstwhile Golden State unlivable metastasized to give us Seattle and Portland. It continues to metastasize, sickening formerly healthy Arizona.

An immense amount of money was spent to push through Prop 208.

The final tally appears to be upwards of $25 million — the most money ever spent in support of an Arizona initiative, by a wide margin.

The money came from outside Arizona.

In a classic example of “good for thee but not for me,” almost none of the funding in support of the tax increase came from people who will have to live with its consequences. In fact, less than one percent of all contributions in support of Prop 208 came from individual Arizona donors.

Who paid to jack up our taxes and poison the business climate?

$17 million came from two out-of-state sources: the Washington, D.C.-based National Education Association (which also happens to be the largest union in the country) and the Portland, Oregon–based Stand For Children — neither entities known for their advocacy of fiscal restraint. Combined with other union donations and those of a couple of obligatory non-Arizona billionaires, the Prop 208 campaign was able to raise and spend a tremendous amount of money despite having virtually no financial support from actual Arizonans.

For pernicious and insatiably greedy teachers’ unions, the investment was sound, so long as it provides a lucrative ROI, complements of Arizona taxpayers.

Fortunately, it may not. Thanks to the Laffer curve, this confiscatory tax hike may reduce government revenue by enough to force reduction in the size of state government, which in turn could reduce union dues. That would give the looting spree a silver lining.

On a tip from Varla.

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