Government Milestones

In the Sunday, Oct. 17 edition of the Arizona Republic there was a column on “creating” the new Arizona economy. It made the usual argument that we don’t subsidize enough cool stuff to have a “knowledge” economy, but that wasn’t the good part. Along side this story was a sidebar developed by the Morrison Institute at ASU titled, “Milestones in helping Arizona build its economy, 1991 – 2009. Here are the milestones (my description in parenthesis).

ASPED (public/private blueprint for economic development strategies)
State Job Training Program (government job training program)
Proposition 301 (sales tax increase for education funding)
Bioscience Roadmap (study by Flinn Foundation to advocate biosciences)
“Angel” Tax Credits (legislative program to subsidize private investment)
Science Foundation Arizona (public/private program to fund research grants in high tech areas)
Moving Arizona Forward (ASU study focusing on increased education spending)
WIRED (federal government program to spur high-tech businesses)
STEM (A Science Foundation program to support education)
Solar Energy Tax Credits (legislative program to subsidize the manufacturing of renewable energy components)

Look at all the government programs that built Arizona’s economy. I love how ASU and Flinn Foundation studies make the list, but 7 consecutive years of tax cuts in the 1990’s don’t. I love how the solar energy tax credit bill makes the list (the bill was signed on July 10 OF THIS YEAR and therefore hasn’t had — couldn’t have — one iota of impact on Arizona’s economy) and the 2006 personal income and statewide property tax cuts don’t.

Don’t be insulted if you are one of the thousands of companies who took risks, invested your own capital, produced goods or services, and otherwise actually built Arizona’s economy.

Forget that. Feel free to be insulted.