Arizona Proposition 204: Similar to Obama stimulus act

| September 15 2012

Supporters of Prop 204 are passing around an email loaded with misleading information.

First of all, they claim that the passage on infrastructure funding was included because “noted economists” advised them it would create jobs.  “The quickest way to turn around the economy was to invest in education and infrastructure, specifically highway and roads”, a supporter of Prop. 204 breathlessly writes.

Really?  That sounds like almost the exact same thing that supporters of President Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus package said when it was passed in the aftermath of the financial crisis.  Nearly a trillion dollars was added to the national debt as a result of economists’ claims that building roads and spending on schools would create jobs.  It didn’t, and unemployment continued to increase before eventually stalling out at over 8%, where it remains today.

Laws aimed at stimulating the economy through government spending do not create jobs.    All they do is take money from taxpayers — in this case, one cent at a time — and redistribute it to causes aligned with the Democratic party base.  For example, this law would direct not only hundreds of millions of dollars at (unionized) teachers every single year, but also send funding to construction contractors, universities, child health care programs, public transit, and various other spending items.

The email also claims that Prop 204 would increase per-pupil spending by $625 each year.  Perhaps that’s a bloated figure – taxes rarely raise as much revenue as their advocates believe they will – but it’s closer to the reality of what Prop 204 will feel like for those paying the bill than the “one cent for education” concept.  Yes, Prop 204 only raises taxes by one cent per dollar spent.  But how much is that really over the course of a month or a year?

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