Arizona Proposition 204: A Moderate Voter’s Frankenstein
In Mary Shelley’s literary masterpiece Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein creates what he rightfully names ‘The Monster’ as he attempts to breathe life into an inhuman creation. Frankenstein’s attempts to play God create more trouble for himself than anything. In fact, ‘The Monster’ eventually leads Frankenstein to his own ruin. In November, Arizona voters’ have the chance to kill ‘The Monster’ before it ever comes to life. Proposition 204 asks voters to make permanent the temporary 1% sales tax increase from 2010.
With a committee name like “Quality Education and Jobs,” proponents’ rhetoric attempts to mask actual language of the proposition. A majority of the proposition focuses on designating tax dollars for other parts of the budget. For instance, half of the proposed legislation changes have nothing to do with education or jobs, but attempt to designate budget appropriations for infrastructure and health and human services spending.
Just like Frankenstein’s ‘Monster’, Prop. 204 will eventually lead its creator, the state, to ruin. California is the perfect example of what happens when voters rigidly mandate budget appropriations. While government spending skyrockets, the economy suffers under a heavy tax burden. Currently, four out the top ten highest sales taxes from major cities hail from Arizona. Given that sales taxes are regressive and hurt the poor, thoughtful Arizona voters should be fighting against this tax extension on moral grounds also.
Prop. 204 is not the answer to what ails Arizona and it will do nothing but hurt Arizona’s chances at fully recovering from bad policies from the past. Do not let this bad legislation become Arizona’s version of ‘The Monster.’