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Democrat Spenders Blame Tax Cuts And School Choice For Budget Shortfalls

October 23, 2023

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Last week, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) released an updated state revenue forecast showing that Arizona may be facing a $400 million budget shortfall next year. And as predictable as the sun rising in the East, Democrat politicians and their friends in the media went on the attack, blaming the deficit on two historic reforms despised by the left—universal school choice expansion and the 2.5% flat tax cut passed in 2021.

For the Democrats and their sycophant media allies, the problem is always too much parental choice in education and letting taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money. Yet this narrative couldn’t be further from the truth. A closer look at Arizona’s budget and the projected budget deficit reveals that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem…

Projected Budget Shortfall Is a Spending Problem

Just 5 years ago, the legislature enacted the FY 2019 budget that included $10.1 billion in on-going spending, plus $500M in “one-time” expenditures ($10.7 billion total). By last year, that number had exploded to nearly $15 Billion in ongoing spending, a 50% growth in ongoing spending in 5 years! The most recent budget negotiated with Democrat Katie Hobbs earlier this year kept ongoing spending at a lower trajectory but included “one-time” outlays that brought the total budget cost to $17.8B…


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