I’m always pleased when a President of the United States finds time to visit Arizona. Given President Obama’s recent interest in job creation and economic recovery, he certainly came to the right state at the right time. The “Arizona Comeback” is in full-swing, and this was the President’s opportunity to witness firsthand a true economic success story. However, I am disappointed that the President used his visit as an opportunity to lay out a plan for even more big government programs, while also trying to share credit for Arizona’s housing and economic recovery. That credit belongs to the hardworking people of Arizona.
When I took office in 2009, the Arizona economy was in shambles. Our housing market, in particular, was facing the largest collapse in state history. Today, our market is on the steady rebound, recovering faster in metro Phoenix than anywhere in the country. Statewide, home values are rising at one of the top three swiftest rates in the nation, and foreclosures are on the steady decline. In four years, the Arizona economy has gone from one of the most distressed in the nation to one of the strongest. And while the federal government continues to add to the nation’s deficit, Arizona is once again running a surplus.
These successes are no accident. They are certainly no result of the Obama administration’s policies, which favor big government and bureaucracy over limited government and business growth. President Obama and I took office under similar economic circumstances, but have pursued vastly different paths. The “Arizona Comeback” has been made possible by fostering free-market principles, freezing burdensome government regulations, lowering taxes and allowing businesses to grow and prosper. This is hardly the route President Obama has taken — and it shows. Perhaps that’s why, nationwide, homeownership is at an 18-year low while rental prices continue to surge.
Of course, none of this means our work is done. Too many of our friends and neighbors continue to struggle with unemployment and a fickle economy. But we are on the right track, and our successes are a true testament to our state’s responsible policies and quality workforce. Arizonans who have witnessed our turnaround, and continue to work hard to sustain it, should be baffled by Tuesday’s (Aug. 6) campaign-style appearance in Phoenix. Instead of trying to share credit for Arizona’s successes, President Obama should learn from our example. The nation would benefit from an administration that promotes, rather than stifles, business growth. Our recovery has been made possible in spite of the President’s policies — not because of them.
• Gov. Jan Brewer became governor in January 2009 following the resignation of then-Gov. Janet Napolitano. She is our state’s 22nd governor.