Blame feds, not tax cuts

Dear Editor:

I’m not sure I follow Jon Talton’s reasoning that more government would mean fewer dust devils in his piece titled, “Dust Bowl,” AFN, Jan. 6. I think we have plenty of government, and I get the tax bill every year to pay for it.

Rather than lay blame for our infrastructure on tax cuts and greedy developers, I would place blame for our overly priced real estate right at the doorstep of government.

Arizona is the sixth-largest state in the union at almost 115,000 square miles, yet less than one-fourth that land is available upon which to build a home. All the rest of the land in this state is either state or federal land, so the cost of a piece of land here is exorbitantly high.

In Talton’s city of Seattle, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the mountains to the east drive up the cost of available land, here in Arizona it’s supply and demand and the government owns the bulk of the supply.

Mark Burckhard


Keep feds out of state business

Dear Editor:

I can just see it coming – Arizona can’t figure out how to balance its budget, so we have to go crawling to the federal government for bailout money. “Sure you can have a couple billion dollars,” they’ll say, “but there’s a catch.” What do you think that catch might be?

I’ll bet we’ll suddenly be supporting more unconstitutional federal garbage.

I read in the Jan. 1 Ahwatukee Foothills News (“Lawmakers return to Capitol Jan. 11”) the following paragraph:

“Officials say that if all services and programs that aren’t mandated by the federal government were cut, from state parks to courts to the departments of Public Safety and Environmental Quality, there would still be a deficit and the need for more reductions in state spending.”

My immediate thought: What business does the federal government have mandating what a state spends money on? And just how much of our state money is going to pay for federally mandated programs?

You could imagine an extreme case where the federal government passes yet another unconstitutional law that says our state must pay for all federal salaries, building maintenance, military bases, supplies and equipment. Where would something like that put us? What has the federal government mandated our state to do so far? Maybe my contrived example isn’t too far off from reality.

Luckily, Arizona’s own Sheriff Richard Mack won a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court case that basically ruled that state resources need not be compelled to serve federal laws. That case struck down the Brady Bill, which tried to force local sheriffs to bear the costs associated with new gun background checks.

My budget suggestion would be to defund all federal mandates and spend our Arizona tax dollars on what’s mandated by the state constitution and the state laws. If there’s any money left over, return it to the people. Take the federal mandates and present a bill to the federal government.

If the federal government wants the state to support something, let the federal government pay for it – without the anticipated blackmail associated with a bailout.

Now that would give some teeth to last session’s HR2024 10th amendment resolution, wouldn’t it?

Michael Fink

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