Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Editorial: Walking the talk involves learning to walk first

The unnamed Courier editor warns the new Legislature that " Arizonans will be watching very closely," but he's not clear about what he'll be watching for, exactly. Even the most clever measures to spur job growth won't see results within the next two years. It's hard to parse out what he means in the non-sentence "Private prisons," but I'll be charitable and take it to mean no more of them. Allowing the sales-tax extension to sunset on schedule will save the editor a few pennies, but without comprehensive revenue reform it will only increase the pain. Playing nice in Washington after the tantrums of the past few years is worth a try, but to what end, editor? Tell us what you support.

He asserts, "the challenges are largely the same as they were last year and the year before that." Really? Sure, we still have a no-growth economy, a collapsed housing market, record unemployment and a dunderheaded tax structure. But this term adds the complications of Republican supermajorities in both state houses composed mostly of complete newbies who feel empowered to pursue every silly idea that springs from Sarah Palin's mouth. No, editor, this year we can expect it'll be much worse.

The results will be a confused and ineffectual budget process, grandstanding galore, endless lawsuits to fix the many mistakes, and two more years of Arizona being the butt of every third political joke.

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