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Budgeting in the public interest

The old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," certainly isn't applicable to Arizona's budget. The state's budget and budget process is broken and needs some serious fixing. While elected officials and political pundits will no doubt continue to debate and disagree on whether to cut expenses and/or raise revenues, a more transparent budget and budget process is in the public's interest and should be embraced by all decision makers.

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County has obligated all stimulus funds for road projects

There are some recent news stories about Maricopa County and stimulus funds that are misleading and need to be clarified. Recent reports state "officials in Maricopa County have failed to obligate nearly all of its $105 million in stimulus money for road projects." The $105 million is the total provided for all 29 local governments in the Valley.

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Arizona needs a more diversified economy to avoid future plunges

The worst economic recession since the Great Depression has hit a three-state area known for its population growth - Arizona, Nevada and southern California - harder than the rest of the country. This region - the "Economic Bermuda Triangle" of Maricopa County; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Riverside, California - led the nation in the pace of job losses and housing foreclosures, the two measures by which consumers view the health of the economy.

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The way out of Arizona’s economic mess

Improving Arizona's job-creating climate is the best long-term strategy for dealing with the state's fiscal woes. There is ferocious competition among states to attract new jobs. One timely story illustrates this point: At a U.S./China economic cooperation event the Arizona Chamber sponsored last week, we heard from other states about the attractiveness of their economic climate.

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The madness of ‘Captain Brewhab’

In Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," Captain Ahab's mad and unrelenting pursuit of the white whale brought on the destruction of the whaler Pequod and its crew. Here on the S.S. Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer's pursuit of a sales tax increase is turning her into the fiscal-policy equivalent of the tragic Ahab.

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Affordable universal health coverage achievable

We all want the same thing: protection from catastrophic illness and the security of affordable health coverage in the future. To their credit, Americans have read the bills working their way through Congress and are objecting to the health care rationing and control over their health care quality and decisions.

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Health care? The government can’t even run a railroad

Nowhere in the debate regarding health care has anyone asked if the government is able and qualified to run such a system. Before we ask the government to manage universal health care, let's check them out. How successful has the federal government been in managing agencies, programs and businesses?

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The real budget problem is partisanship

Just like all Arizonans, Democrats are frustrated with the total lack of leadership during this budget crisis. It is ludicrous that the Legislature has had seven months to pass a budget and still can't get the job done. This kind of behavior is unacceptable; as the special session goes on, critical public safety and health care programs still have no budget during the biggest economic shortfall of our lifetime.

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