The particularly interesting thing about Arizona lawmakers’ unflagging marchtoward yet still lower taxes is that every single time they have instituted atax cut they have used the exact same mantra that businesses will now beable to “create new high paying jobs and grow the economy.” The actualfactual results: Arizona is 48
in job creation, it has lost 300,000+ jobs sincethe beginning of the recession, has some of the highest foreclosure rates inthe country while continuously shifting the tax burden to local propertytaxpayers and away from businesses (this will have a very familiar ring inNew Hampshire soon), and has sold off most of its state assets including itsstate Capitol which it must now lease back – ultimately costing the state farmore. Add to those pieces of data that 18.9 percent of Arizona’s citizenslack health insurance and more than a quarter of a million children in thestate do not have coverage.Arizona is a microcosm of what is happening on a national level and in stateafter state currently. It has served as a laboratory for the fullest experimentof supply side economics we have seen in this country. On every singlemeasure the evidence is clear and compelling that the policy is an abysmalfailure. Certainly the notion that repeatedly cutting taxes produces “highpaying jobs and grows the economy” has been utterly discredited. How doesone find middle ground when one side of the debate is grounded in a falsepremise? The problem closer to home in New Hampshire goes even deeper. Theargument proffered by the Free State/Tea Party faction with increasinglymore influence over the Republican side of the aisle is that government islargely unnecessary save for “the protection of life, liberty and property”interpreted in the narrowest possible way. How do we find workable middleground solutions to challenges in education when one side begins with theposition that public education is unnecessary? How do we find negotiatedconsumer protections when one side argues that the very market from whichcertain harms arise will self-correct – if, and that’s a big “if,” it does at all itwill only do so after significant harm has befallen some group(s) of consumers.One conclusion that I have drawn from these considerations is that folks may
they want compromise and negotiation but they most assuredly don’twant
solutions. We all really want
solutions, solutions thatproduce real, measurable results, to the problems we face. We often makethe assumption that these are more likely from compromise. In truth, thatcan only happen if both sides begin with evidence-basedpositions/approaches and negotiate from there. There really isn’t a viablemid-point between a lie and a truth, between a myth and a fact.