Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dupilicitous Doug "Tooth Fairy Math" Ducey -- Arizona's demagogue of the year

There were few genuine surprises in last night's debate between the nominees from the two major political parties for Arizona governor. DuVal presented intelligently with characteristic poise. Ducey was persistently evasive, as his manner is.

Really, those bottom line impressions are entirely what you can expect from each candidate until the election AND for the one who emerges victorious, it's what you can expect throughout his term as chief executive of Arizona state government.

On the economy the Republican earned a new nickname, Doug "Tooth Fairy Math" Ducey. Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez summed up the debate thus,
As governor, Ducey says he would recruit companies from California and Illinois, eliminate unnecessary regulations and eventually do away with the state's personal and corporate income taxes by reforming the tax code. The income taxes account for nearly half of the $9 billion that flows into state coffers each year.
Lame. Tired. Worn out. GOP bullshit. Cut taxes and eliminate regulations. And what would he have to offer companies from Illinois to relocate to Arizona? Tax incentives.

When Scoop "Tooth Fairy Math" Ducey senses a question or an issue on which voters want to hear something other than the usual GOP tripe, he is nothing but evasive. When he thinks he can get away with telling the truth -- like on his Grover Norquist style plans -- he'll tell you.

Ducey was adamant that he would cut government services along with taxes. More than 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan pulled that wool over the eyes of Americans and thus began the largest growth in the federal government in US history up to that point. AND the largest budget deficits. Hence, Tooth Fairy Math. Reagan had the advantage that adequate data to disprove his cockamamie notion was not as readily available in 1980 as it is today.

A quick Google search on "states eliminate income tax" returns about 13.6 million results. The notion was spreading like wildfire across the country in early 2013. GOP dominated states including Louisiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin apparently have such plans in the works.

If GOP governors and legislatures are moving in that direction from sea to shining sea, where do you think the idea originated? There's really only two possibilities: ALEC and Koch brothers.

In Wisconsin,
Heading into an election year, Gov. Scott Walker has embarked on a major review of the state’s tax code, including the possibility of eliminating income taxes and raising the sales tax.
Walker told on Tuesday that he is “envious” of other states that have eliminated income taxes, and that he could support raising the state’s 5 percent sales tax rate.
In Arizona, the trend for relying heavily on regressive sales taxes started under the last governor to declare his intent to run the state like his business (effectively, as it worked out, running it into the ground). Symington led the legislature into cutting income and property taxes. What remained was the sales tax, which more ominously burdens lower and middle income families and presents disincentives to economic development.

That may be one of the main reasons Arizona has not been a job growth leader in emerging from the Great Recession.

On education, in light of the recent court ruling requiring additional $300 million funding for K-12 public schools, Ducey was emphatic in saying, "I'll take this crisis as an opportunity to restructure our education funding and I do support the appeal."

In other words, Ducey is all and only about CUT, CUT, CUT for anything about which state government is responsible. Public education is the biggest of those responsibilities.

And speaking of the CUT, CUT, CUT perspective, here's John Kavanagh's comment from the other day, which I held back because I believe "Dr. J" was trying to change the subject. Well, the comment fits with the subject of this post.
According to Robert Robb of the Arizona Republic, DuVal's budget plan makes the budget problem worse. Robb observes:
The Legislature's budget staff projects that the current budget is already $50 million in the red. Paying what a judge has said the state owes the schools – which DuVal has demanded be paid yesterday – would increase that to more than $365 million. The projected shortfall for the following year's budget is a jaw-dropping $800 million. The state only has $455 million in its rainy-day fund.
In his "plan," Ducey says that increases in the state budget should be limited to less than population growth and inflation. That's not much guidance on how he would propose climbing out of an $800 million hole.
For his part, all DuVal has proposed is to make the hole larger. He has advocated restoring state funding for all-day kindergarten. That's a cool $230 million a year. The 2016 hole just got over $1 billion."
State Rep. John Kavanagh
Well John, in the box you've tightly packaged your self in, DuVal's plan might make things worse. Because after all, anything that doesn't provide generous increases to the private prison industry will probably not bode well for you personally. Investing in education of Arizona's children, especially minorities, in low-income neighborhoods, will have a dramatic impact on demand for government funded private facilities to profit from future warehousing and forced labor from those children.

That's right, Kavanagh, who has spent the last couple of terms as chairman of House Appropriations, has himself hemmed into a box that prevents him from understanding the many ways private prisons are a poison to our society.

Which is why Paula Pennypacker, THE candidate to restore sanity(TM) to the LD23 seat in the Arizona Senate, is the only responsible choice in Kavanagh's race.

But I digress.

It may strike fear into some that any candidate would dare take a stand against the Grover Norquist approach to governing. But somebody (me perhaps, as one of hopefully many in the weeks and years to come) has to get the attention of voters. We (voters) need to realize that we've been put in a pot of cold water on the stove. Tax cuts over the last couple of decades have decimated our infrastructure, turning on the heat. In the meantime, tens of millions of jobs have been shipped overseas and the safety nets necessary to keep families from disaster have been overwhelmingly cut as a result of advocacy as described in Kavanagh's comment above.

But the biggest surprise last night was in Ducey exposing his intent to commit a massive bait and switch on voters. He said that in campaigns, voters set the agenda but once he is in office, HE will set the agenda. In other words, he'll tell you one thing as a voter. Yet as his duplicitous manner is, the voters' agenda will mean nothing once he is sworn in.

We must not let that happen. We must elect Fred DuVal the next governor of Arizona.


  1. Though I was perplexed by Mr. DuVal's calls for privatization (he is a Democrat, right?), if I were still living in Arizona I would vote for him.

  2. I commend Phoenix Justice for picking up on Fred DuVal’s proposal to privatize the lottery as a tool to help manage a projected state budget shortfall approaching $400 million next year and maybe $800 the following year, if only one-time measures are used as solutions.

    I would have thought that Steve would have jumped all over DuVal’s call for privatization, as Steve does whenever I utter the word. Apparently the logical reasoning course Steve took did not include “logical inconsistency” and “double standard” in the syllabus or maybe he was out sick that day.

    But don’t fret Phoenix Justice. I doubt that Mr. DuVal is using the term “privatization” as most people use it. When most people think of privatization, they mean turning the operation over from a government entity to a private company. The theory is that the private sector can run the operation more efficiently and also save on personnel costs because private sector workers do not get the high fringe benefits that public sector workers get, especially defined benefit pensions.

    However, the Arizona Lottery is not a large agency and its operation is pretty much boilerplate, as are most state lottery operations. Consequently, privatization would not save any great amount of money. This reality makes me suspect that Mr. DuVal may be actually thinking of selling all of the lottery or a significant portion of its future revenues to a bank or private company in return for an upfront cash payment to use as a one-time fix for today’s budget shortfall and even allow for the increased spending he seems to also want.

    Alternately, he may be stretching the definition of privatization to mean taking a loan from a private company using future lottery proceeds as security. We did that in 2010 to the tune of $450 million but we called it securitization and privatization.

    If Mr. DuVal intends to do the “full Monty” and actually fire the state employees at the lottery and replace them with a private company, I have a bag of “Ducey for Governor” buttons I can pass out to all of you Arizona Eagletarian readers because I know that you would never tolerate such liberal blasphemy.

    State Rep. John Kavanagh

  3. Dear John,

    Really? Name calling already? How could your statement about what I may or may not have learned in a class be a rational reflection or evaluation of the content of the blog post ostensibly you wanted to comment on?

    Then, the next thing you did was to provide a possible explanation as to why I might not have addressed DuVal's passing comment about privatization? If you believe DuVal meant something different from Ducey (and from you) about privatization, why even bother?

    But thanks for laying bare the GOP intent to transfer taxpayer funds used to put food on the table for workers to divert them instead to crony capitalists.

    Any honest government financial analyst knows that privatization does NOT necessarily save taxpayers any money. Thanks for putting that point on the record on the Arizona Eagletarian.

    What is taken away from individual working families -- who more often than not must live paycheck to paycheck -- also takes most of those dollars OUT of the local economy as those working families have to spend all of what they earn.

    Any claim that costs are reduced are only a mirage. Those labor costs are more than made up for by shoveling huge amounts of cash into the coffers of the crony capitalists that own the stock of the corporations wanting the biggest private concessions. You know, right? Like GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America. Companies that can't compete of any kind of "free market" because they are funded entirely by taxpayers.

    Additionally, I very much appreciate you noting that privatizing government agencies does NOT necessarily save the state money. That's an important and quite significant admission on your part. Of course, I agree with you on that point. However, I'd challenge you to demonstrate how any large-scale privatization saves taxpayer funds overall.

    I don't believe you can do it.

    I am not privy to any thing that would shed light on any of DuVal's motives or intents with regard to the Arizona Lottery. Perhaps you should ask the campaign yourself. Regardless, it's clear and obvious that you have your speculations, but "he may be stretching the definition of privatization to mean..." is nothing more than you projecting your beliefs onto a candidate for governor.

    I won't even get into counting the number of fallacies you committed in your emotionally-charged, logic deficient comment.

    If you want to do a blog post about your wild ass speculations on DuVal's intent, I'm sure would be more than happy to host you.

  4. Steve,

    Why no comment on DuVal's privatization comment? Phoenix Justice brought it up and it is a valid question. Do you oppose DuVal's privatization strategy for the Arizona Lottery?

    And why is your skin so thin. Can't you take a little ribbing? After all, you dish it out often enough.

    State Rep. John Kavanagh

  5. Don't you really mean, "Steve, why didn't you take my bait?" Well, since it's YOUR speculation about DuVal's strategy that you're wanting me to comment on, I don't equate that to anything I actually have about Duval to comment on.

    You're asking me about thin skin? Dude, you're the one who is rumored to have said that you had your feelings hurt by my posts that blasted you.

    Eventually, you'll realize that I can see through you.