Monday, January 10, 2011

Want to Know the Future of America If the Republicans Prevail?

Then look to the state of Arizona and you'll get a glimpse at the horrifying prospects for our country if we let the radical, extremist, lunatic Right--in other words, the power base of the Republican Party--gain control of our entire nation. Excerpts:

Collectively they [the members of the Arizona legislature] have bankrupted the state through a combination of ideological fanaticism on the Republican right and acquiescence and timidity on the part of G.O.P. moderates and Democrats. Although dozens of states are facing budget crises, the situation in Arizona is arguably the nation’s worst, graver even than in California. A horrific budget deficit has been papered over with massive borrowing and accounting gimmickry, and the state may yet have to issue IOUs to employees and vendors. All-day kindergarten has been eliminated statewide, and some districts have adopted a four-day school week. Arizona’s state parks, despite bringing in 2 million visitors and $266 million annually, have lost 80 percent of their budget, with up to two thirds of the parks now in danger of closure. The legislature slashed the budget for the Department of Revenue, which required the agency to fire hundreds of state auditors and tax collectors; lawmakers boasted that these measures saved $25 million, but a top official in the department estimated that the state would miss out on $174 million in tax collections as a result.

******** raise cash, the legislature has pursued a series of wild sell-offs and budget cuts. It privatized the capitol building and leased it back from its new owner, an arrangement that brought in substantial revenue but over time will cost Arizona far more. The legislature has sold off numerous other state properties at bargain prices, and has put up future lottery revenues as collateral on a $450 million loan. Meanwhile, Arizona removed more than 300,000 adults from state health coverage and terminated one health-care program for 47,000 poor children. Funding was slashed at the agency that deals with reports of child abuse and neglect, and also at Children’s Rehabilitative Services, so that parents of children with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, and a number of other conditions are now required to pay 100 percent of treatment costs.


Backed into an ideological corner on taxes, Arizona continues to cut indiscriminately. The three state universities have scrapped whole degree programs and may soon have to shutter entire campuses. Funding for GED programs and adult-education courses has been reduced to zero. Arizona has furloughed more than 15,000 state employees and has closed thirteen of eighteen highway rest stops. (This latter move provoked an outcry, especially among truckers; state authorities responded by asking roadside businesses to allow motorists to use bathrooms free of charge.) The budget for the Department of Water Resources—an important agency in the desert—has been cut from $23 million to $7 million during the past two years. “Demand for water exceeds supply, and we share what there is with six states,” Herb Guenther, the agency’s director, told me. “We have to protect what we have collectively while looking for new supplies, but everyone is fighting for resources. There’s a cliff coming, and we haven’t figured out how to fly. ‘No government’ is not the answer when it comes to water.”

All of this because the screeching right-wing idiots who run Arizona are fanatically committed to destroying the very government they administer. Arizona is heading for utter disaster. The radical Right is attacking its sickest, youngest, and most vulnerable members, all the while spouting thinly veiled racial hatred. Arizona has DEMANDED that President Obama prove he is a citizen or they won't let him on the ballot in 2012!! Texas and Florida are now headed in the same catastrophic direction, Texas under the idiot, pro-secessionist clown Rick Perry and Florida under an outright scumbag crook named Rick Scott. The Right-wing fanatics will destroy every state we let them take over, and they will destroy the country if they are not stopped. And if you doubt me, read the whole article and see the future of America: Arizona.

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