Monday, August 17, 2009

Republicans own the Republican budget.

The latest word from the capitol is that the GOP legislature is, as it looked like they might do last week, going to pass exactly the same budget that Governor Brewer vetoed on July 1, and this time she will sign it.

She will blame this surrender, ironically enough on Democrats.

Yes, you read that right. After being frozen out of budget negotiations for months (and the proposed Democratic budget was never considered at all by the GOP leadership, by the way) the only times when Democrats were consulted was when it became clear that the GOP leadership was all tied up in knots with themselves with a deadline looming and they needed one more vote-- and then it was never the Democratic leadership, but individual Democrats (Hale and later Miranda) who they tried to get to defect and vote for a terrible budget for a price, and as I noted they were consulted literally hours before deadlines and not at any other time or with any other Democrat. Luckily neither of those two took the bait.

Zelph at AZ Netroots has a pretty good summary of all the times that Democrats were consulted at all here. As you can see the number of times when even individual Democrats were courted is a short list, and never once did the Governor bring together a 'five party' solution (herself, and the majority and minority leaders from both houses of the legislature,) something Democrats had been repeatedly asking for. You'd think she was superstitious about the number five or something.

Blaming Democrats that a bad budget passes with only Republican support because none of them actually was willing to sell out and vote for the bad budget? That would be bad enough in and of itself.

However we can go further, and point out that this isn't just a bad budget full of budget cuts. It's a bad budget full of tax cuts (especially the permanent repeal of the state property tax.) Asking any thinking person to vote for a sales tax referral when all it will do is backfill a tax cut that mainly benefits the rich and corporations who can pay good lobbyists is a sham in and of itself.

Let's be clear. This is a Republican budget, written exclusively by Republican leaders, passed with only Republican votes in a legislature where Republicans have absolute control, and if it is signed it will be a Republican Governor. This turkey will be their budget, they will own it and there will be no way one could argue otherwise. Democrats can't do anything about this budget because they've been locked out of the room for a long time. Blaming Democrats would be like blaming the person you outbid at an auction if the item you bought turns out to be junk.

But they will try it anyway.

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