Hey, Janet! The Goldwater Institute Has Some Ideas for You

So things are really bad with the Arizona economy. So bad, in fact, that Janet Napolitano has set up a Web site to solicit ideas on how the state government can save money.

Unfortunately for us, those ideas aren't online for public consumption. (We can only imagine just how many yahoos have taken the time to let the Guv know that all she really has to do to balance the budget is drive out more illegals.) So much for our plan to mock them.

The good news, though, is that we know she's getting plenty of suggestions. How do we know this? Well, the Goldwater Institute recently forwarded us their list of ideas -- and, go figure, our favorite think-y conservatives have plenty. One hundred of them, to be exact.

Now, it's pretty clear looking at the list that all of these ideas won't be to Janet's liking. Do away with the Corporation Commission's renewable energy rules? Dude, this is Janet Napolitano -- she's seriously concerned about global warming, and she's hardly going to piss off the state's enviros/progressives by repealing their pet project, no matter how costly to consumers. Same for the idea to eliminate funds for the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of Tourism. Again, this is Janet Napolitano we're dealing with, not some out-of-the-box thinker.

Some of the ideas, frankly, are more about pushing the Institute's pet issues than causing any true cost reductions. ("Prohibit any further lowering of AIMS cut scores"? How would that affect the financial crisis in the here and now?)

We like that the smarty-pants libertarians over at the Goldwater Institute have taken the time to compile such a long list -- and some of their proposed cuts certainly are better than the ideas we've heard floated at the Statehouse lately. (We can't be the only ones horrified by Janet's idea to raise money by borrowing from future lottery revenues ... and no, we're not making that up.)

In this spirit of everybody doing their part to pitch in, we're sure the governor is wildly grateful. But really, can you blame us for not holding our breath on that whole implementation thing? -- Sarah Fenske

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Sarah Fenske
Contact: Sarah Fenske