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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.



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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
 
The Lost Cause

Man you wait a day or two to do a blog post and events over-take it....

From The Republic's Political Insider:

Burns said he's fairly confident there will be agreement on some level of cuts. That could set the Legislature up for a special session the second week of December...

Burns also confirmed that Napolitano told him she intends to stay in the governor's seat until if and when she is confirmed as secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration. That could mean lawmakers will get a state of the state address from Napolitano on Jan. 12, as well as a budget plan for 2009-10.

I found that encouraging and for the Governor, honorable.

If you have been reading the papers and blogs, you notice that there is a great deal of Democratic angst about what will happen when Napolitano leaves for Washington and Brewer gets the 9th Floor; a veritable budgetary Armageddon where our normally dry rivers will run with the blood of a thousand cut programs and the innocents such as all-day kindergarten programs will tossed into the fire as the Republican barbarian hordes do their pagan small-government dance at Capitol.

Democrats are already being maudlin about what could have been if only the good Governor Napolitano would stay. Why we could have had a Golden Age as those cuts never would have happened and we would be on our way to a utopia (East Valley excluded) that would make us Arizonans proud whenever we travelled to the East coast.

The thing is... the cuts are going to happen whether Governor Napolitano stays or not. The only question is how the blame is going to get spun.

$1.2 billion this current fiscal year and counting, $2 to $3 billion for next year; out of a total budget of about $10.5 billion. Cash reserves gone, accounting gimmicks used up, with only the promise of spending cuts and/or tax increases to come. Out of that budget, about 1/3 is voter-protected (give or take depending on how you look at it) which means you could have to make those cuts out of only say... $6.5 billion. Ouch babe.

My fear was that Napolitano would skip town before being confirmed as a cabinet officer; that means confirmed before having to come up with a proposal for dealing with the 2 big budget deficits. After all she consistently underestimated the problem for the last 2 budgets, so why would this be any different? If she left town without a proposal then the Democrats could spin any massive budget cuts as the fault of the heartless Republicans and use it as a campaign issue for the 2010 gubernatorial.

Now if Napolitano has her own budget proposals, they will have to be chock-full of budget cuts. Maybe not to the level of what Senate President-elect Bob Burns would like or that approaches the level of real solutions, but it should take some of the fuel out of any latter Democrat attempts to lay the ensuing budgetary blood bath at the feet of the Republicans.

If this goes down like that article intimates it will, then I say good for Governor Napolitano.