Representative T.J. Shope, Senator Vince Leach, Senator J.D. Mesnard
As our state and nation grapple with the emerging challenge of how to overcome the global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, it is more important than ever for Arizona to resist the temptation to abandon the free-market principles that have guided our state and allowed it to prosper for the last 50 years.
Arizona lawmakers need to stick to what’s worked for Arizona in the past: Keeping taxes low and creating a pro-growth economic environment that supports our small businesses.
One need only look at our neighbor to the west to understand the wisdom of Arizona’s pro-business economic policies. According to the Census Bureau migration data, in 2018 alone nearly 70,000 people fled from California to Arizona, and more continue to do so each year.
Individuals aren’t the only ones moving from California. A recent study found that 1,800 businesses have also fled, including Charles Schwab Corp, Kubota Tractor Corporation, and Toyota Motor North America.
Rather than resort to tax increases or new regulations on employers, Arizona policymakers should continue to foster and support a strong, pro-business climate that invites and encourages more industry to relocate to the state, not less.
President Trump and Congress have agreed to stimulus checks to help families in the midst of this health and economic crisis. At this moment of decision, it would make no sense for Arizona policymakers to increase taxes just as our federal government is providing financial assistance.
As state lawmakers, we are committed to ensuring that you get to decide how best to spend your money, not the government. We understand that the solution to our deepening economic crisis is more economic freedom and less government, not more taxes and regulation.
The free market principles that have guided Arizona for the last 50 years have allowed the state to prosper in ways our state’s founders could only have dreamed of. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, just last year, Arizona was ranked the 11th-fastest growing economy. Arizona’s GDP growth is 4th in the country, even higher than Texas. More people are moving to Maricopa County than to anywhere else in the nation. Pinal County also continues to experience remarkable growth.
This remarkable growth is not because of government, it’s because of the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that Governor Ducey and our Republican-controlled Legislature have established and cultivated.
Why would we want this to change now?
The answer is, we don’t. We don’t want our economy to falter or our people to struggle. We need to continue to support Arizona’s pro-business policies if we want to emerge from this recession stronger than our neighboring states.
As state lawmakers responsible for addressing these challenges, we affirm our commitment to limited government, the free market, reduced government waste, lower tax and regulatory burdens, and sustaining a pro-business economic climate for Arizona.
Government interference is not the answer for solving this recession. Too often have we seen the government step in and destroy the economy of the state, like in California.
As the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects Arizona’s economy, we must remember the principles that we have always turned to, conservative policies that will keep the state succeeding. As the state determines how to handle the upcoming recession, we should keep in mind Ronald Reagan’s statement that, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”