Opinion: The governor delivers a Marie Antoinette-like slap in the face to the 1,675,810
Arizonans who voted for Proposition 208.
EJ Montini / Arizona Republic
Published 7:00 a.m. MT Jun. 24, 2021
No one ever believed Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey cared about the most financially strapped
But there was a time, perhaps a day or two during his first term, when Ducey at least
pretended to care about the middle class – all those hardworking men and women who bust
their tails to pay the mortgage, keep food on the table, gas in the car and sneakers on their
The governor is in full on let-them-eat-cake mode. Or would the former CEO of Cold Stone
Creamery prefer ice cream?
Either way, Ducey not only has decided to throw working people under the bus. He’s hopped
into the driver’s seat to run them over.
Perhaps you recall that in the last election Arizona voters passed Proposition 208, a ballot
initiative meant to restore funding to Arizona’s public schools by increasing the income tax on
the wealthiest among us.
A total of 1,675,810 Arizonans voted for the measure. With a stroke of his pen, Ducey wants negate each one of those votes.
With the help of Republicans who, by the narrowest margin, control the Arizona Legislature,
Ducey is pushing a flat tax and a budget that mocks the little guy, wildly enriches the
wealthiest among us and completely guts Proposition 208.
The state’s own bean counters couldn’t disguise the gross inequities of the plan. The poor get
next to nothing. The rich get everything.
After Republicans in the state Senate pushed through the plan, Ducey issued a statement
saying, “This balanced and fiscally responsible plan is a win for all Arizonans.”
By fair, he means that those on the low end of the spectrum can expect a tax cut that wouldn’t
even buy them a large drink at McDonald’s, while those at the top end will save enough to
purchase a franchise. Or two. Or three.
Nick Ponder, legislative director for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said, “We expect
to lose $250 million. The proposal hasn’t been supported by any economist in the state.”
The Arizona Interfaith Network, made up of church congregations and religious organizations
throughout the state, has spoken out against Ducey’s giveaway to the rich.
The Rev. Hunter Ruffin, a senior pastor at Church of the Ephiphany-Tempe, said the lost tax
revenue would “cripple our state for generations to come” and called the proposal “immoral.”
Yes, it is. Ducey’s reverse Robin Hood budget and tax plan essentially robs from the the poor to give to the rich.
And even worse than that, even more immoral, is the fact that one Republican governor, 16
Republican state senators and 31 Republican members of the House, 48 total individuals, can
wipe out the expressed wishes of 1,675,810 voting Arizonans.