If Proposition 100 had failed, the Arizona legislature had a contingency plan to cut nearly $900 million from the budget. They may get an opportunity to resurrect it if the state doesn’t get $400 million out of a total of $24 billion earmarked for a six-month extension of a temporary higher rate of federal Medicaid funding.
Arizona and many other states were counting on the extra dollars to deal with massive budget deficits. The U.S. House recently approved a spending bill that omitted the health care spending because of concerns about the federal deficit itself. With Dems running for reelection in a climate of worldwide deficit spending by government and calls for fiscal responsibility, they don’t want to be tagged as runaway spenders.
The world has been on a collision course between seemingly unlimited needs and limited resources for some time now. We’re perilously close to the crash point, if we haven’t reached the critical intersection already. One recent analysis, Comeback America, makes a compelling case for both raising revenue and cutting spending if we are ever to get our fiscal house in order. Others, like many associated with the Tea Party movement, believe we should simply slash taxes and get government off our backs.
Except for programs older voters have come to depend on like Medicare and Social Security. Collision course, indeed.