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Arizona Considers Selling Capitol Buildings 301

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-must-go dept.
Things are so bad in Arizona that legislators are considering selling the House and Senate buildings where they've met and worked for more than 50 years. Dozens of other state properties may also be sold. The plan is to sell the properties and then lease them back over several years before assuming ownership again. "We've mortgaged the legislative halls," said an exasperated state Rep. Steve Yarbrough, a Chandler Republican. "That just tells you how extraordinary the times are. To me, it's something we're going to have to do no matter how much we find it undesirable." I bet they could get a great price on the Grand Canyon.

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Arizona Considers Selling Capitol Buildings

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:06PM (#28887157)

    What the HELL IS IT doing here ?

  • Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sj0 (472011) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:07PM (#28887165) Homepage Journal

    I've consistently said the same thing: Don't cut taxes, cut spending. Just as consistently, my thoughts have been shot down.

    Well here's the final result of irresponsible fiscal policies. Congrats, the government now belongs to the bank.

    With some prudence during the boom times, maybe we wouldn't be seeing so many issues during the bust? I know it's hard to imagine, but some governments paid down debt during the boom, rather than cutting taxes to unsustainable levels, only to be laughed at. Who's laughing now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:10PM (#28887207)

    "Aah! I see you have the machine that goes 'ping'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to, and that way, it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account."

  • That's ridiculous! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:13PM (#28887257) Journal

    A bank needs a bailout from the government.

    The government needs money to pay them.

    The government mortgages their property to get money from a bank.

    The government gives the money to the bank.

    Who wins?

  • by JamJam (785046) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:21PM (#28887401)
    So what if I buy one of these properties then break the tenants lease (pay a financial penalty or something) then I'd outright own the property? Would the building be zoned commercial or could I make one of these buildings into my house? or bed & breakfast? (which would great if I bought a jail)

    Just thinking outside the box here...
  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by timeOday (582209) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:28PM (#28887573)

    I've consistently said the same thing: Don't cut taxes, cut spending. Just as consistently, my thoughts have been shot down.

    You can't necessarily increase your profits just by minimizing expenses. If that were true, the only viable business strategy would be selling all your assets for a quick cash-out. Government is not entirely different. Look at Detroit, the taxes collected are far lower than necessary to support the crumbling infrastructure. Has that saved the city?

    Certain people keep talking about the national deficit as if decreasing spending is the answer. It might help, it might hurt. It all depends on how much further the economy sinks into ruin when the spender of last resort stops spending.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gm a i l.com> on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:37PM (#28887765) Homepage Journal

    The State of Arizona's budget for 2009 is $55 billion dollars. The shortfall is about a couple of billion. If all the state did was to adopt the budget from 2006, which was 42.7 billion dollars, me thinks the state would be in the black and by a pretty penny.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 30, 2009 @03:41PM (#28887813)

    People still visit K5?

    I thought it was all wanky diary entries and bad fiction now, just like it was when I left years and years ago.

  • by MarkWatson (189759) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @04:09PM (#28888275) Homepage

    The economy is in poor shape now, but will probably get much, much worse in the coming years (see today's poorly performing 5 year treasury bond sales, an indicator that foreign banks and investors don't want to invest in us, even with a higher "tail" interest rates.). What makes our state legislators think that they will have more funds in a few years to buy these properties back?

    It is in no one's interest that the US economy crash and burn, and that is why the oil rich countries, and China, Russia, etc. appear to be cooperating on "gently" moving the world to a "basket of currencies" rather than use the dollar as the main international exchange currency - they don't want us to crash and burn and take them with us. A slow and gradual process is the best that we can probably hope for.

    How can the USA cooperate? For one thing, how about reducing federal, state, and local expenditures by 25% (OK, I just made up that amount, but it sounds about right).

    Painful? You bet. Government workers will have salaries and benefits reduced, as will the general population. Deals with labor unions will be broken. Benefits form the ponzy scheme known as social security will be cut back.

    Corruption needs to be nipped. As a starter, how about a tax on financial transactions that do not involve real goods and services: apply a 1% tax to hedge fund investment transactions, etc. Slow down the non-productive use of money.

    Bush, Obama, and Congress have already proven themselves to be firmly in the pockets of corporations and their lobbyists - that will not change. Why should people who get to make the rules be fair with the rest of us?

  • Re:Don't think so... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @04:46PM (#28888877)

    between 2000 and 2008 the population went up apparently 26.7% (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/04000.html) and nationally inflation from 2000 - 2008 has been (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/) 23.8%. put together (multiplicitively) they add up to a 56% increase in cost to provide exactly the same services as in 2000 assuming everything increased in cost with inflation since then (which it might not). Since 2000 GSP has grown from 158 billion to 257 billion, and the budget went from 17% of gsp to 20%. (27 - 50 billion dollars). That doesn't seem significantly out of order to me. If you're ideologically pegged to the idea that state governments should never exceed 17% of gsp then I guess you're reallly angry, but a difference of 6 billion dollars (44 vs 50) without any indication what that money is going for is a bit unfair. I'm not from, nor have I ever been to arizona and I've spent about 2 minutes studying their budget, so I have no sense of what's new or different since 2000.

    To actually balance the budget they could, by your reasoning only go back to last years budge, and be fine.

      On 55 billion in spending to be 1.6 billion behind in these times doesn't seem a huge problem. They're concerned with a so called 'general fund' which is 10 billion dollars which they directly control and 1.6 billion out of that is inconvenient but again, doesn't strike me as as catastrophic as they seem to be presenting things. 1.6 billion dollars would equate to 0.6% tax on everything - or a 3% increase in taxation, however you want to look at it.

    Political theatre doesn't necessarily equate to any fundamentally serious problem, other than general incompetence on the part of politicians and their unwillingness to make minor changes.... which isn't exactly news.

    California's situation, which is a 100 billion budget and 60 billion in revenue is somewhat more serious, by just about any measure. I live in Ontario (Canada), we have a budget of about 100 billion canadian dollars with a projected revenue of about 95 billion, so the situation here isn't particularly dire.

  • by gander666 (723553) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @06:31PM (#28890265) Homepage
    In the last 8 years, Arizona has had a Republican majority in their government. If they passed more spending and benefits than they could pay for, they have no-one to blame but themselves.

    I live there, and I am astounded about how shortsighted and stupid the legislature is. If they keep decimating school spending, no companies will want to relocate here, and their tax base (and draw for producing citizens, not retiree's and snowbirds) will continue to shrink.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday July 30, 2009 @10:16PM (#28892037)
    For the most part western-style societies have chosen to dissociate childbearing from later financial security in old age. Your Social Security and Medicare checks don't depend on how many children you have paying into the system, unlike previous ages when you depended on your offspring in old age. Perhaps this is part of why the birth rate goes down in economically developed societies with safety nets, and you could blame that for bankrupting the entitlements in question. But you know, as hard as it will be to adjust to population stability, it had to happen sooner or later. The population pyramid scheme couldn't grow forever. And if we choose to stop before reaching carrying capacity (whatever our environment and technology at the time can support), then we can live in relative abundance rather than at the edge of starvation.
  • population pyramid scheme couldn't grow forever

    Sure it could. We would first have to exterminate all non-western peoples, then, expand into their territory. From there, gather up the wealth needed to move into space. We spread like locusts throughout the galaxy, and then into the next...

  • Re:You're stupid! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pearl298 (1585049) <mikewatersazNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 30, 2009 @11:10PM (#28892351)

    Don't you have a cousin from Mexico (or Thailand, or ...) who was visiting that day? Looks a whole lot like you too?

    Of course you could also re-register your vehicle in a living trust for "Estate Planning" purposes and then the tickets never get issued in the first place! They are ONLY issued to individuals!

    These are only two of the reasons why less than 10% of the tickets actually get paid!

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

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