- NameFrank Antenori
- Party Affiliationrepublican
- Start TimeMarch 27, 2012 2012-03-27T13:12:00-0700
How would you use your position as an elected official to help businesses create jobs in Southern Arizona?
The best way to create jobs is to get government out of the way. Government doesn’t create jobs, small businesses and entrepreneurs create the jobs. Many times, government makes it difficult for these small businesses because they impose crushing taxes and regulation on businesses. In my first year in the legislature, we put a permanent moratorium on rule and regulatory making by state agencies. This had a huge effect on businesses because they no longer had to worry about a constantly changing regulatory environment. The next thing we did was get rid of taxes that penalized investment. Right now many businesses have the money to invest but are reluctant to because they would be taxed. We provided for a Research and Development (R&D) tax credit for high tech and manufacturing companies that invest in the development of new products. We also reduced the capital gains tax to encourage additional investment. When businesses invest, they expand; when they expand they hire new employees. Our economic policies have worked. Arizona was once near the bottom in job creation, now according to the Kauffman index of Entrepreneurial Activity, Arizona is NUMBER 1! And Arizona ranks number 2 for expected job growth. We’ve added more jobs in the last year than in the previous five years. Arizona is now on the right track.
Should the qualifications for Medicaid or AHCCCS be broadened to make more people eligible?
No, we tried this once before and it nearly bankrupt the state. When the state provided AHCCCS insurance for people up to 75% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) we had 450,000 people on the state’s Medicaid system. When Arizona expanded AHCCCS to 100% of the FPL, the welfare rolls exploded to nearly 1.2 million people, costing the state an additional $1 Billion/year (a 15% increase in state spending). Imagine what would happen if we expanded it to 137% of the FPL as directed in Obamacare? It would likely result in a 30-40% increase in spending. Also, the Federal government entices the states by initially covering most of the cost, but that goes away after a few short years leaving the states on the hook for coming up with the additional billions of dollars needed to fund the program. Knowing it would put a huge financial burden on the states; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ruled that states do not have to comply with this huge unfunded mandate by the Federal government. Many states, including Arizona, would likely go bankrupt if they implemented the Medicaid expansion, or they would be forced to significantly raise taxes, killing jobs in the process.
If you were in a position to vote on SB1070, would you have voted for or against it?
I was in a position to vote for it and I did vote for it. SB1070 protected taxpayers and it protected jobs for legal citizens of Arizona. Illegal immigration costs Arizona taxpayers about $2 billion a year. It results in over 100,000 less jobs available to legal citizens> This includes entry level jobs that would normally go to recently graduating high school seniors and college students looking for income to support themselves while going to college. Voting for SB1070 protects those jobs for our kids and fellow citizens and protects taxpayers for the high costs of medical care, education and the justice system as a result of illegal immigration. Voting against it says you support those that break the law and want to allow them to take jobs from Arizonans. I want to protect our jobs for our citizens, so I would vote for it again.
In a world of finite resources, what if anything would you be willing to cut to better fund education?
What we need to do is grow. If you really are serious about finding the revenue for funding education, we need to help business create jobs. We also need to sell more State Trust land. This would have a double revenue effect. Since the sale of State Trust land puts money into the State Education Trust fund, it generates revenue from the fund’s investment dividends which go straight to our schools. It also converts ownership from the government (which pays no property taxes) to a private owner who will now pay property taxes, most of which goes to schools as well.
Should local government fight to keep the Rosemont Copper Mine out or encourage the company to stay?
Pima County and the City of Tucson currently have a national reputation for being hostile to business. This hurts our economy in Southern Arizona. Of the 80,000 jobs added to Arizona’s economy last year, only 800 were in Pima County. That’s only 1% of the jobs in a county that is 16% of the state’s population. Local governments need to follow the law and issue permits to businesses that meet both the environmental and zoning requirements. Not doing this kills jobs and discourages other companies from locating to Pima County after they see the hostility of local government.
What is the most important issue in your race?
By far the most important is economic growth and creating the conditions for job creation. Arizona’s don’t want to be on unemployment or welfare, they want to work. We need to create the conditions where employers will start expanding and new companies will locate here to Arizona. To do that, we must create a friendly and stable business climate. Arizona has come through one of the worst economic climates in our state’s 100 year history. We need to make sure it doesn’t happen again. To do this we need to elect candidates that will exercise fiscal restraint when our economy goes through a boom cycle so we don’t have to make significant reductions in spending during a cooling or bust cycle. My opponent voted to nearly double state spending (from $6.2 billion/yr to $11.1 billion/yr) and knowingly voted for two unbalanced budgets that thrust the state into a $3 billion deficit. He has clearly demonstrated he is not up to the task. I on the other hand, help craft the state’s first balanced budget in over half a decade, got state spending under control, thus improving our states financial health. We now have a budget surplus, we’re paying off the debt accrued as a result of our deficit and we’re restoring the state’s “rainy day” fund that was depleted during my opponent’s spending spree.
|Race||District||Election Year||Election Level||Election Type||Win|
|CD 8 Republican primary||Arizona 8th Congressional District||2012||National||Primary|
|Arizona Senate District 10 Republican primary||10th legislative||2012||State||Primary|
|Arizona Senate District 10||District 10||2012||State||General|