Would you support an amendment to the Utah Constitution that means thousands more jobs for Utahns, lets Utah families keep more of their income, and ensures that important state government services are prepared for natural disasters or emergencies?
An amendment to enact reasonable limits on growth in state government spending, based on growth in population and inflation, would deliver exactly that.
Based on an academically peer-reviewed research article authored by Sutherland Institute policy staff and recently published in the scholarly journal Public Budgeting and Finance, enacting such a government spending amendment in 1990 would have given Utah families an extra $2,663 in 2009, from better economic performance and tax rebates. This amount of money is equivalent to an extra month’s pay for a new public school teacher in Utah at the average beginning teacher’s salary. Cumulatively between 1990 and 2009, the average family of four would have had more than $31,115 in extra income – enough for four years of college at the University of Utah, with almost $4,000 to spare.
Just as important in today’s weak economy, the additional economic growth that Utah would have had in 2009 would equate to 19,681 more jobs in the state at the 2009 average monthly wage. And with proper savings measures included, a government spending amendment would have set aside $3,938,032,787 by 2009 in savings to use to help the state recover from a natural disaster or emergency and/or to stabilize government spending on law enforcement, public schools, and safety-net programs during the current recession.
Some oppose the idea of creating more restrictions on the growth of state government, based on concerns about negative potential impacts from such policies on the lives of Utahns. Contrary to these concerns, this scholarly research paper suggests that that there will be many positive impacts on the lives of families and individuals in Utah if the state puts reasonable limits on government growth in the Utah Constitution. The economic and social benefits of a government spending amendment should encourage conservatives and responsible citizens, and should give pause to the proponents of big government.