If Poetry Can’t Solve Arizona’s Problems, Nothing Can

February 14, 2011

Last year we reported on a $1.25 million spending program in Arizona to build bridges over a mountain road where approximately five squirrels per year were being killed by cars. The cost of saving one squirrel was a quarter of a million dollars.

An article in yesterday’s Arizona Republic shows that once again, Arizona legislators have their priorities in order as they debate tough budget decisions:

There is one genius in the Arizona Legislature and he is state Sen. Al Melvin, a Republican from Tucson.

Melvin is the only lawmaker who has gotten to the core of Arizona’s problems, recognizing that the heart of our crisis does not stem from the state’s colossal lack of money, but from its lack of soul.

With this in mind, Melvin has introduced Senate Bill 1530, which for the first time would create in Arizona an official “poet laureate.”

What better way to restore civility to public dialogue than by communicating through poetry?

As any fan of the lyrical aesthetic knows, it is impossible to be angry and indelicate when communicating, for instance, in quatrain:

Our state is out of money

It’s billions that we need

And though it may sound funny

There’s talk we may secede.

If only the tax code were this much fun to read! (I’m not trying to pick on Arizona; every state is guilty of bizarre legislation and tax provisions at one time or another)

Read the rest of the poem by Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini or more Tax Foundation research on Arizona.


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