Gov. Doug Ducey Touts What Arizona Has Done Without the Federal Government’s Help

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) spoke at the Reagan Foundation Tuesday about what he hopes to see for the Conservative movement as the county moves forward, which is giving state governments more power to enact policies designed to help their citizens.

“There is an exodus from the Golden State. Americans are voting with their feet. The conservative ideas applied outside of Washington, D.C. are winning and it’s not even close. Here is why I believe it’s happening: Conservative states have better policies, policies that are working for everyday Americans. There is far more freedom and opportunity in these states. And there is a sense of priority for personal safety in our states,” Ducey said.

To show what Arizona can do for the people without the federal government, Ducey touted several policies put into law during his time in office. For example, he signed the American Civics Act in 2018, which requires 9-12 grade students to take an American civics course to ensure the next generation graduates high school with at least the knowledge needed to pass the citizenship test. In 2019, Ducey signed a first-in-the-nation universal licensing recognition law into effect, and over 20 states have since adopted similar laws. Most recently, Ducey signed HB 2853, sponsored by State Representative Ben Toma (R-Maricopa), which created the nation’s most expansive school choice program with universal access to Empowerment Scholarship Funds.

“Consider what we’ve been able to do in Arizona — in just one state — without the help of the federal government,” Ducey said. “With these successes, just imagine what Arizona and other states could do with their dollars, untethered from the strings and handcuffs of the federal bureaucrats.”

Ultimately, Ducey’s point in his speech was that he wanted to see the country move toward a federalist system in which the federal government takes on fewer issues. Ducey’s ideal America, he says, would have the government handle border security, foreign policy, and financial reform while the states tackle everything else.

He shared that the past century’s transfer of power from states to the federal government has been more akin to a hostile takeover giving control to an administrative state. Yet, Ducey has hope this could change with conservative justices like Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. They have the ability to disrupt the powers that be in the federal government.

Ducey further shared that giving power to the states will be to the benefit of the people.

“I don’t need to be told by the Department of Transportation that infrastructure money is available for roads in Arizona … but it comes with strings attached – it needs to be roads with bike lanes! And light rail! And electric charging stations! Oh, and by the way, don’t you dare modernize or privatize your highway rest stops,” said Ducey.

Not only would states having more agency increase productivity, but it would also increase competition. Ducey related that, in his experience, “our country rarely solves a problem, we innovate out of them.” When a state innovates or experiments, others take notice. Just like with universal license recognition, strong policies spread or new innovations are born. Voters and legislators can reward good policy and hold governors accountable when bad decisions come.

Ducey ended his speech with a reminder that America is a constitutional Republic. Amidst calls to “defend democracy,” it is essential to remember that this country was intended to distribute power outside Washington, D.C.

Watch his full speech here.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Doug Ducey” by The 9th Floor. 




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