A Closer Look at Changing Arkansas’s Regulatory Culture

Regulation Nation Red Tape

I recently spoke with Peter Van Doren of the Cato Institute about how cost-benefit analysis of regulation might work. As I mentioned yesterday, gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson has expressed support for reviewing regulations in this manner. Van Doren told me that the journal he edits, Regulation, has published several articles about cost-benefit analysis at the federal level. Robert Hahn, who was then an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, proposed a new congressional office … [Read more...]

Regulatory Rhetoric: Ross, Hutchinson Outline Plans for Reigning in Bureaucracy

Asa Mike Bobble Heads

Late last week, gubernatorial candidate and former Congressman Mike Ross released his 46-page -- yes, I said 46-page -- “jobs plan.” The first half of the plan focuses on desperate pandering to teacher’s unions education, with Ross making the (unconvincing) case for more government spending in the form of expanded Pre-K. We'll take a look at his education and tax reform proposals later, but today I'm looking at his proposals in the area he calls “Government Efficiency.” Ross actually has one … [Read more...]

Teen Unemployment Rising Higher and Higher in Arkansas

Teen Unemployement Rising

Teen unemployment is dramatically on the rise in Arkansas; a proposed minimum wage increase is likely to make it worse. According to the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), Arkansas currently has a teen (16 to 19) unemployment rate of 32 percent, which is up from 21 percent in 2011. Indeed, jobs for teenagers are beginning to become so scarce that they were referred to as “luxury goods” in a recent article. Michael Pakko, chief economist at the Arkansas Institute for Economic Advancement, said … [Read more...]

Arkansas Governor’s Race: Who Loves Teachers The Most?

Asa: Holder OK with me for AG

You were probably too busy enjoying Arkansas’s one day of spring over the weekend to notice, but former Congressman Mike Ross “won” the endorsement of the Arkansas Education Association in his bid for governor. This endorsement led to a kerfuffle between Ross and Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson. Let me bring you up to speed. As news leaked of Ross’s AEA endorsement, the Hutchinson camp issued a statement saying Ross is “out of touch with Arkansas,” drawing a connection between the AEA and … [Read more...]

Mike Ross Voted To Not Let You Keep Your Insurance Plan (If You Liked It)

Mike Ross celebrating with former Congressman Anthony Weiner after Obamacare cleared House committee.

Millions of Americans are losing their health insurance because their existing plans do not meet Obamacare's minimum standard requirements. The Heritage Foundation estimates that 1.5 million Americans have already lost their plans; but the American Enterprise Institute is now estimating that as many as 100 million Americans could lose their insurance when a second wave of cancellations hits next fall. The real tragedy is all of this could have been avoided. Sure, Congress could've declined to … [Read more...]

Memo To GOP Legislators: We Tried To Warn You

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Back during the debate over Medicaid expansion (which lawmakers attempted to rebrand as "the private option"), this blog, in conjunction with the Advance Arkansas Institute, cautioned conservative lawmakers. We told them that if they collaborated with liberals by implementing Obamacare, that would take the issue off the table in the 2014 election. That's not to say that policy decisions should be purely political. They should ideally be based on the merits: what's in the best interest of the … [Read more...]

POLL: Pryor Approval At 34%, Cotton And Asa! Lead

Arkansas_Presidential_Election_Results_2008

The University of Arkansas has released their 15th annual Arkansas Poll. The results spell bad news for our friend Senator Mark Pryor. In the poll, Pryor gains the approval of only 34% of “very likely voters.” For some perspective: the year before her re-election bid, former Senator Blanche Lincoln fared nearly a full ten points better than Pryor. As you probably remember, she went on to be blown out by now-Senator John Boozman. Other interesting results from the poll: In a … [Read more...]

Mike Ross Admits He Was An Architect Of Obamacare

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This morning, I posted a six-second clip of former Congressman Mike Ross saying if he had not voted for Obamacare in committee, it wouldn’t have become law. I emphasized in my initial post that the six-second clip provided no context for the remarks -- and added that if someone could supply a longer video, I would be happy to post it. Shortly thereafter, it was given to me, and I was happy to post it. While the new video doesn’t provide complete context (we don’t hear the question Ross is … [Read more...]