Conway Christmas Tree: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Christmas Miracle August

I admit it: every now and then I wonder if I’m too cynical about what government can accomplish. I was having one of those days yesterday before I came across a story in the Log Cabin Democrat about Conway’s overpriced and underwhelming Christmas tree. You might remember that last November our former colleague, Nic Horton, put aside his Thanksgiving leftovers and called the 54-foot Christmas tree bearing a $130,000 taxpayer tab a “ridiculous waste of taxpayer money”; he also criticized the … [Read more...]

Sen. Pryor Stops Kids from Eating All-Terrain Vehicles

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Can all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) be dangerous to children? Of course. When I was 12, my cousin and I were riding on my grandfather’s 4-wheel ATV. Our behavior was about as mature as that of a typical 12-year-old, which is to say that we were driving the ATV backwards at a high rate of speed. My cousin turned the ATV sharply, causing it to flip over and roll on top of us. Let’s just say that I have some idea of how unsafe an ATV can be. Our foolish actions on the ATV that day (and many other … [Read more...]

Act 312 Stops Illegal Voter ‘Education’ in Texarkana

arkansas news

We write a lot here about all the bad laws that come out of the state legislature, but today we want to focus on one of the best ones: Act 312 of 2013, sponsored by state Rep. Nate Bell. As we wrote in November, Act 312 prohibits government employees from using taxpayer-funded resources to influence the outcome of ballot measure elections. Violating this act amounts to a Class A misdemeanor; furthermore, whoever violates it will both lose his or her job and be barred from future Arkansas … [Read more...]

Senator Pryor Helps Out Big Toy

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Big businesses – or at least big toy makers – don’t have a better friend in the Senate than Mark Pryor. That may seem strange. After all, didn’t the federal law he sponsored, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), place strict new regulations on toy makers? Indeed it did. But big toymakers had no problem complying with the Byzantine rules spawned by CPSIA. It’s the small toy companies, especially makers of handmade toys, who were and are hurt by this legislation. At his … [Read more...]

Uber/Lyft Working Well in Detroit. Why Not Little Rock?

uber lyft regs

We wrote a couple weeks ago about Little Rock City Director Joan Adcock’s ongoing crusade to ban (or regulate out of existence) innovative ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft that may soon be operating in Little Rock. Our friends at the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released a video about one Detroit driver who used her employment by a ride-sharing service to avoid going on welfare. Take a … [Read more...]

Making Arkansas a Rich State

rich state arkansas-01

What can Arkansas lawmakers do to grow the state’s economy in the years to come? That’s the question a new study, Rich States, Poor States, seeks to answer. Compiled by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Jonathan Williams, this study identifies pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that states can implement. It also discusses what states are doing to attract new businesses and create jobs for their workers. In state rankings released in conjunction with this study, Arkansas came in at … [Read more...]

The Latest “Private Option” Broken Promise: Counterfeit Medical Savings Accounts

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Less than a week after Nic Horton left the Arkansas Project, he’s back on our site! Well, sort of. Horton is now affiliated with the Foundation for Government Accountability, and he coauthored their newest article at Forbes.com: “Arkansas Private Option’s Latest Boondoggle: Health Independence Accounts" Increase Dependence and Increase Costs.”  As the article recounts, the “Private Option’s” health savings accounts, which were supposed to be the “heart and soul” of Medicaid reform, are an … [Read more...]

AEDC’s Latest Less-Than-Superior Performance

Superior Oodles

Superior Industries is closing one of its plants in northwest Arkansas. According to news reports, this will result in the loss of 500 jobs, sucking even more air out of Governor Beebe’s “jobs record.” It’s a heartbreaking story for the community, but an even more gut-wrenching tale for taxpayers -- and it’s simply the latest in a long string of failures by the state to prop up private industry. Last week, the company announced it would shut down their Rogers plant and move production to a … [Read more...]