REPORT: Arkansas A ‘Sinkhole’ State

State Debt 2200 Per Person

If your wallet feels a little lighter lately, that’s because the state of Arkansas has you on the hook for approximately $2,200. According to the 2013 Financial State of the States Report released recently by Truth In Accounting, Arkansas state government owes approximately $9.2 billion, which is more than its $7.5 billion in assets. Arkansas is one of many “sinkhole states” which owe more money than they currently have in assets, according to the report. From the report: The state of … [Read more...]

Faux Outrage In The Heights

Heights (Faux Outrage)

Have you heard of the Southern Progress Fund? It’s a political action committee that hopes to bring the blessings of progressivism to states like Arkansas which have been turning redder than a Santa Claus outfit in recent years. Yesterday, this PAC produced an unbylined piece that provoked eyerolls throughout The Arkansas Project headquarters, given its high synthetic outrage content. The article described a squabble between two state House candidates: Republican Stacy Hurst and Democrat … [Read more...]

Crittenden Regional Hospital Not “Saved” by the Private Option

Crittenden Co Hospital

Remember how the private option was going to save rural hospitals? Remember how hospital lobbyist Bo Ryall explained to the state legislature that the private option was crucial if we want “rural hospitals to survive?” As one argument after another for the private option failed, its advocates regularly retreated to their final defense: at least the private option would keep the doors of rural hospitals open. Over in West Memphis, however, the flood of new subsidies just wasn’t big enough to … [Read more...]

Democrats’ Minimum Wage Credibility Problem

minimum wage

We’ve written recently about the rising teenage unemployment rate in Arkansas and how a proposed ballot initiative would exacerbate this problem. As previously reported here, a group called Give Arkansas A Raise Now is currently attempting to get an eventual minimum wage increase up to $8.50 an hour. A plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is also under discussion. In recent months, Mark Pryor and various other Democratic politicians have signed onto the Arkansas plan — … [Read more...]

Senator Pryor Ignores Me

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As a father, I’m used to being ignored when I ask a question. My children seem to have selective hearing loss (the doctor assures me this is a common malady). It seems that Senator Mark Pryor may be suffering from the same thing. He ignores me, too. I used to work for a U.S. senator, so I have a pretty good handle on how to read legislation. I did a lot of research on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The previous seven blog posts on CPSIA I put up over the last two weeks … [Read more...]

Senator Pryor Jumps the Gun on Phthalates

phthalates-01

Senators aren’t rocket scientists. In fact, most of them aren’t scientists at all. There are a few doctors in the Senate. The House of Representatives has a microbiologist, but most of the members of Congress are about as educated on science as you or I. That, however, doesn’t stop them from pretending to be scientists. Take the ban on certain phthalates in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the federal legislation I’ve written about in previous posts. What’s a phthalate? … [Read more...]

Sen. Pryor Stops Kids from Eating All-Terrain Vehicles

cpsiaatvs-01

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...]

Senator Pryor Helps Out Big Toy

playdate2-01

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...]