Making Arkansas a Rich State

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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...]

Gyronne Buckley’s Second Punishment

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I often suspect that the people running our government have no idea what they are doing, but it is rare that this suspicion of mine is verified so persuasively. You’ll probably remember our earlier coverage of Gyronne Buckley, who was unjustly imprisoned for over a decade and then denied compensation by our state legislature. After state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson voted to deny Buckley compensation for being falsely imprisoned for more than a decade on the basis of an unfair trial, Hutchinson … [Read more...]

Arkansas’s Timid Response to the EPA

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Last week, our neighbors in Texas considered how to respond to the EPA’s onerous regulations introduced earlier this summer. From a Texas Tribune report: Texas’s top environmental regulator suggested Thursday that the state may ignore a proposed directive from the Obama administration in June toreduce carbon emissions from power plants. “I’m concerned that if this is not contested, if we don’t dispute this, if we don’t win, the implications … are only the camel’s nose under the tent,” … [Read more...]

Dirty Cops, Wrongful Imprisonment, and Blessings from Government: A Conversation with Senator Hutchinson

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Earlier this week, I interviewed state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson about the Gyronne Buckley case. It was one of the most astonishing conversations I have ever had. As I wrote on Tuesday, Buckley was incarcerated for over eleven years; the state Claims Commission determined that he hadn’t received a fair trial. In particular, the Commission found that Buckley was the victim of a corrupt cop, Keith Ray, who failed to disclose documents at Buckley’s trial that would have helped Buckley; according to … [Read more...]

Gyronne Buckley, Who Was Wrongfully Imprisoned, Is Now Wrongfully Denied Compensation

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Imagine if you were the victim of a crooked cop who withheld evidence in your criminal trial, and imagine that -- because of this -- you were put in prison for more than a decade. And imagine if the Supreme Court ordered your sentence overturned -- more than a decade too late -- because it found you never received a fair trial. Imagine if your own state's top law enforcement officer, in the face of police corruption, pretended that the police corruption never happened; imagine that your own … [Read more...]

Sales Tax Holiday Leads to High Tax Hangover

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All tax reductions aren’t created equal -- and nowhere is this more evident than in this weekend’s annual sales tax holiday. Because of tax changes passed in 2011, some purchases of clothing and school supplies will be free from taxation on Saturday and Sunday. Many politicians in the middle of campaign season take the week before this holiday as a chance to boast about their tax-cutting bonafides. However, this temporary tax respite leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to fostering … [Read more...]

Report: Only “Robust Growth” in Little Rock Is from Government

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Another new study adds to the evidence we’ve written recently about: namely, there's lots of room for improvement with respect to economic growth in central Arkansas. According to the Manhattan Institute’s America’s Top Metros report, the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway area ranks 90 out of 100 metros in economic recovery from the recession since 2009. (To be clear: #1 is the top; #100 is the bottom.) From the report: Unlike most of the bottom 20 on our list, the Little Rock MSA is … [Read more...]

Report: Arkansas Terrible On Transparency

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Arkansans who care about transparency in government received some bad news today. According to an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) study on tax cronyism released today, Arkansas is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to reporting exactly what special breaks the state’s tax code gives to favored industries. William Freeland, an ALEC research analyst who worked on the report, told The Arkansas Project in a phone interview: The biggest thing here on Arkansas is in … [Read more...]