Cotton: Exchanges Will Be ‘Open Season on Taxpayers’

Cotton-Farm Bill

Rep. Tom Cotton, who is challenging Senator Mark Pryor, took some time out of his busy schedule to visit with reporters on a conference call this morning. The main topic of discussion -- Obamacare: I think it’s going to be a central issue in the campaign and I bet there are a lot of Arkansans who will be astonished that Mark Pryor thinks that Obamacare is an amazing success story, working well. 170 people at Baptist Health who lost their jobs might be very surprised to hear that. Seniors who … [Read more...]

Stephen Speaks!

20130208-005130.jpg

Those thinkers over at the Advance Arkansas Institute made good on their promise yesterday to bring Steve Moore to Little Rock for a speech. And might I just add: it was quite a barn burner. I’ve provided a video excerpt of Mr. Moore’s comments below. The clip begins with Moore emphatically telling the audience of approximately 100 -- which included a large number of state legislators of both parties -- about the importance of reforming the tax code in Arkansas. “If you just stand pat, … [Read more...]

Smells Like….Freedom: Arkansas Tax Freedom Day April 11!

tfd_map_2012_500px

And here it comes, baby: Tax Freedom Day. Can you feel it? Can you feel all that freedom coming your way? The fiscal wonks over at the Tax Foundation have strapped on their green eyeshades to determine that Tax Freedom Day in Arkansas lands just eight days from now, on April 11. That's the day when put-upon taxpayers at last meet their obligations to the government and start taking home a little scratch for themselves. The Natural State has the nation's 31st latest Tax Freedom Day, so … [Read more...]

Tomorrow’s Bad Ideas Today: Taxing Digital Downloads!

For demonstration purposes only. No point in clicking.

Now is the time to weep for the good people of Connecticut! In addition to having to live with the indignity of being denizens of "The Nutmeg State," they now must suffer lawmakers who are seeking to slap a sales tax on their digital downloads. Buying a book for your Amazon Kindle or downloading a couple of tracks off iTunes? Pony up, kiddo. I called the Arkansas Dept. of Finance and Administration (DFA) sales tax office, where an informed and helpful lady swiftly reassured me that no such … [Read more...]

Governor, Agencies Say Trivial Budget Cuts Would Be Devastating, Which Was Entirely Predictable!

Clipart by BestVector - http://clipartof.com/215955

You guys, this Arkansas budget debate! What a mess! Let's see: House Minority Leader John Burris proposes cutting a handful of state agency budgets in a gambit to (very very very mildly) slow the rate of growth in state government. Gov. Mike Beebe, he does not like this at all, pal, mostly because he doesn't appreciate challenges to his budgeting authority. So Beebe tells the agencies to assess themselves and to let us know what effect these proposed budget cuts would have. And the agencies … [Read more...]

Arkansas Government and the $19 Billion Question

Kathy Webb and John Burris

According to the Arkansas News Bureau, House Budget Committee Chairman Kathy Webb, a Democrat, is "disappointed" and finds it "confusing" that Republican legislators have proposed spending reductions in this year’s state budget. Why aren’t they "working through the normal process,” she asks the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, as has always been done before? And I see her point. I can see how, from her perspective, it doesn’t seem fair. In previous sessions, Republicans have cheerfully worked … [Read more...]

Report: Arkansas 6th In Nation for State, Local Sales Tax Rates

Arkansas 6th for state, local sales taxes

Our friends at the Tax Foundation are out with updated rankings on combined state and local sales tax rates, and here you go: Arkansas checks in with the sixth highest combined rates in the nation. I'll not belabor the point on that, as it's something we've seen before. But it's always a salutary reminder: since Arkansas legislators convened this week in Little Rock for a fiscal session devoted to budget matters, it's worth considering what you're paying in taxes and what you're getting for … [Read more...]

Arkansas Dems on Income: Intentionally Misleading or Just Ignorant of the Facts? (PART 2: The Exciting Conclusion!)

Harmful truths

(Part One of this discussion, which you can read here, took place yesterday.  Part Two will be shorter, I promise) So yesterday we had a too lengthy, too windy and too pedantic discussion of income statistics in Arkansas, sparked by a dispute between GOP Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville and the Democratic Party of Arkansas (DPA). Are you up to speed on the difference between per capita income and median income? Do you care? Of course you don't, because you are a normal human being with … [Read more...]