All posts by Steve Brawner

Here’s the latest Arkansas Week

Host Steve Barnes hosts AETN’s Arkansas Week with KUAR’s Sarah Whites-Koditschek, Talk Business & Politics’ Wes Brown, and Independent Arkansas’ Steve Brawner. Topics include:

  • The Supreme Court’s ruling on state General Improvement Funds
  • Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s lawsuit over the Supreme Court removing him from death penalty cases
  • The Arkansas economy
  • Las Vegas.

Stealing from our grandkids

tax, taxes, debt, deficitsBy Steve Brawner

Be warned: Elected officials in Washington will try to buy your vote with your grandchildren’s money.

If recent history is any guide, they’ll do that by cutting  taxes without cutting spending by at least the same amount, increasing the national debt. And a big reason why they would do it is because they cannot seem to do anything else. After failing to repeal Obamacare, they think they’ve got to do something.

The details of the proposal released by President Trump and congressional Republicans Sept. 27 are still vague. But among the highlights are, it would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, the highest being 35 percent instead of the current 39.6 percent. Congress would have the option of creating a fourth, higher tax bracket for the wealthy. (Don’t hold your breath.) To offset some of the lost revenue, it would repeal many itemized deductions. (Lots of lobbyists will fight this one.) It also would end the estate tax and reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Continue reading Stealing from our grandkids

Christian bakers and gay weddings: It’s probably up to one justice

Christian baker gay weddingBy Steve Brawner

Can a Christian baker decline to bake a cake for a gay wedding? If so, it may be based on freedom of speech more than freedom of religion, and it all may come down to one Supreme Court justice.

That issue will be decided in what could be a “historic” term, said John DiPippa, interim dean of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock law school.

DiPippa spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service Monday, the same day the court began its new term. With him was Associate Dean Theresa Beiner.

DiPippa said the short-handed and divided Supreme Court declined to hear many controversial cases last year because it had only eight members after Justice Antonin Scalia died. The Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings on President Obama’s nominee, which left the court in limbo. This year, the Senate quickly confirmed President Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch. DiPippa said he will vote much like the conservative Scalia.  Continue reading Christian bakers and gay weddings: It’s probably up to one justice