Washington comes to Little Rock

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to enact a package of tax cuts that it says will be offset by projected increases in state revenue. Because, you know, money grows on trees.

Oh, boy. Haven’t we learned anything from Washington, D.C.?

I want my legislators to cut spending first and then cut taxes. I want them to do both, but I want them to do it in that order. I’ve had my fill of Washington lawmakers promising less taxes and less government but only following through on the cutting taxes side of the equation.

5 thoughts on “Washington comes to Little Rock

  1. The difference between Washington and Little Rock, of course, is that Arkansas has a constitutionally mandated balanced budget. If our state government cuts taxes, we WILL cut spending somewhere to make up for it. It would be illegal to do otherwise.

    I agree, though, that as Governor Beebe has said, any lawmaker who wants to cut a tax should show where the revenue for that tax cut will come from. That’s just being fiscally responsible.

  2. Hi, Luke. Thanks for reading. Yes, the Revenue Stabilization Act. So why does the state owe $300 million to the federal government for unemployment benefits? Legislators can find ways around the laws they pass. I fear this is a first step.

  3. How do lawmakers, or economists they consult on such matters, project revenue increases when they pass tax cuts? I’m speaking more on a national scale with this. I was watching Bill Maher’s show last night and the token conservative, some woman from CNBC, said the way to fix our country’s budget deficit and debt problems were to “grow the economy”. Which sounds great, but what exactly was her answer on how to do that? Cutting taxes.

    I think that makes a lot of sense on the corporate level, particularly when you compare U.S. corporate tax rates to those of developed countries. We need to stay competitive with the rest of the world. But I don’t believe that every single tax cut that Republicans want to pass will have a meaningful effect on growing our economy. There is not guarantee that many of these tax cuts will lead to meaningful growth.

    If the idea of cutting some taxes, such as personal taxes, is to encourage more consuming by individuals then I think that’s part of the mindset in this country that has put us where we are now. If it’s just the, valid idea, that people should keep more of what they earn then that’s a different argument.

  4. Thanks for reading, Linton.

    You have a stronger stomach than I do if you are watching Bill Maher.

    As for your other points, I’m pretty much in agreement.

    1. I’m all for growing the economy, but the deficits are too big to grow our way out of them. The panelist you refer to must be yet another big government conservative – someone who cuts taxes but not spending, leading to more debt.
    2. We do need to cut our corporate taxes, which are the highest in the developed world. And then we need to radically streamline the deductions because they are a mess, because they favor corporations over the little guy, and because they are a way for the government to use the tax system to tell us what to do.
    3. And I would not be cutting taxes right now. I would be trying to balance the budget and pay off our debt.


  5. Agreed. I don’t like the cut taxes willy nilly and all will grow mentality. Spending cuts first, then taxes.

    Maher’s panels are always entertaining and he is consistently tough on anyone who is on his show, regardless of views or party. The caliber of the conservatives has weakened a bit on the last few, but typically whatever right leaning guests he has on earn my respect for entering such a hostile setting.

    Huckabee’s most recent appearance was one of the best interviews I’ve seen him give. His answers obviously differed from Maher’s views, but he articulated them perfectly with Clinton-esque ease. I watch the show regularly with my liberal leaning wife and she even agreed after watching the interview that he could be president someday. It’s impossible to picture a slickster like Romney or Sarah “I only do interviews on FOX these days” Palin, not making a fool of themselves in an interview with Maher. I think an interview with Maher should be some sort of rite of passage we put every presidential contender through.

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