DeMillo Stays True to Form in Reporting On Beebe
Andrew DeMillo is to Governor Mike Beebe as Baghdad Bob was to Saddam Hussein. Please do not read this fawning "analysis" of the Governor's maneuver's on health care if you are prone to nausea or vomiting. It seems like DeMillo has a template where every Beebe budget story must start off with a idealized replay of Beebe's heroic decision to cut the grocery tax.
Here is my analysis of the Beebe trauma center plan: It is over-priced because it is laden with pork to buy off the 3/4th of the legislature needed to raise taxes. If it could be done without a tax increase, such as using funds from the Governor's "quick closing action fund", it could be done for about a quarter of the price Arkansans are going to pay for it.
It also taxes group "A" to pay for benefits to group "B", which is bad public policy. Smoking does cause health problems, but not trauma center health problems. Better to tax four-wheelers and dangerous industries if you want the payers and the benefiters of a government policy to be basically the same people, which is the fair way to do it.
Modern science could invent a pill in 2009 that would end almost all smoking by 2010. That would leave funding for the trauma center lacking. The problem with leaning on sin-taxes to fuel anything but tax cuts is that the government then has a vested interest in sin.
They should scrap Beebe's proposal and start from scratch, seeing if there is a way to find funding without a tax increase which requires a 3/4th majority vote. That's my analysis. If real analysis is what you want, you can get it here. If you want to read a newsletter from the Governor Mike Beebe fan club, check the state's print media under "DeMillo".