Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Beebe Wins Battle With House, Blocks Tax Cuts



It looks like Governor Mike Beebe wins his battle with the House to keep his pile of surplus money. The key was holding onto the senate, which voted down seven tax-cut bills passed by the house over the objections of the Beebe administration.

Beebe wants to keep a huge surplus because the interest from this money is controlled by him to use as a pork fund. Some legislators would rather just give tax cuts rather than let the money pile up. Beebe got those hoping to get his pork to form a block to stop all tax cuts except for two- a single penny drop in the grocery tax and a small cut in sales taxes for energy used in manufacturing. Everyone else with an idea for a tax cut was strongly opposed by the Governor’s people. Then it turns out Beebe’s buddy, Senator Bobby Glover, got a thumbs up from the Governor’s people for a tax cut for people with rental storage units. Many in the House were upset at the double-standard, and responded by sending a pile of tax cuts out of committee.

A longer running problem for both chambers is that they cannot trust the numbers that the Beebe administration sends them. The shell games that have been going on with the numbers has to infuriate the more responsible members of the legislature.

At any rate, each Senator can get triple the pork of a House member, so they are more prone to do his bidding. About all the House can do to respond is to vote down the one or two bills left that Beebe and the Senate want passed, like Senator Glover's tax cut for those with a storage rental business. If they retaliate, they risk losing whatever pork bones the Governor might toss at them and also future retaliation on whatever bills are left. If they don't retaliate, they will make Pee-Wee Herman look like Chuck Norris in comparison to them.

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