Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beebe's Budget: Worse Than I Thought

Your tax cut is ready.

Thanks to House Majority Leader Steve Harrelson's blog, Under the Dome, I have a clearer picture of Governor Mike Beebe's proposed new budget. It is not a pretty picture if you love freedom.

On January 18th I put up a post "Cutting Through the Fog on Beebe's Budget". Unfortunately, I still had some fog to cut through it seems because based on what I thought then I gave it mixed reviews. I am afraid I'd like to amend that and give it poor reviews.

I evaluate the budget in terms of 1) How much of our $821 million overpayment of taxes do we get back and 2) How much of the $200 million plus yearly overpayment of taxes do we get back and 3) Does government grow faster than our earnings under this budget?

(continued- click "Sunday" below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down.)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I realize that the papers, the Stephens paper especially, is falling all over themselves talking about how wonderful that budget is, and running stories about how other states have this or that fund which Beebe has asked for.

Well, I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to stuff like this, "liberal newspapermen are from Mars, Conservatives are from Earth."

Let me give you a quote from Brummett today to highlight the gap in our thinking....

"He (Beebe) proposes to get state government out of the miserly budgeting and surplus business, and put government into the government business.

You see, the state has been budgeting most conservatively in recent years, projecting annual growth in the 2 percent range, and piling up idle, unencumbered funds - surpluses - as actual growth far exceeded those tightwad spending levels.

Now, Beebe comes along to behold all this budget slack. He proposes to make it taut.........

Beebe won't produce big surpluses. But government's job is to provide services, not compile robust idle savings accounts."

Tightwad spending levels! Our state goverment has balloned 60% in the last ten years. Has the income of the average Arkansan done that?

Notice the liberal newspaper man thinks that the job of government is to "provide services", while a conservative thinks that the job of government is to protect our natural rights (such as right to own property, freedom of speech and assembly, protection from crime and justice for criminals, etc..)

The more government takes from the people who earned it, the less freedom we have. The less control over our own earnings and time and property. The attack-on-freedom candle burns on both ends as your money is taken to set up government programs that then hire people who make regulations that you must give up even more of your freedom and free time to comply with.

We only get about 100 years on this Earth. Do we want to spend it working to pay taxes and complying with government regulations? Is that freedom? This budget takes us away from freedom when we had an excellent opportunity to move toward it by giving most of the money back to the people.

According to Rep. Harrelson

"(1) A 10 percent increase in funding for higher education, or $157 million.;

(2) $202 million in new money for public schools, not including whatever amount lawmakers put toward court-mandated improvements to school facilities;

(3) $117 million in new money for health and human services;

(4) $45 million in new money to the Department of Corrections, in part to add beds at the Women’s Unit and to open a special-needs facility at the Malvern prison. The Department of Community Corrections would get $29 million extra over two years, in part to hire more probation officers; and

(5) $14 million in new money to the State Police, partly to hire new troopers."

Four and five on that list sound good to me, because they are in line with the real core business of government.

There is no way on earth the state universities deserve a 10% increase in funding on top of the 250 million dollars in bond money we just voted them. The $1,000 scholarships Beebe has been talking about will wind up with them too. Make your product better and people will pay their own money for it.

Note that the 202 million for schools does not even include whatever the courts tell them they have to spend! Don't we need to figure that out first?

How about we try fixing the things that you don't need money to fix in the schools? Like discipline and a more modest fund to defend schools from lawsuits so that fear of lawsuits does not drive the process. State tests don't need to drive the process either.

As far as Health and Human Services goes, I am glad we have them. I think we need them. I am not looking to eliminate them, but they are not, no matter what Brummett thinks, the core business of government. They are priviledges, not rights. While I don't want to spend any less on them, I don't want to spend 117 million dollars more on them either. That is growth on top of the massive growth that they got during the Huckabee regieme.

As for our tax cut, I thought it was about 200 million dollars each year. Turns out it is $175 million spread out over two years. That is peanuts compared to what all the groups with their hands out are getting. Heck, Mike Beebe wants about a third of that as his own special pet pot of money. We have a surplus here and one man gets a share of it that is almost a third the size of what the whole state gets and some of us are happy about it!

I said I evaluated the budget in terms of 1) How much of the 821 million dollar surplus we get to keep. Answer : NONE.
2) How much of the ongoing 200 million dollar yearly surplus we get to keep. Answer: It is really a 300 million dollar surplus and we only get 88 million of it with the grocery tax reduction.
3) Does it grow government faster than the Earnings of Arkansans grows? Answer: Yes.

Time is money. When we return people's money to them we in esscence give them more time. Free time. What a wasted opportunity to increase freedom. Instead, we are once again increasing government.

7:53 AM, January 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you be in church? ;)

7:55 AM, January 21, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Yes. I hope to make the 11:00.

7:55 AM, January 21, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Paying $10 in taxes means a typical worker gave up an hour of their life to pay those taxes.

Someone should do the math, at $10 an hour, how many EXTRA hours of freedom is this budget taking away from the citizens of Arkansas?

8:19 AM, January 21, 2007  
Anonymous GOPin08 said...

Not surprising. I knew Beebe couldn't hide his socialism once he got in office. Too bad the people that voted for him, ignorant dolts that they were, didn't know what they were REALLY getting. Though I imagine a lot of them did know, since Dems love giving government handouts on the backs of the taxpayers...those who have REAL jobs and actually WORK for a living.

7:29 PM, January 21, 2007  

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