Monday, July 07, 2008

Budget Numbers Cooperative for Beebe

It once again appears as if the state has an embarrassingly large accumulation of excess tax collections on hand- $260 million. At least it would be embarrassing if the special interests in Little Rock could feel any shame. They are now circling like buzzards in hopes of getting the money. Meanwhile, the families who originally earned the money are hurting, but only a few legislators like (R)Bryan King of Berryville are talking about tax cuts. For the rest of them, you can never give your government enough of your earnings! No matter how much they over-collect, they want more.

And while we are on the subject of budgets, you may recall from April (scroll to 7-10th)postings on this site that the budget numbers have done some pretty weird things under the Beebe administration. Even budget director Richard Weiss thought so!

When the special session was going on, Beebe wanted a huge increase in the Natural Gas Severance tax. He also wanted 95% of the money from that tax diverted from general revenue to his special super-secret road program. When the legislature was in session, he gave no hint that the general revenues were in trouble. His legislation was rammed through, but outside the session he drew strong criticism for his failure to share any of the severance money with hurting Arkansas families at a time when the state treasury was overflowing. A week after the session it was leaked that the state's General Revenues were predicted to be way down! Beebe did not feel the need to tell the legislature about those projections when they met a few days before to divert money from the General Revenue to his special program. Apparently, all the Governor thinks they need to know is how to use a rubber stamp.

At any rate, the "emergency" cuts in the budget and dire predictions of losses in revenue struck me as a little odd considering the shale play and other factors. It seemed more like a convenient cover for Beebe's greed in keeping all of the severance tax money for government rather than sharing it with the People in the form of tax cuts. Lo and behold, the new figures contain no hint of the massive revenue loss. Instead, they show that the state continues to over-collect taxes!

The last time this happened, the legislature completely caved to the Governor and the special interests. Let's see if we can get them to be on our side for a change.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Moore,

Secure Arkansas leader Jeannie Burlsworth told the Associated Press this morning that their initiated act to deny state benefits for illegal immigrants will fall about 10,000 signatures short.

Would love to see some of your commentary on this. I personally find it unbelieveable that they were not able to get the needed signatures. I know plenty of people are really mad about the illegal immigration problem. What is going on?

I noticed that you didn't make much of an effort to support the petition. What gives? Nor have I seen much support for the gay adoption amendment. You have an opinion on that topic?

2:49 PM, July 07, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

The answer is an article in itself, and one I guess I need to write.

4:48 PM, July 07, 2008  

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