Altes Files Bill To Raise Taxes to Repay Feds
I don't think Arkansans elected a record number of Republican legislators so that they could propose increasing taxes on workers in order to pay back the least popular entity in America- the federal government. Still, I am not a legislator and Denny Altes is. Altes is proposing an increase in taxes so the state can repay the 300 million dollars we owe the feds for loans to our state unemployment insurance fund.
This brings several questions to my mind, and some possible answers as well. First of all, the Constitution of this state prohibits state government from putting the people into debt without a vote of the people. I don't remember voting to let the state government borrow 300 million dollars from the feds, do you? Nope. So by what authority did the state enter into this apparently illegal agreement with the feds? If our state government has breached the state constitution with a violation of this magnitude, what is to be done about it?
Unfortunately, the people have a choice of two teams, neither of which seem to want to take seriously things like oaths and constitutions, and people don't seem the least bit interested in forming a team of their own to really take back their state government. So I expect that, yes it was an egregious violation of the state constitution, and no, nobody up there will do a thing about it except raise your taxes. And until people get fed up enough about it to ignore the ire of the establishment media and get their own team they will continue to get this kind of government.
If the people had their own team of people who respected their oaths, we would not be in this debt in the first place. Now that we are, some feel that its time to determine who should pay to get us out of it. My answer is: Not the working men and women of this state. Rather it should come from existing government spending, specifically from the budget of the person most responsible for illegally getting us into debt. The money should come from first of all Gov. Mike Beebe's "quick action closing fund" whereby he gets to pick winners and losers instead of letting the market do it.
That would be 50 million a year, so we can get 200 million of it in his four years right there. What about the other 100 million dollars? How about the General Improvement Fund Money? That comes from interest earned on state accounts. Historically it was divied up among the legislators for local improvement projects and widely regarded as "pork". Once the old line liberal democrats lost control of the distribution of this money, they had people sue to curtail the legislature's role in doling it out. Governor Mike Beebe now controls this money too, and gives it to legislators who play ball with him. To be fair, that's how almost anyone on the other team would handle it too. Still, this money should be used to pay down the debt to the feds, assuming we want to pay them back after what they have done to the country. That way, the person most responsible for this likely illegal and unconstitutional debt will at least have it taken out of his budget rather than the family budgets of hard working Arkansans.