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Monday, October 15, 2012

Even ALEC gives Arkansas a good economic rating

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM


This is nice. The Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity has been peppering every social media outlet in addition to the mail and conventional media with the message that Arkansas really sucks and the only way to lift the state out of its economic morass is a Republican legislature.

Gov. Mike Beebe has taken to the air, as I noted earlier this morning, to defend Arkansas on tax cutting, education, budget balancing and job creation.

The Koch mercenaries scoff at it all.

So I wonder what the Kochs; paid lead mercenary Teresa Oelke; state Rep. Nate Bell's wife who's on Oelke's payroll, and other sycophants say about the latest edition of the work of another Koch-supported conservative lobby, the American Legislative Exchange Council. In cooperation with supply side guru Arthur Laffer and others, it ranks states on how well they comport with the ALEC/Laffer model for appropriate economic policy.

Here's a link to the latest report. The setup:

...chapter 4 is the much anticipated 2012 ALEC-LAFFER State Economic Competitiveness Index. The first measure, the Economic Performance Rank, is a historical measure based on a state's income per capita, absolute domestic migration and non-farm payroll employment — each of which is hugely influenced by state policy. This ranking details states' individual performances over the past 10 years based on the economic data.

The second measure, the Economic Outlook Rank, is a forecast based on a state's current standing in 15 equally weighted policy variables, each of which is influenced directly by state lawmakers through the legislative process. In general, states that spend less, especially on transfer programs, and states that tax less, particularly on productive activities such as working or investing experience higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more.

And I bet you want to know where Arkansas ranks.

A heckuva lot better than its football team.

It's Top 10 — at No. 10 — in the competitiveness index and just outside the Top 10, at 11, among 50 in economic outlook. What's more, we appear to be on the rise, from a 13th ranking in outlook. And note that we're 7th in the country in income growth over a decade.

The executive summary explaining the report is here.

This link boils it down to the Arkansas page.

So. Koch stooges are saying, essentially, not to believe what other Koch stooges are telling you about Arkansas, they're full of it. I guess there's also the possibility the AFP's Teresa Oelke might say Arthur Laffer and ALEC are full of it.

Which side are Sen. Irvin, Rep. Bell and the rest of the Republican ALEC/Kochheads? Like Mitt Romney, I suspect the answer is that they're on the side of whatever position serves them best at a particular moment in time. And very flexible.

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