Lincoln talks bull 

Lincoln talks bull

There was much the new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee might have told the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, for the cattlemen's own good and the nation's. The big ranchers are forever seeking cutbacks on environmental laws that might affect their profit margins; lower fees for overgrazing the public range, and, most of all, weaker meat inspection laws, though the existing laws are minimal. Addressing the association last week, Sen. Blanche Lincoln could have asked the cattlemen to be a little less selfish, to think of others' safety — she owes a duty to consumers as well as producers, after all — and to recognize that public land belongs to everyone. Instead, she boasted of voting against climate-change legislation — “I'm as dumb as you are,” seemed to be the message here — and, worst of all, she renewed her campaign against the estate tax, a progressive tax paid by only a handful of the very richest Americans. Lincoln wants to reduce the small tax still further. It hits family farms and small businesses like a steamroller, she said. She worked in a freight train, too.

There's no record of small businesses or farms being crushed by the estate tax. Most estates are exempt from the tax; the ones that must pay do so at an easily affordable rate. The estate tax is no more than an annoyance to the Tysons and the Stephenses and their economic classmates.

Yet the estate tax raises a fair amount of revenue, used for the benefit of rich and poor — from health care, to public education to national defense. Even big ranchers decrying big government benefit from environmental protection, though they may not realize it. And they benefit more than most Americans from the government's protection of private property. They have more property to protect.

Elimination or virtual elimination of the estate tax would be fiscally irresponsible. The loss of estate-tax collections would add greatly to future deficits, unless the money were replaced from some other source — perhaps by higher taxes on those who can least afford to pay, but after eight years of George Bush, there's precious little blood left in that turnip.

Listening to Lincoln on the estate tax is like listening to Sarah Palin talk about death panels. They both know better — well, Lincoln certainly, Palin probably — but political aspirations compel them to not back up an inch, even if the average hard-working American is hurt by their actions. And the average hard-working American is.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Little Rock will next week host a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems led by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Stay the course

    I am frustrated and angry with those who claim the only chance of future success is for the Democratic Party, especially in the South and Midwest, to abandon speaking directly to women and people of color and the LGBT community and instead focus on the economy and other "more comfortable" topics in order to win back some of the center.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Worth it

    • And loyal, to a fault.

    • on December 6, 2016
  • Re: Worth it

    • Alas, Gene's memory ain't what it used to be. He wrote a column some time…

    • on December 5, 2016
  • Re: Forget identity politics

    • Hillarys 'Stronger Together' nonsense failed because she failed to make it a reality. As Gene…

    • on December 5, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation