Ask the governor | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Ask the governor

Posted By on Wed, Oct 4, 2006 at 9:28 AM

Nobody asked The Huckster on the radio this morning about the Foley case.

 

Otherwise, he said he remains supportive of a state tax cut or rebate, given the surplus, but says there’s no legislative interest in a special session. (At first, he didn’t say much about how he’d pay for schools, Medicaid and prisons if the surplus is rebated or the grocery tax is cut. That, of course, is somebody else’s problem, beginning in January. Lame duck quacking is cheap. In response to a second question, however, he acknowledged court orders would require spending some of the money on schools.)

 

Presidential candidate Huckster wants to, surprise, stay the course in Iraq and cut taxes, maybe impose a flat tax. (A flat tax sufficient to hold the federal budget harmless would produce a tax increase for poor people, because the rate would have to be 17 to 20 percent of income. This would be a windfall for, you guessed it, millionaires.)

 

Another question for The Huckster: Why not spend the surplus on college construction instead of borrowing money through bonds? Huckabee said the legislature could do that, but likely won’t so bonds need to be authorized.

 

Hold the phone: When a caller said the state should have 75 school districts, one for each county, Huckabee commented: "That would be a help." Somebody get A$a! the smelling salts. Is that any way to save the mighty Paron High Lions?

 

In response to a call about the size of coaches' pay at the UA, Huckabee explained that much of those salaries come from contributions to the Razorback Foundation, not tax money, and that, generally, private interests aren’t willing to make the same sorts of contributions to academics. When they do, he complained, “some liberal writer goes out there and attacks them for it.”

 

Presuming he’s referring here to the newspaper with which he no longer speaks, we should clarify that, as usual, The Huckster gets it wrong. We’ve never criticized private contributions to public education. We have criticized secret contributions, funneled through a back door at the LR School District, without school board approval and with strings attached. We have questioned the unfair method of distributing the money and a lack of an independent evaluation process and the lack of any previous demonstration that merit pay -- as conceived by the Waltons and Hussman -- is a proven method of improving class performance. But criticized private support of education? No.

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