Your tax dollars at work | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Your tax dollars at work

Posted By on Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 7:22 AM

Credit where due. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was a gold mine of important enterprise reporting today. You can go to www.nwanews.com to read the articles - but you have to copy and paste the url; D-G redirects hyperlinks from this site to its pay site, A reader has provided specific copy-and-paste links in the comments.

SEVERANCE TAX: Seth Blomeley explained in industry-irrefutable detail what everyone has known all along -- a natural gas severance tax increase in Arkansas would not lead to a rise in gas bills. It would just be a very tiny part of the factors that contribute to the global gas market and not change it a wit. Dishonest Republicans like Asa Hutchinson and Rep. Aaron Burkes who have suggested otherwise are full of gas.

FOOTBALL FOLLIES: C.S. Murphy studied football coach pay statewide. The outlines of this were already well known, but seeing the epic list of disproportionate sums paid to men (all men) who coach high school football and only coach football (and maybe teach a little P.E.) is sobering. The top five coaches hail from anti-tax Republican Northwest Arkansas, with Rogers and Bentonville vying for the top with pay near $100,000. Is a football coach worth $40,000 a year more than an AP physics instructor? The market, in which there are many football coaches but only a tiny number of physics instructors, would suggest not. But the market has to factor in bread and circus for the Arkansas populace. No contest.

LEGISLATIVE EXPENSES: Michael Wickline did the annual tally of expense payments to Arkanas legislators on top of salary. He found the top five, led by the grifting Sen. Jack Critcher (whose wife hopes to become substitute driver of the term-limited Critcher's gravy train), nailed down more than $50,000 in "expense" payments on top of salary. It's shocking stuff. Critcher claimed $17,000 for a single conference. Legislators took grand western road trips and billed the state at 48 cents a mile for tours of the west, running tabs for road trips with the spouse over $4,000 in one case. Here's a very simple idea: Other branches of state government have a rule  that mileage reimbursement is limited to the cost of published air fare. No more taxpayer-funded trips to Wyoming for the Jeffresses and Cornwells of the world.

And legislators wonder -- as they cry in their free beers with lobbyists at Little Rock and faraway watering holes -- why they are held in such low esteem.

 


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Military lawyers drafted for border immigration duty

    Rachel Maddow reported on MSNBC last night that the Justice Department had requested — and the Defense Department agreed — military lawyers to handle the crush of immigration work on the border. How about adding some Arkies on the temporary duty list?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • LR charter school application withdrawn for this year

    Friendship Aspire Academy has withdrawn its request to move up plans to open a charter school in Little Rock by a year to take advantage of a vacant building being remodeled by the Walton Family Foundation for another charter operator that withdrew.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • Another prison death under investigation

    John Howell, 58, who was serving a life sentence for capital murder in Garland County, died shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday after being found unresponsive on the floor of his barracks at the Cummins Unit, a spokesman said.
    • Jun 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation