Want better government? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Want better government?

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 8:42 AM

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Here's an idea: Less Dick Armey. 

The sexist, homophobic shill for the tobacco industry was in town today to rally the dead-enders to try to create a rump minority large enough to kill a health program that could bring $200 million in aid and comfort to Arkansans with a tax on a product that creates a devastating health burden.

A news release of Armey's remarks on the jump, canned for the dead-enders' caucus, gives you the flavor. His rally drew a sparse crowd and plenty of protesters.

Meanwhile, religiowingnut Debbie Pelley is mobilizing her Arkansas troops to bombard potential Republican quislings with e-mail. She seems to think these Republicans are candidates to vote with Beebe -- Rick Green (he's a co-sponsor), Roy Ragland, Robert Dale, Tim Summers, Les Carnine,Jon Woods, Mary Lou Slinkard and Duncan Baird. (Baird and Woods have been quoted in various settings as saying they wouldn't vote for the tax.)

If Pelley's right, Rockefeller Republican Awards (remember WR, a truly courageous and principled Republican?) are in order for all of them. Still not ready to roll out a Ray Smith for any of them just yet.

As all expected, Armey refused a challenge to debate Surgeon General Joe Thompson on the merits of the tax and health plan. "Silly gimmick," he said at his news conference, flanked by the Armey Youth of the Ark. legislature.

PPS: Amusing item on The Arkansas Project about the appearance of former Huckabee aide Jason Brady, now working as a pro-tax lobbyist, waving a sign at Dick Armey.

PPPS: The tobacco tax coalition responds to Armey's sideshow here. And Speaker Robbie Wills is blogging like crazy. He says Big Tobacco thinks voters are stupid.

Little Rock, AR - Chairman of FreedomWorks and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey visited Little Rock on Tuesday, February 3rd at the invitation of House Minority Leader Bryan King (R-91).  Armey addressed a caucus meeting of Republican legislators to discuss the importance of setting priorities in the budget and not raising taxes during a recession.
 
Dick Armey commented:
 
“A hearty thanks goes to Representative Bryan King for inviting me to Little Rock today.  It was my pleasure to share a few of the lessons I learned in building the Republican Revolution of the 1990s with the next generation of conservative leadership.  I spoke with a group today that understands pocketbook economic issues.  They know a legislative body should do everything possible to live within its means and avoid raising taxes. And with Arkansas running a surplus, raising taxes on the poor and middle class during a recession is just unacceptable.
 
Legislators need to make the tough choices necessary and allocate scarce budget resources for priorities without resorting to gimmicks and regressive taxes.  Not only is it unfair to burden one politically unpopular group with disproportionate and excessive taxes, but these gimmicky taxes and fees are an unreliable source of revenue. When the expected revenues do not flow into state coffers, officials will turn to additional taxes to fill the gap and maintain their ever-expanding bureaucracy.
 
As the nation faces a stiff economic headwind, states should focus on cutting spending and waste, making government more efficient, and removing burdensome regulations that stand in the way of long-term growth. The last thing they should do is raise taxes on the poor and middle class.”
 
FreedomWorks is a grassroots organization with over 500,000 members nationwide dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

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