The so-called moderate Davy Carter | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 14, 2012

The so-called moderate Davy Carter

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

DAVY CARTER: As moderate as Ronald Reagan.
  • DAVY CARTER: As moderate as Ronald Reagan.
Some liberal-leaning types have been falling all over themselves praising rising House Speaker Davy Carter as a moderate alternative to the Republicans' original choice, Terry Rice. Carter occasionally strikes a note of common sense, a rare enough trait among the new Republican majority. But time will tell if the difference may be more in style than substance.

Bomb-throwing Republican Nate Bell quotes approvingly, for example, from a newspaper profile of Carter:

He promises to reduce the state income tax and to fight burdensome regulations. A top priority will be decreasing the size of government and eliminating waste.

This effort will begin by reducing the state sales tax on groceries. The biggest issue is the looming Medicaid shortfall which is hard to resolve because the Obamacare guidelines are still uncertain.

Carter likes to quote Ronald Reagan, "We don’t have a trillion dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion dollar debt because we spend too much.”

The fault for the conflation here of unrelated issues — the state and federal budgets — may lie more with the writer of this passage than with Carter.

But just to be clear: The state of Arkansas has a balanced budget. It has no debt, except for bonds to which income streams are pledged. The Obamacare guidelines ARE clear enough to show a net financial gain to the state from their implementation and a solution to the current Medicaid shortfall. Burdensome regulation? Care to name one on Arkansas books? We have a laissez faire environmental protection agency, workers comp laws not worthy of the name, corporate tax accounting that produces a windfall for national corporations. The burden, if there be one from government, falls almost entirely on those who live at the bottom of the hill down which the you-know-what rolls. The cliched calls for waste-cutting and expense-cutting in Arkansas grow increasingly tiresome from a GOP contingent that has never produced any meaningful specific to back up the meme — other than the obvious, of course, such as defying Supreme Court rulings on adequate education support, cutting prisoners loose or throwing old people out of nursing homes and blocking medical services for the working poor and their children.

I've talked enough to Davy Carter to believe that he understands the reality. But if he's still trotting out the same old Grover Norquist script in fresh newspaper interviews, I have to wonder if he's likely to lead the new Republican majority legislature to anything but the same train wreck with a different engineer. I haven't seen a Republican income tax plan yet that was anything more than a windfall for the rich and a body blow to the state budget. Carter so far hasn't revealed another way.

UPDATE: The Northwest D-G wrapper account of Carter's meeting with some red-hot Repubs at Neal's Cafe in Springdale indicates he got some grief for being even willing to discuss Medicaid expansion and, particularly, for retaining former Democratic House Speaker Bill Stovall as a key House staff member.

He said there was no one experienced enough to fully replace Stovall when “the session starts in 30 days."

“You have to have people who have been there and know what they’re doing,” he said. “Getting rid of them would leave us exposed to procedural screw-ups.”

To those calling for massive resistance to everything related to Obamacare, Carter commented:

“If we say ‘No, no, no’ to everything,” Carter said, “the federal government will do it themselves and do it over us.”

Rep. Charlie Collins reassured the crowd about the Republican legislature's conservative bona fides. He promised bills to allow concealed weapons on college campuses, stringent anti-abortion bills aimed at de facto outlaw of the practice and the Billionaire Boys Club charter school agenda.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

Most Shared

  • Guest Playlist: Flap Jones of "Not Necessarily Nashville" schools us on real country music

    "Not Necessarily Nashville," which airs on KUAR-FM 89.1 every Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., celebrates three decades of the "best of the rest of country music" Saturday, October 21 at the White Water Tavern with Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs & The Creek Rocks, and we asked host Flap Jones to curate a playlist for us ahead of that anniversary celebration.
  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Hog football: The lawyers take over

    • You guys are way too tough on Arkansas's only professional football team.

    • on October 22, 2017
  • Re: Hog football: The lawyers take over

    • i believe the uniform should be Lignite rather than Anthracite. Anthracite is actually worth something.

    • on October 22, 2017
  • Re: Hog football: The lawyers take over

    • The University needs to find a for cause reason to terminate him so we taxpayers…

    • on October 22, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation