Talk is cheap; state government isn't: Preparing for the new GOP order | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talk is cheap; state government isn't: Preparing for the new GOP order

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Fox 16 reports here on the $4.7 million owed Arkansas counties for holding prisoners that should be in state prisons. The cost mounts daily.

Which inspires some free association on state government:

Benji Hardy reported here yesterday about the legislature's tentative movement to make a parsimonious increase in beginning teacher pay. The idea seems to be, however, to make the school districts, not the state, pay for it. Places like Lake View and Pulaski County Special are, of course, rolling in dough. That's why the D-G had a big story this morning on huge budget whacks necessary in Pulaski County. Do I smell a new lawsuit over equity and adequacy?

And, of course, when the teabaggers take control of the state Senate (and the U.S. Congress), state revenues — already flat — will be devastated by the repeal of Obamacare and its private option Medicaid expansion, with millions for state health programs.

And when the Republican law-and-order crowd is  firmly in control, prison population will increase dramatically from the end of parole and tougher sentences — or else expensive rehabilitative care — for drug users. Not to worry. With $100 million in new prison construction and millions more for more parole and rehab workers, we'll have lots of room to take care of them all.

Finally, though, there's no need to worry about money. Republican Asa Hutchinson's plan for a whopping huge income tax cut will naturally produce an economic boom that will cover schools, prisons and other aspects of state government.  Just ask Sam Brownback if that isn't so.

I didn't mention covering health care costs. That's easy. We'll no longer need to worry about the elderly and kids on Medicaid (the major source of revenue for Arkansas Children's Hospital). In Tom Cotton's world, health care is something people should provide for themselves. It's not the job of government. Just give the guy making $6.25 an hour a tax-advantaged medical savings account and he'll pile up cash for his doctor bills.

OK, and if there are one or two truly needy people out there — as opposed to deadbeat welfare chiselers — there are ample churches ready and willing to pick up the cost of neonatal intensive care, organ transplants and such in the rare case where somebody truly deserves a hand, rather than a handout.

What a wonderful world it will be.

(For first-time readers: Snark is intended in above.)

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