Income inequality? Don't look around here for a fix | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 25, 2015

Income inequality? Don't look around here for a fix

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 7:20 AM

click to enlarge POPE FRANCIS: His message could bear repeating here.
  • POPE FRANCIS: His message could bear repeating here.
Contrasting messages in the news this morning:

* POPE FRANCIS:

“A nation can be considered great,” he concluded, “when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to dream of full rights for all their brothers and sisters as Martin Luther King sought to do, when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.”

* GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON:

He says the state must find a way to cut Medicaid spending by $50 million.

He says Medicaid recipients should be deprived of paid transportation to see the doctor.

He said some of the working poor should pay 2 per cent of their income for their health insurance coverage. For a full-time minimum wage worker this would be about $350 a year. Or roughly $30 a month. Fairness comparison: State legislators, who make about $40,000 plus per diem payments, free trips and all the food and wine they can swill courtesy of the lobby, may enroll in a premium state insurance plan that costs them about $30 a month.

* THE HIGHWAY LOBBY:

To summarize the competing ideas with any chance of adoption: They rob Peter to pay Paul.

Republicans declare dead a simple fuel tax increase — adopted even in some Republican-controlled states with higher cumulative IQs . So how do you pay for roads?

One idea is to keep a remaining sales tax on groceries in place, rather than have it expire when state desegregation funding ends. Yes. A Republican from Chenal Valley proposes to retain the most unfair tax  for poor people to pay for highways.

Another idea: Steal sales taxes on vehicles  to pay for highways. Human services, public safety, schools, colleges can figure out a way to get by on less.

Another idea: Burden rural people with a loss of state funding for road maintenance. Not to worry. The traffic will be lighter with the cessation of those vans hauling poor rural people to the doctor's office.

Another idea: Steal growth in tax revenue for highways. Some arithmetic is necessary, not even of Common Core complexity. It is NOT revenue neutral to transfer growth from the rest of state government to highways. Not unless you think costs of schools, cars, health care are static and never rise year to year.

Full rights? Justice? The cause of the oppressed?

Dream on, Francis.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (27)

Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Slideshows

Most Viewed

  • Pine Bluff native wages war on fraternity culture

    Bloomberg has an interesting feature on Deborah Dunklin Tipton of Memphis, a native of Pine Bluff and heiress to an Arkansas agricultural fortune, who's put her money to work investigating the death of her son Robert in 2012 of what's been ruled an accidental drug overdose following fraternity hazing at High Point University in North Carolina.
  • School superintendent Poore not registered to vote

    Blogger Russ Racop dug up a factoid of interest this week on Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore: He's not registered to vote in Pulaski County.
  • Judge denies Jon Woods' request to be free pending appeal UPDATE

    Judge Timothy Brooks has rejected former state Sen. Jon Woods' request that he be allowed to remain free pending appeal of his public corruption conviction to the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. UPDATED with news on co-defendant Randell Shelton and a request for a trial delay by Jeremy Hutchinson in another public corruption case.
  • Breaking: Ken Starr doesn't like the Clintons. Look who's talking about morality

    Surprise. Former Whitewater persecutor Kenneth Starr's new book trashes Bill and Hillary Clinton, as the Democrat-Gazette made clear this morning. You'd think Starr was some moral exemplar as he whines about his "persona non grata" status in Arkansas.
  • Judge strikes down Rogers' anti-panhandling ordinance

    The ACLU has won another lawsuit against an anti-panhandling ordinance, this time in Rogers.

Most Recent Comments

 

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