Full speed ahead 

If we're lucky, the legislature will have met, enacted Gov. Beebe's severance-tax increase, and gone home by the time this appears. The less time for lawmakers like Sen. Bob Johnson to act up, the better.

The Beebe plan for raising the severance tax on natural gas may not be the best such proposal, but it's the one with the best chance of becoming law, and hugely better than what we have. The tiny severance tax that is now collected produces no substantial revenue for the state, and it helps perpetuate a philosophy of taxation in which the most is asked of those least able to pay.

Gov. Beebe has already confronted the regressive nature of Arkansas taxation. Last year, he won passage of legislation to halve the sales tax on groceries. Now, he would impose a tax on gas producers comparable to that of neighboring states, and in so doing generate as much as $100 million a year in new revenue, most of which would be used on Arkansas's chronically underfunded highways. If he succeeds — and he says he wouldn't have called a special session if he didn't have the votes — he'll have done what previous governors couldn't, and the legislators will have done what previous legislatures wouldn't. Both branches will deserve credit.

Getting Hillary

Hillary Clinton's candidacy may not have proved that female politicians are held to a higher standard, but it has proved — again — that candidates who are disliked by the media are held to a higher standard.

The more lies that were told about Al Gore, the more the media accused him of dishonesty. John Kerry's wartime heroism became a liability in comparison to the signature draft-dodging of the Bush administration. Clinton's exaggerated account of bravery in Bosnia was reprehensible, and dumb, but the pundits howling in rage were unmoved by the casual and continual fictions of Ronald Reagan. Concentration-camp liberations, imaginary black friends, millionaire welfare queens — Reagan manufactured them monthly, and whenever it was revealed they had no basis in fact, he grinned his engaging grin and said, in effect, “You didn't take me seriously, did you?” The media loved him for it.

The media do not love Hillary Clinton. (Unlike Reagan, she usually makes it impossible for them to believe they're smarter than she is.) And they're determined to keep her from winning the nomination.

It happens that the Democrats have another attractive candidate; the media seem to love him. Will they love him as much when he's running against a white male Republican? We hope so. We doubt it.


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Most Viewed

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Him, again

    • That's why it is better to bag babes at the bigger libraries. You get a…

    • on June 20, 2018
  • Re: Legislative boodlers

    • The U6 unemployment rate is still at 8%, partly because they can get benefits and…

    • on June 19, 2018
  • Re: Him, again

    • Regardless of my success or lack of it, I've been way ahead of Trump all…

    • on June 19, 2018

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