Favorite

Smart talk, April 9 

No billionaire left behind

 

With the country in a deep recession, unemployment rising and foreclosure rates skyrocketing. U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln drew attention last week for legislation she introduced to extend a quarter-TRILLION in tax breaks to families of the wealthiest people in the U.S. Lincoln joined hands with a Republican senator to propose raising the couples' exemption on the estate tax from $7 to $10 million and cut the top tax rate from 45 percent to 35 percent. This would help about .2 percent of the people in the country.

The New York Times wasn't impressed with Lincoln's effort. A critical editorial said proponents overstated the impact of the tax and falsely labeled it double taxation, when the bulk of retained wealth comes in the form of assets that have not been taxed previously. The newspaper also said an even higher exemption would likely discourage philanthropy. There's no tax bite on money given to charity. But the legislation might well encourage contributions of another sort. Walton family money has underwritten the campaign to end the estate tax. That's not a bad family to befriend right before a 2010 re-election campaign.

 

Travel and serve

 

Nicholas Hall, a 27-year-old student at the Clinton School of Public Service, is getting national attention for a new nonprofit he's creating as an outgrowth of his school work. Called Volunteer to See, it's an organization devoted to promote tourism geared to service. Travelers might, for example, be helped to plan vacations in New Orleans to work in Katrina rebuilding projects. Hall himself served a year in New Orleans with AmeriCorps. Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford thinks Hall's project could do for tourism what Teach for America has done for helping put idealistic young people in classrooms. Hall has more work to do, but he's already living the dream. He'll be in Bolivia this summer installing solar panels.

 

Top 10 polluters

 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency reports each year on toxic chemical release by industry in each state. In its latest report, covering 2007, the EPA said Arkansas released 43.8 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environmental that year, not counting chemicals transferred to other sites for disposal. Well more than half of the releases were generated by the top 10 producers of toxic releases.

The leaders, ranked by on- and off-site release of all chemicals, in pounds: Great Lakes Chemical of El Dorado, 4.6 million; Nucor-Yamato Steel of Blytheville, 4.1 million; Stratcor of Hot Springs, 3.6 million; Nucor Steel of Blytheville, 3 million; Domtar Industries of Ashdown, 2.5 million; Evergreen Packaging of Pine Bluff, 2.2 million; Entergy's Independence Steam Electric Station at Newark, 2.1 million; Clean Harbors of El Dorado, 1.8 million; Georgia-Pacific at Crossett, 1.6 million, and River Valley Animal Foods of Scranton, 1.6 million.

 

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

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