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Cut-crazy

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In the familiar saying, only death and taxes are certain, but in Arkansas, it's equally sure that bills to reduce taxes will be introduced in the Arkansas legislature, no matter how inappropriate. Even as state officials ponder turning elderly poor out into the streets for lack of funds to assist them, we hear that some legislators hope to further lower taxes in the current legislative session. They're talking specifically about cutting the income tax — a progressive tax that, in Arkansas, already bears less than its fair share of the load ­— and the sales tax on energy. There's a Cater-to-the-rich Caucus in the General Assembly, and it's always industrious, if unofficial.

To be fair, Arkansas isn't the only state where legislators pursue harmful tax cuts masquerading as "reform." Citizens for Tax Justice, which tries to look out for the little man in these matters, reports that in a dozen or more states, legislators are seeking tax reductions that would injure most of their constituents.

"Cutting or eliminating the personal and corporate income tax (and replacing some of the lost revenue with other taxes such as the [regressive] sales tax) is one of the most prominent proposals," CTJ says. "Lawmakers claim these policies will boost revenues and support economic growth, but on closer inspection, they are little more than vehicles for ideological goals like shrinking the government or cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations."

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