Here's Stephens Media's report on the governor's comment floating a tax rebate. We're still of a mind that calling the legislature into special session to authorize one-time payments of $50 to $200 or so amounts, in the end, to a strictly political move. A rainy day fund, to buffer the uncertain tides of revenue, is perhaps worth talking about. The hundreds of millions in unfunded school needs are worth talking about. The rising number of uninsured people and federal pressure on government medical programs are worth talking about.
Even more worthy of discussion is making the state tax system less regressive, perhaps by reducing or removing the sales tax on groceries. Mike Beebe favors this. Asa Hutchinson says it's not part of his tax program. But Mike Beebe also hasn't proposed a specific idea on this yet. Maybe it is time to get specific.
It might be that Huckabee, a seasoned governor, is doing little more than Beebe -- indulging in sure-to-be-popular rhetoric without having to worry he'll have to follow through. (Indeed, unless HE calls a special session, he won't.) Huckabee commented:
"The first thing I'd like to see us do is make sure there is a reasonable, not a ridiculous amount, but a reasonable rainy day fund, is set aside so that in the event of what inevitably will be a recession, we're not looking to slash Medicaid funding for elderly people and we're also not going to be thrown back in court because we don't have enough money to cover schools," Huckabee said on his talk show.