Rebate now, pay later | Arkansas Blog

Rebate now, pay later



State tax revenues continue to run strong. The lame duck governor, with no responsibility for the years ahead, plays to the peanut gallery with continued tax rebate talk yesterday. (Sorry, I'm working an internet cafe in Copenhagen that blocks my ability to insert commands such as hypertext links to relevant articles.) [Ed.: link added]

It will make a popular leave-taking for the governor, while legislators who must govern the next two years have to take a soberer approach. In recent weeks we've heard of the need for hundreds of millions in new Medicaid spending; tens of millions in highway work for a department lusting after general revenue; an unfinished court-ordered commitment to school construction; the continued rise in the cost of everything, particularly fuel; county jails backed up with state prisoners and politicians (including, sensibly, the governor) talking about more rehab programs to divert drug offenders; colleges with year after year of tuition increases doubling the rise in inflation because of what officials say has been an undercommitment of state money; etc.

You get the idea. In short, talk of tax rebates is cheap. Tax cutting was done once before during the Huckabee years and soon enough followed by increases to meet the inevitable costs of serving the public.

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