Firefighting isn't free | Arkansas Blog

Firefighting isn't free

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John Lyon of Stephens Media reports that industry groups support a nickel-an-acre increase in the tax on timberland to provide $675,000 a year to rehire Forestry Commission firefighters laid off in a budget shortfall.

Legislators resist. Particularly Republican legislators, who mostly have pledged away their responsibility to their constituents to Grover Norquist or similar in the form of ironclad no-tax representation. There will be no tax votes to mar their records — no matter how broad the support among those taxed or how great the need.

There are two words for legislators — such as Rep. Nate Bell, who has Twittered crocodile tears about the peril to his constituents from forest fires — who lament job cuts but won't support any taxes. "Shut up."

Or specify which government service you'd cut.

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