Dispatch from Nate Bell-land
I'm writing to tell you how much I enjoy reading the Arkansas Blog. Here in Nate Bell land (Mena), we have no state news coverage in our two newspapers nor on our radio stations. No one really knows what's going on in Little Rock or around the state unless they read it on the Internet. Actually, they do have a weekly column written by Nate Bell in the papers touting his opinions of all the good work he's doing for us. So again, no one really knows what's going on in Little Rock. The only reason Nate Bell was ever elected was because he had an "R" by his name and no one challenged him in the primary. Maybe next time it will be different. He's really had some come-uppance this past few weeks. More letters to the editor in the local papers than I've seen on any subject in a long time, and all of them negative.
Your coverage of the legislative session was enlightening and helped me to know who the players are and what they're doing to misrepresent their constituents. The Republican-controlled legislature gave you plenty of fodder for your wonderful sense of humor.
Your read on Mike Ross is spot on. I've held my nose and voted for him too many times, and I was so sorry to hear that he's running for governor. He needs to just change parties and get it over with. He was a lousy congressman and he'd make a lousy governor.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for a shining light in the deep dark red of Arkansas. Hopefully a few years down the road, people will realize they've been duped into voting against their own self-interests and for the corporate agenda, and the pendulum will swing back to the left.
About those job creators
I have one simple question for Republicans. If cutting taxes to the "job creators" creates jobs, then why do we still have an unemployment rate hovering around 8 percent? Taxes for the "job creators" have been low since the Bush tax cuts of 2002. Obama has not raised taxes in the four-plus years he has been in office and has, as a matter of fact, lowered taxes. The experiment during the Reagan years failed (the deficit exploded during the '80s, unemployment hovered at 10 percent for almost a year and the wealth gap between the wealthy and middle class widened), and the continued experiment currently going on has been a miserable failure (high unemployment, high deficits and an even greater widening of wealth between the rich and middle class), so why not try a different approach? Trickle down simply does not work!
But do you know what does work? Trickle up. The poor and middle class tend to spend most (or all) of what they make. If we give these people more money instead of the "job creators," they will spend it, putting more money into the economy. It will also create more demand for goods and services. And higher demand for goods and services will create increased profits for corporations as well as creating more manufacturing jobs. Creating more manufacturing jobs will put more people to work and give more people more money to spend on goods and services. Giving more people money to spend on goods and services will put more money into the economy and the circle starts all over again. The poor and middle class benefit. The "job creators" benefit and the country as a whole benefits. With the current system, only the "job creators" benefit. Everyone else, the poor, the middle class and the country as a whole, is worse off.
"Job creators" haven't held up their end of the bargain by creating jobs. As I said, taxes are low for them. The Dow Jones is at a record high, indicating that corporate America is doing better than ever, yet unemployment is still unacceptably high. The economy is doing great for the "job creators," but not for the rest of us. I find it sad that the American economy no longer depends on the American worker. It is time to change the way you think and start to do what is best for the American people. I think the evidence is in and your policies simply don't work.
North Little Rock
The murder of a school district
While PCSSD had $14 million and a budget that reflected one-time (not recurring) expenses, it was declared in fiscal distress. Now it's almost the end of the year and don't be surprised to hear that it now has $26 million. Without taxpayers' knowledge, they continue to pay taxes and don't have an elected school board. Taxation without representation is existing right now. If you needed to address the school board about a concern, where would you go? Who or how many people would take you seriously or be there to listen? A petition was sent to Governor Beebe, but he ignored it. No response. The Arkansas General Assembly met and was quickly put into motion by a select few to help dismantle the district or at best, help area communities break away so they'd get their own districts. They were told it would be the only way to get out of a desegregation order from court (not true). Now, rather than get control of the district they have, the communities are fed up and want their own.
Teachers have spoken up and tried to draw attention to what's been going on, but they aren't taken seriously because they have a union. We are waiting patiently, and continuing to serve our students, while we wait on court dates. Even when we win our recognition back and get our contracts reinstated, the taxpayers still will be in the same position. Before the "powers that be" ruin your district, please stand up as taxpayers, as stakeholders and demand your district back. Your children and grandchildren deserve better than a one-man show for a school system.
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