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Your family of four made $35,000 in 2001.
Wouldnt it be nice if you saw a 150% budget increase and were making $52,500 now? $300% increase and were $105,000 this year? What if you received a 500% increase and were making $175,000.
Your family may not have been that lucky but Arkansas state government agencies have been. On average, over the last ten years state government has grown 159% with some agencies seeing a 500% increase.
Earlier this afternoon, Arkansas legislators increased government spending another 3.5%. See who voted and how they voted below.
Having refused to even consider a budget alternative that would have saved $40 million in the Medicaid trust fund by eliminating politicians pork barrel projects (earmarks) and made minor cuts that amounted to less than ½ of 1% of spending.
If you are tired of ever growing government spending and want to do something about it, then join AFP Arkansas November is Coming Team.
This morning in the Joint Budget Committee meeting in Little Rock, State Senator Jonathan Dismang proposed an amendment that would require $40 million of existing state surplus monies be shifted to the (swiftly going bankrupt) Medicaid Trust Fund. Keep in mind that Arkansas Medicaid is projected to go into a $250-$400 million shortfall in fiscal year 2013.
Now admittedly Senator Dismang's proposal doesn't "fix" the looming crisis; however it would help matters until something more permanent could be done. What happened today in committee was the continuation of liberals within our Legislature to turn a blind eye to any conservative approach to the approaching fiscal Medicaid failure. When will they learn that we can't tax ourselves into prosperity? I guess that's the ultimate question, though. When will they learn? Or will they learn?
Yesterday we posted the state government growth rate for the past 10 years (2000 - 2010). When we gleaned those numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today we're looking at local government growth in which Arkansas ranks #25 in the nation. If we were a football team we could be pretty happy we ranked in the top 25. But, in this case, the numbers shouldn't give us any reason to cheer as our tax dollars aren't always being spent wisely.
Below are the spreadsheets showing the statistics.
The following information was compiled through the use of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Arkansas once again ranks in the top 20 coming at at #7.
State ---------- Total Growth
1. Texas -------- 50
2. California ----- 39.4
3. North Carolina - 19.6
4. New Jersey ---- 15.6
5. Alabama ------ 15.3
6. Colorado ------ 14.4
7. Arkansas ------ 12.4
8. Minnesota ----- 10.7
9. Virginia ------- 9.1
10. Georgia ------ 8.9
11. Michigan ----- 8.9
[img_assist|nid=20328|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=300|height=300]Well... would you look at this? Seems when a group of Legislators see the need for responsible spending to come out of Little Rock that feathers get ruffled.
Why does the idea of responsibly cutting spending upset some of the elected officials up in Little Rock? Could it be that going against the status quo, refusing to rubber stamp another budget, or simple adherence to partisan politics over what's best for the taxpayers of Arkansas has been unheard of until now?
We'll be keeping an eye on this as it unfolds to bring you the latest. Until then, please check out the following post from the Tolbert Report. The most telling reason for the proposed budget cuts? "This entire debate is centered around the premise of doing more with less, because our Medicaid crisis is no longer looming, it is here."