Sunday, September 15, 2002


Saturday's Commercial Appeal has this story about the ongoing battle in Arkansas to reign in government spending. I covered this one previously here.

Apparently, the pro-tax crowd learned the lessons of Tennessee and found a catchy, if nonsensical, acronym for themselves: APPLES (Arkansans to Protect Police, Libraries, Education and Services). It sounds catchy and vital, doesn't it? Wouldn't want to hurt our schools or police, would we?
Dr. Harry Ward of Little Rock, former chancellor of the University
of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, is APPLES chairman. He said the
measure does not clearly define food and medicine and does not
alert voters that the proposal would eliminate the state's
soft-drink tax, which provides $150 million annually for programs
that aid the poor and elderly.

Ward said APPLES was not challenging the merits of removing the
sales tax from food and medicine, though officials estimate it
would cost the state and local governments $300 million to $500
First thing, Ward is the "former" chancellor. What does he do now? Any conflicts there?

Next, "soft drink tax?" Did you know in Arkansas that you even pay a soft drink tax? Do we in Tennessee? I'd bet on it!

And lastly, the old chestnut. It will "cost" the State. BZZT! Wrong answer, you lose! Reducing the tax burden on taxpayers isn't a "cost." It's a way of forcing legislators to do their fiscal job; one that they too-often forego in their desire to appease interest groups and build personal empires.

I'll leave the final word with Ax The Food Tax, a group that seems to have a better opinion of their fellow men and women:
Karl Kimball, chairman of the Committee to Axe the Food Tax, said
opponents were selling Arkansas voters short.

"The people of Arkansas are smart enough to decide it in a
democratic fashion, and that's the way it should be done," he

Until next time.

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