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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arkansas Exploratory Effort Launched

Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: On Monday, I had the privilege of visiting by phone with Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). We discussed his planned future visit to Arkansas to interact with citizens and potential supporting efforts that could lead to a proposed "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" (TABOR). Below is a press release today by ALG.
April 11, 2012, Fairfax, VA — Americans for Limited Government (ALG), a non-partisan issue advocacy organization, today announced the launch of an exploratory program in Arkansas to determine the feasibility of taxpayer and property rights protection measures for future ballot consideration.

“We have been contacted by dozens of supporters throughout Arkansas asking that we (ALG) support efforts to expand taxpayer protections, enshrine real property rights guarantees and to end the practice of governments using tax money to lobby the public,” said Bill Wilson, ALG President. “After careful consideration, we have decided to investigate the feasibility of such ballot measures in future election cycles.”

Established in 2001, ALG has supported ballot initiatives that put in place the most far reaching property rights protections in the nation, advocated Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and measures to attack corruption in government and end the practice of using tax money to lobbying for more tax money.

Long-time Arkansas reformer and advocate Dr. Ron Bartles, PhD, is working with ALG to test the waters for these important reform measures. “It is my sincere hope that we find the strong citizen support in Arkansas that I believe exists for meaningful reforms and serious protections of our most fundamental rights,” said Dr. Bartles. “Americans for Limited Government has a strong track record of effective, aggressive action. When they get involved, things happen. So, I’m looking forward to working with them on this important project,” concluded Bartles.

“America is at a crossroads,” said Wilson. “Only if citizens in solid, conservative states like Arkansas step forward and take the hard actions necessary can we hope to turn the ship of state around before it is too late. Ron Bartles is a tremendous ally and we are proud to be working with him to establish an effective program for reform in Arkansas.”
Regular readers of ARRA News Service may have noted that I often quote the works and words of the Americans for Limited Government. I have found them to be a working ally in the conservative movement for limited and responsible government, a source of good information and research material, and very open to working with new media conservatives. I look forward to meeting Bill Wilson when he visits Arkansas. I also look forward to learning more from Dr. Ron Bartles on his perspective on needed reform measures in Arkansas.

Arkansas under the leadership of Lt Governor Mark Darr working with the legislature led to State Government implementing an online checkbook for state spending. This is commendable! However, it was only a first in a list many changes needed to protect the taxpayers of Arkansas who are called upon to fund the bills of an expanding Government. Arkansans are already paying too high a burden in taxes, fees, and regulatory costs across the board. Also, the growth of government combined on all levels including education has resulted in "government" being the major employer in Arkansas. The growth of government has spurred on the consumption of our tax dollars and has continued to imitate Washington with the growth of new rules, procedures and regulations and in finding more ways to spend more, to expand influence and thus to increase the burden on the people of Arkansas.

I encourage the Republicans, if they gain control of the Arkansas legislature after the 2012 elections, to not wait but include in their actions critical measures to reign in government spending and to indeed even become the advocates of a Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

And while on this point, it is also time for reform minded elected conservatives to lead in efforts to stop the numerous "traditions and practices" in Little Rock that are a carry-over of plantation politics and a burden to the Arkansas taxpayers. There are too many to list herein. But one general example is the tradition and practice of redistributing 50% the excess generated revenue (the surplus) to the Governor to dole out (spend and secure favors) and the remaining 50% going to members of the legislature to do the same thing but on a smaller level including buying votes back in their districts with "our money." I would suggest while making efforts to roll-back government, surpluses needs to be at a minimum restricted to a tightly controlled "rainy day" fund to address unfunded future liabilities. Then after a period of time, say four years as a discussion point, the surpluses need to be reduced by reducing the actual tax burden on those who pay the taxes and fees (be they individuals, businesses, corporations). Surpluses should not be redistributed to new or existing programs for those whom do not pay taxes and fees. Surpluses need to be eliminated. Start with banning the food tax which is nothing more than a plantation tax for the right of a person to exist in Arkansas.

We welcome Bill Wilson and others from Americans for Limited Government who will be making there way to the Natural State. We also appreciate other organizations like Americans for Prosperity who have aided us and numerous budding local and state think-tank organizations. The more resources "we the people" can muster to roll back local, county and state government especially in areas of fraud, waste, abusive spending and expansion of programs, the better we all will be.

Arkansas Tourism tells the world that Arkansas is a place for "fun affordable family vacations, romantic getaways." But let's dream on - it would be nice for Arkansas to be affordable for young families to live and to be able to work here in the Natural State. It would be nice if Arkansas joined its neighboring states in having no-income taxes. It would be nice for Arkansas to be friendly in attracting new corporations by having in place permanent lower corporate taxes and fees. Welcome to Arkansas ALG President Bill Wilson and all others willing to assist in making the Natural State more welcome not only to others but also to our own citizens.

Tags: Arkansas, Bill Wilson, ALG, Americans For Limited Government, press release, Taxpayer Bill of Rights, plantation politics, traditions and practices, big government, Welcome to Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:41 PM - Post Link

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