AR-01: Economist Gary Latanich Takes Apart Crawford’s “Millionaire Surtax Compromise” UPDATE: Ellington Weighs InMar 16, 2012 No Comments ›› ARDem
There are some advantages to having a Democrat running who’s a bonafide economist. Exhibit A, Gary Latanich discussing Rick Crawford’s “Millionaire Surtax” on DownWithTyranny and thoroughly taking it apart:
Crawford’s district is traditionally Democratic and he has two Democratic opponents, an ultra conservative Blue Dog, Clark Hall and Gary Latanich, a progressive economist. Hall, whose reactionary economic and fiscal views pretty much mirror Crawford’s, so his attempt to disguise his corporate views in populist drag yesterday fell flat. “Rick Crawford,” Hall said in a press release, “thinks taking all sides of an issue and holding one’s finger up to the political wind will help his election chances. In reality, it’s political cowardice, and the only compromise Rick Crawford has shown willingness for is a compromise of his principles.” Gary Latanich took a more comprehensive approach in addressing Crawford’s claims to having a plan to resolve the deficit and the debt crisis. “What Congressman Crawford is calling for,” he told me this morning, “is an additional tax on those making more than $1 million per year. The suggested tax increase is something slightly more than 2.5%. According to Congressman Crawford, without some form of revenue enhancement, any proposals for reducing the deficit have no chance of passing in the Democratically controlled Senate.”
“On this point the Congressman is probably right, without revenue enhancements, which Democrats see as “shared” sacrifice, any deficit reduction proposal is dead on arrival. And while this seems like a major concession by a Republican, it is just political posturing because he also wants it to be packaged with a proposal for a balanced budget amendment.
Here’s Latanich’s analysis as an economist:
“Let’s take a closer look at Congressman Crawford’s proposal. He’s interested in an additional tax on millionaires. As far as an additional tax on those at the upper end of the income distribution is concerned, this is most appropriate given the increasingly skewed distribution of income we’ve experienced since the end of the 1970s. The first problem, thought, is with his timing. Now is not the time to raise taxes. Any tax hike at this time will reduce demand, and even though the demand reductions may be small, they are not what is needed at a time when the demand for goods and services is not sufficiently large to significantly reduce unemployment.
“The time for his proposal to be implemented is when the economy is well on the road to recovery, when the nation is nearing the full employment. At that time a comprehensive tax reform should be undertaken. It should include additional tax hikes for those making considerably more than $1 million, and it should also contain relief for those at the bottom of the income ladder. In addition, there should be a closing of tax loopholes, such as the preferential tax treatment of dividends and capital gains, both of which should be taxed as ordinary income.
“But the real flaw in his proposal, the one that makes me think that it is just for show, is its attachment to a balance budget amendment. The annually balanced budget amendment is pro cyclical. That means it will intensify any recession or inflation we enter into. If the annually balanced budget amendment were in place today, it would force the government to cut spending by more the $500 billion, and raise taxes by a like amount. A $1 trillion cut in the federal budget would send the economy into a Greek style nose dive, which in the end, would leave us in the same condition that we were during the Great Depression.
“The annually balanced budget amendment always forces the government to do exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time, cut spending during a recession making it worse, or raise spending during an inflation making it worse. Nice try Mr. Crawford, but your economics is still wrong for Arkansas and the nation.”
Personally, I’m sure millionaires, billionaires, and corporations that aren’t paying taxes could take a hike right now without the economy taking a hit for it as conservatives claim so I’m inclined to disagree with some of that but A) I’m not an economist like Latanich and B) it’s probably smart politics to position himself as the “no tax increases until the economy recovers” candidate.
Update: Scott Ellington weighted in on the matter today as well:
“Coming out in an election year makes me raise my eyebrow a bit,” said Ellington. “Congressman Crawford was voting along party lines most of last year and this is obviously a change from that record. It seems opportunistic to make that proposal at this time. It seems as if he is dangling this tax on millionaires out there to garner support of average folks.”
As for the proposal itself, Ellington was definitely not sold on the idea.
“I am not the economist in the race,” said Ellington when asked whether he supports a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “But running a federal government is different from running a state government. The balanced budget amendment works well for Arkansas, but could cause problems at the federal level so I am not ready to buy into that yet.”
As for the millionaire’s surtax, Ellington seemed at least open to the idea.
“I don’t have one voter in my district that thinks they don’t already pay enough in taxes, but I do think folks should pay their fair share,” said Ellington.
He said he was open to going back to tax rates in effect during the time President Clinton was in office, but also saw some areas where tax breaks should be considered to stimulate the economy, such as tax breaks for corporations that focused on getting jobs that had moved overseas back into the United States.
First, I for one am very pleased to see Scott taking that position on this. Major kudos. But is it just me or was that “I’m not the economist in the race” comment a hat tip to Gary Latanich? If that’s the case then I’ve got to give the prosecutor some kudos for class as well.
That didn’t take long…
Conservative Republicans were quick to pounce on Crawford’s proposal, particularly Tea Party members who helped boost Crawford to a surprise, historic victory last November.
They were quick with their criticism.
“As the 112th Congress begins to mature, it’s becoming painfully clear that not everyone in the ‘Tea Party freshmen class’ is much of a tea partier. In fact, some of them would fit in more with the coffee party,” wrote Daniel Horowitz on the conservative Redstate.com blog.
“In 2010, we were largely focused on turning over the House from Democrat to Republican. To the extent that we focused on intra-party battles, it was primarily in the Senate races. Consequently, we nominated many sleeper progressives in conservative districts to win back the House. One such member is Rick Crawford (Progressive AR-1),” Horowitz added.
The blog post noted that Crawford scored “a failing 58% from Heritage Action and 53% from the Club for Growth,” two ultra-conservative think tank groups.
The blog also noted that Crawford had no primary opponent this year.
“We are stuck with a progressive OWS [Occupy Wall Street] congressman from a conservative state for another 2 years,” Horowitz said.
Now of course Crawford’s, shall we say, “modest proposal” is a sham and the fact that anyone that would consider Crawford a closet progressive is just showing how disconnected with reality they are, but truth be told I can sympathize. This is the equivalent for conservatives of all the backstabbing and betrayal we progressives suffered at the hands of Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross. It is nice to see it on the other side though, even if Crawford’s attempt at a “compromise” isn’t really a compromise and just amounts to bad economics. (More on that in a minute.)
What’s more, Grover “Drown Government in the Bathtub” Norquist himself weighed in on the matter:
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said voting for a surtax on millionaires would violate a pledge legislators signed to oppose any tax increases, and he called an Arkansas lawmaker’s plan to propose that surtax “a mistake.”
On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., said he would introduce legislation on Monday that would require passage of a federal balanced budget amendment in exchange for a 5 percent surtax on individual incomes exceeding $1 million a year.
Crawford’s plan goes against his party’s opposition to raising taxes and would violate a pledge, written by Norquist, that he and other Republicans signed to oppose any new taxes.
But Norquist said he believed Crawford pitched the idea more as “teaching moment” than a serious effort.
“I think what he’s doing is strategically a mistake,” Norquist said.
Crawford really stepped in it with this. Apparently teabaggers will tolerate even apostasy on “Obamacare” before they will any talk of raising taxes on millionaires. (And it is just millionaires. Remember they were just fine with letting the middle class payroll tax go up.) If he doesn’t go down in 2010, and chances are he will, he’s sure to have a primary challenger in 2014 if he somehow survives this year. My question is will Rick stick it out or will he try to walk this back. If he sticks with it, he risks depressing his base, which is already pretty unenthusiastic about the idea of having Mitt Romney on the Presidential ticket. If he tries to walk it back, he’s going to reinforce the notion that he’s a flip flopping panderer even if he somehow manages to repair the damage done with the right. Can’t say I envy his position.
Clark Hall is still trying to run like he doesn’t have a primary.
Hall challenged Crawford to a debate.
“You can’t hide convictions easily, especially in a debate. That’s why I challenge Rick Crawford to a debate. He may bring anyone of his umpteenth and contradictory economic ideas. I will bring my proven record and steadfast conviction that serves Arkansas first,” Hall added.
Just one problem with that…Before he debates Rick Crawford, he’s got to debate Gary Latanich and Scott Ellington.
I spoke recently with someone on the Latanich campaign and they’re excited about the prospects for a debate at ASU. Latanich has had web ads up for weeks asking why Hall won’t debate and the time for Hall to ignore the challenge has long passed. From what I hear through the grape vine, Ellington is amenable to it as well, and though I can’t say that for certain I suspect it’s right considering Ellington’s reputation. So far it seems the only question is if Hall is going to join them on the stage. Hall though seems to think he’s entitled to a straight shot at Crawford. Guess he missed the memo that he’s not the only Democrat running…
The ERA vote count is looking promising so far on the state senate side of things. Looking back at past sponsorship of the ERA, it looks like we’ve got at least 18 Democratic state senate candidates running in 15 state senate races that are on record in support of equality for women:
Uvalde Lindsey, Diana Gonzales Worthen, Tracy Pennartz, Steve Harrelson, David Wyatt, Robert Thompson, Paul Bookout, Jack Crumbly, Keith Ingram, Stephanie Flowers, Greg Reep, Eddie Cheatham, Bobby Peirce, Tiffany Rogers, Joyce Elliott, Fred Allen, David Johnson, & Linda Tyler
Some of the are running against each other in primaries, so that brings the total vote count to 15 maximum, assuming we win all 15 races.
Of those listed-
Uvalde Lindsey and Paul Bookout are unopposed and David Johnson might as well be considering his district. 3 other races have no Republican candidate running.
Joyce Elliott is being challenged by Fred Allen and Jack Crumbly by Keith Ingram. Neither race has a Republican running.
Greg Reep and Eddie Cheatham are running against each other and a third Democrat, Johnnie Bolin, who isn’t on record yet. There is a Republican running in the general election.
Stephanie Flowers, Bobby Peirce, and Steve Harrelson are facing primaries from challengers that we don’t have on record yet and Harrelson and Peirce will also face a Republican. Harrelson’s race is expected to be tough.
Rob Thompson and David Wyatt both drew Republican challengers. Wyatt’s is of potential interest as he’s running against ERA opponent Linda Collins Smith.
Worthen, Pennartz, Rogers, and Tyler are all potential senate seat pickups for Democrats. Tyler’s, Roger’s, and possibly Worthen’s races are likely tossups. Pennartz’s race is likely only competitive if the damaged Bruce “Fireball” Holland survives his primary.
So there’s the rundown. We’ve got a long way to go here, but both this count and the senate seat math are encouraging. Still, every Democrat needs to be on record in support of the ERA. Get your house or senate candidates on the record and let us know where they stand.
A little while back, Maria Hicks, candidate for Justice of the Peace up in NWA and vice chair of the 3rd district Hispanic Caucus was in the news for having taken the Secretary of State’s office to task. Mark Martin’s office, you’ll recall, didn’t have Spanish language voter registration forms available, which of course is against the law. Martin, you’ll recall, made disenfranchisement of Latino’s a promise to the ever bigoted State Rep. Donna Hutchinson. Well, it seems that Steve Womack’s father, local hate radio host Kermit Womack decided that this was grounds to attack Hicks on, leveling a rather nasty, racist smear, according to listeners in NWA who got to hear Daddy Womack accuse Hicks of “bringing over bad habits from another country”.
First off, Hicks is originally from Puerto Rico. You know, that island the U.S. claims as a territory that we talk about making a state every now and then? The one that’s about to have a Republican Presidential primary? In other words, she’s an American citizen. On top of that, she’s lived much of her life stateside, and around 18 years (a little over half her life) in NWA.
That said, this is not the first time Daddy Womack has gone off on Latinos, who he routinely calls wetbacks. And according to at least one of his listeners I talked to, Womack at one point referred to “this Jew Congress”. Kinda gives you an idea why this program doesn’t keep an online archive doesn’t it?
Daddy Womack of course will likely deny this. Last time he got caught being his old ugly self he denied it even as he was confronted with the audio tape. Personally, I’m more interested in what his son the Congressman has to say about it. From the day Steve Womack became mayor of Rogers, he’s refused repeatedly to meet with Hispanic activists and organizations. The racial profiling of his police department following his campaign of anti-Latino demagoguery became so bad that they even stopped the aforementioned bigot, Donna Hutchinson, based on her skin color. (Hutchinson is Native American.) Latinos have long been Womack’s favorite whipping boys but it’s always been in question if he was just exploiting racism for political gain or if he actually believed it. Well if this stuff is any indication, it looks like Lil’ Stevie learned good ol’ fashioned hate at his daddy’s knee.
So is Womack going to condemn his father’s comments? Does he share his sentiments?? Are we supposed to believe it’s just a coincidence that his dad pops off about this stuff and Womack’s record is so anti-immigrant and anti-Latino??? What’s the deal here Congressman????
This is the advantage of having competitive races-it holds our representatives feet to the fire and forces them to push legislation that they otherwise wouldn’t.
This was Rick Crawford in 2011:
“You’re asking me if I want to continue to tax at a higher rate people who are creating jobs and no I don’t want to do that.”
(That’s at about 4:04 in response to a question on cutting taxes to the wealthy.)
This is Crawford today:
Next week, I will introduce The Shared Responsibility in Preserving America’s Future Act. This bill would require Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment in exchange for a 5 percent surtax on individual income exceeding $1 million annually. While my proposal may turn some heads, I hope it will mark the beginning of Republicans and Democrats working together to fundamentally change Washington and start reducing our national debt.
My bill contains two important measures:
1. It requires the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
2. If and only if Congress passes a Balanced Budget Amendment, a 5 percent surtax would go into effect for individuals with income over $ 1 million a year. The 5 percent surtax would only be on income over $1 million. Taxes would not increase at all on anyone making $1 million or less. Also, small businesses that file taxes as individuals would not be required to pay this 5 percent surtax.
Now of course the balanced budget amendment will never pass through the Congress or through the states required to amend the constitution (and that’s a good thing too-mandating a balanced budget in bad economic times is terrible economics) so Crawford’s not really compromising here, just trying to look that way. But it’s telling that he’s gone from where he was last year to here. Crawford of course is facing tough competition in a more Democratic district thanks to redistricting and has failed miserably at defining himself and reaching out to his constituents. So far, his strategy seems to be to run to the left and hope Democrats and independents buy it and that Republicans don’t get too pissed about it. This is actually Crawford’s third major flip flop where he’s thrown his fellow Republicans under the bus. The first (and biggest) was when he changed his position and decided that we shouldn’t repeal all of that scary Obamacare after all. The second was his laughably sudden shift on the payroll tax cut compromise, going from calling it irresponsible to telling the leadership to compromise with the President that his own website couldn’t keep up with him. This is smacking of desperation and I don’t think faux compromises and such pathetic pandering are going to win Crawford too many votes.
We’re yet to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary for this race. But we’re committed to seeing a good Democrat take this seat back. If you share that commitment, you should make a donation to the AR-01 Democratic nominee fund. Two of the three candidates have ActBlue accounts, and if you have a preference you can check them out here.
Time to send this clown back to the rodeo.
Our Republican representatives campaigned on “jobs, jobs, jobs” and their Republican controlled House is costing Arkansas jobs.
And so it begins. In January, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas announced that it would lay off up to 1,600 American workersif Congress cannot extend a key tax credit for the wind industry. And now, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a large emerging player in manufacturing and project development, says it will scrap plans to build a new $100 million plant in Arkansas without the tax credit in place.
Even with strong bipartisan support among governors, the business community, and many members of Congress, a small group of anti-clean energy opponents have held up passage of the production tax credit.
Without a firm outlook for more equipment orders, it doesn’t make sense for Mitsubishi to operate the U.S. plant. That would mean the end of 330 long-term manufacturing and operations jobs in Arkansas before they had a chance to start. What a great sign that sends to global investors.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas industries enjoy permanent tax benefits for manufacturing and drilling operations. (The top five oil companies brought in $137 billion in profits last year alone.)
Tim Griffin shills for TransCanada and foreign interests pushing the Keystone Pipeline that will only create a handful of temporary jobs none of which will even be in Arkansas, but isn’t making a peep about this. Steve Womack doesn’t give a damn about creating jobs or doing much of anything for his constituents-his political career is about the same thing it has always been, himself. Rick Crawford has been in Congress more than a year and still has no clue what he’s doing. And as far as Mike Ross is concerned wind energy is for liberal hippies.
In a party line vote that was historic for Arkansas in and of itself, Arkansas House Democrats elected Rep. Darrin Williams to be the House Speaker Designate, making history by electing the first African American Speaker of the Arkansas House, a huge step for a state with so many embarrassments past and present when it comes to race and civil rights. Williams defeated Republican Terry Rice for the job. There’s a lot to celebrate in this moment, that much is for sure, but the path ahead is still uncertain.
First, the way speakers were elected in the past is about to go out the window. It used to be a rather dull, nonpartisan process where the super majority Democratic legislature slapped each others’ backs and put the best back slapper forward. The few Republicans would get in on the game and vote for who promised them the most or, more often than you might think, who they actually liked personally. It won’t be like that ever again. Now it’s going to be a partisan contest that mirrors the situation in Congress-in other words, Arkansas politics has finally arrived in the 21st century, at least in one regard. And while the political chattering class clutches the pearls over that always evil, always undesirable, “Washington partisanship”, the rest of us can look forward to finally having some accountability in the system that real two party politics creates.
Then there’s the elephant in the room. There’s no guarantee that Democrats are going to hold the House. Everyone knows that. The Senate? I’m betting we keep it. But the House is way up in the air. Republicans just need five seats to take control of the legislature. Four would give them a tie. And yes, make no mistake about it, this vote doesn’t mean a damn thing to them. Nor are they concerned about electing a “Speaker of the House” so much as a “Republican of the House.” If they get control of the chamber, they will hold a new election and elect a Republican, that’s all there is to that. Democrats had best throw themselves in to the 2012 House elections 100%-Republicans were insufferable enough in the House minority…imagine them with actual power.
Just got a second snappy reply on our efforts to whip up support for the ERA, and this one from one of the Democratic Party’s top state senate recruits! Dianna Gonzales Worthen’s campaign got back with me within a matter of hours this morning to share this statement directly from the candidate:
“The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in 1923. Arkansas has an opportunity to join 35 other states in moving the ERA forward. Let us not wait another 89 years for men and women to have equal rights under the law. I am strongly in favor of passing the ERA in the next legislative session.”
- Diana Gonzales Worthen
This is major news for several reasons. First, DGW is running a tough race in new territory for Democrats. In the past, Democrats were often afraid to stand up for common sense and American values on the ERA in the face of all the silly “unisex bathrooms” talk coming from the likes of the Family Council. It looks like this year many of them may be taking a stand and framing the issue for themselves, and if a top tier Senate recruit can do that in a toss up district in the heart of Republican territory then there’s no reason for Democrats in safer districts to sit on their hands. Beyond that, one of Gonzales Worthen’s potential opponents, Bill Pritchard, famously equated denying women equal rights and opportunities with “chivalry”. Pritchard has to make it through a tough primary in order to face Diana, but sending an ERA supporter to Little Rock in this race would be incredibly symbolic.
So make sure you thank Diana by emailing her or posting your thanks on facebook. But more importantly, unlike Uvalde Lindsey, Gonzales Worthen is running a tough competitive race and could use thanks of a different kind. So if you’ve got some spare cash, contribute to her campaign on ActBlue! Doing so will be an investment in getting a vote for the ERA in the state legislature next year and we need all of those we can get.
Good news here. I got word from Mark Pryor’s Press Secretary, Lisa Ackerman that Mark Pryor has signed on as a cosponsor to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. According to Ackerman, Pryor signed on last week. Make sure to call or email Senator Pryor and thank him. The addition of his name to the list of cosponsors means every Democrat in the Senate has now signed on.
Still no word if our Republican Senator, John Boozman, is going to do the right thing and cosponsor the bill…
As I wrote last night, we’re getting all the Democratic candidates for the state legislature on the record when it comes to the ERA. Well today I got the first response in my inbox from Rep. Uvalde Lindsey, running unopposed to succeed term limited Sue Madison in the state senate. The response couldn’t have been more enthusiastic.
I will support the introduction and passage of the ERA Amendment in 2013!
I was a Co-Sponsor of the ERA bill in 2009, proudly joining Rep. Lindsley Smith and others in that effort. It is time to stand up for Equal Rights for Women!
As Lindsey said, he supported the ERA in the past, even cosponsoring it in ’09. He’s succeeding ERA champion Sue Madison so making sure we have a pro ERA vote in that Senate seat is almost essential. I’m especially pleased that the response was so enthusiastic, and having a greatly respected senior member of the legislature taking this kind of strong position will be a great help in moving the ERA forward in 2013. So make sure you thank Representative Lindsey for taking this stand for women and for equality. You can send him an email here or post on his facebook page here. And from the folks at Blue Arkansas, thank you so much Rep. Lindsey, on behalf of women and girls everywhere!
The ERA won’t go away! Not if we have anything to say about it anyway. The fact that Arkansas Democrats in the State House and Senate were too cowardly to bring it up last time was a huge disappointment to everyone, man and woman alike, who has fought for this issue for years. However, their inaction seems to have done something positive-it breathed new life into the movement. It is past time to get this done, and were it not for turn coat Democrats we would have done it long ago. Well enough is enough. If Democrats want progressive activists to help them win in November, then they need to act like Democrats and stand up for equal rights.
So we’re starting to get them on record-every Democratic House and Senate candidate, and we’re asking all of you to help. Email them, call them, ask them face to face, ask them on facebook (but be polite, remember, we’re trying to move them with carrots if we can…we’ll use the sticks later if we have to). So let’s start contacting every Democrat out there and getting them on the record, and let’s do everything we can to move every single one of them to a solid yes. We’ll name and shame where we have, beg and plead where we have to, praise and help anyone who takes the right stance on equality for women, and yes, prepare to primary bad Democrats who won’t stand with our mom’s, sister’s, wives, and daughters.
Get ready, because we’re bringing the ERA back in 2013…and this time we’re going to make sure it passes.
You know, it’s pretty sad when you’re so far to the right that an organization that thinks dentists and the humane society are a threat to Americans thinks you’re pushing it. That’s exactly what happened when Sen. Jason Rapert, now running in the new district against Rep. Linda Tyler, proposed a bill to have the state lead the charge in having the fifty state legislatures take over the federal budget, an impractical idea with no traction at best, a fiscal and constitutional disaster at worst. You would think that Secure Arkansas would have been all over the idea, but they pretty much balked at the idea of a constitutional convention, which is what Rapert’s bill would have lead to. Admittedly, they have their own crazy sustainable development fears thrown into the mix, so don’t worry, they’re still a steaming pile of lunacy for our entertainment purposes, but still, when people THAT FAR OUT can’t get on board with a crazy right wing idea you know it’s bad. The ‘baggers at Secure Arkansas have a pretty good quote from the late Barry Goldwater too that I actually agree with (yeah, I know, it surprised me too):
Barry Goldwater said: “[I am] totally opposed [to a Constitutional Convention]…We may wind up with a Constitution so far different from that we have lived under for two hundred years that the Republic might not be able to continue.”
Again, a constitutional convention is what Rapert’s ALEC/Koch generated proposal would have lead to if it actually got traction across the country. Mercifully, the idea was just too far out to get there. Republican/conservative bitching aside, most Americans are pretty happy with our Constitution and don’t want to see it changed drastically.
The winner in all this? Linda Tyler, hand’s down. Tyler has developed a reputation of being a pragmatic legislator with a distaste for drama. And now Rapert’s given her the ability to frame herself as someone who supports the Constitution as is as opposed to Rapert’s desire to change the fundamental legal basis for who we are as a country. Tyler ought to call Rapert an extremist every chance she gets, and then point out that even crazy people on the right think his ideas are dangerous. That’s exactly what his ideas are too-extreme and dangerous. Rapert seemed to get that message to as he backed way down on this after his nutty base rebelled on it. But the damage, I think he’ll find, has been done.
For your viewing displeasure, the endless tirade of vicious sexist smears on Sandra Fluke spouted out by professional pill-popping fat ass Rush Limbaugh. (Hey if he wants to call women sluts for no good reason I can call him what he is and not worry about being nice, right?) I could only watch about half of that…and apparently Rush’s advertisers feel the same way. At this point, he has now lost 12 major advertisors. On top of that, at least one radio station has already dropped him. We’re going to win this. Rush Limbaugh overstayed his welcome long ago and people across the country are finally saying enough is enough. It’s high time Americans relegated this man to the same obscurity Glenn Beck has been relegated to.
Right now, female veterans are calling for the Pentagon to drop Rush from the American Forces Network. You can help them by sending an email to the AFN asking them to dump Limbaugh like the garbage he is.
Keep the pressure up! We’re getting very close to living in a world without Rush Limbaugh, and a world where no sexist hate radio host will ever dare attack someone’s mother, sister, wife, friend, or daughter for being a “slut” or a “prostitute” like this.
Jon Hubbard really is the absolute worst the legislature has to offer, and that says a lot. The Joke From Jonesboro is back in the spotlight now, having sent a letter to Health Department director Paul Halverson. The letter pushes the idea that patients submit a birth certificate before any “non-emergency” health care be administered. Among the myths that Hubbard perpetuates in his letter is the laughable notion that Arkansas is becoming a “sanctuary state” and the more revolting myth that immigrants are responsible for the spread of disease in America. Hubbard also suggests that Arkansas is hemorrhaging revenue due to this apparent problem, though considering the state has been running a surplus for years now I’m having a hard time seeing that. Personally though, I want to point out what the consequences would be for Arkansans of all walks of life.
Take my grandfather for instance. He’s ninety years old and has Alzheimer’s disease. My grandfather is white, a former Baptist deacon, a WWII vet, and a Republican. (Last time he voted Democrat for President was for Harry S. Truman.) All those things would probably fit Hubbard’s criteria for what being a “real American” is all about, but my grandfather was, before his mind started going, a gentle soul who believed that you should treat everyone with respect and dignity, values totally alien to Hubbard and his ilk. But I digress. As I said, my grandfather is ninety years old, born in 1921. Personally, I have no clue where his birth certificate is. My mom might be able to find it in the mass of papers he’s accumulated over the decades, but that’s assuming it still exists. I’ve certainly never seen it, and there are lots of people his age who don’t have a birth certificate. (This abhorrent case of a lady in Tennessee illustrates that.) So let’s say we need to take him to the clinic for something that’s a “non emergency”. Let’s say a respiratory infection. We can’t find his birth certificate. He doesn’t get treatment. The infection turns into pneumonia. We either A) get him to the hospital and pass on a higher bill to Medicare or B) my grandfather’s condition worsens to the point that he dies. And that is just one example of how this is a terrible idea.
Again though, Hubbard either isn’t thinking about that or more likely doesn’t care. His focus is on hurting Latinos and immigrants of course, but this man is also so callous as to have voted to cut funding to the school for the deaf so clearly being a humanitarian isn’t too high on his list of priorities. Regardless, Jonesboro and Arkansans everywhere deserve better, and thankfully Hubbard has a top notch opponent running this year in Harold Copenhaver, who already has signs all over Jonesboro, seems to be running an aggressive campaign, and who apparently has a very good reputation from what I’m hearing.
Oh and one last thing, as Director Halverson pointed out to Hubbard, what he’s wanting would end up costing our state much needed federal funds that go to help with providing health services to Arkansans, not that I think Hubbard cares…