Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Governor Asa Hutchinson has as far as elections and if you are a conservative, you won’t like them.

Okay, he didn’t call them “resolutions.” Instead he called them his “priorities’ for 2020 … same thing.

ASA’S RESOLUTION #1. Governor Hutchinson says his top priority for elections in 2020 is to pass ISSUE #1 which would impose a permanent one-half percent (0.50%) sales tax to be used for highways and roads.[i] The tax would be imposed once a temporary tax expires in 2023. Isn’t that swell.

The sales tax Asa wants under ISSUE #1 is in addition to these taxes he got passed in 2019:

  1. A tax increase on gasoline and diesel fuel (SB336)
  2. An internet sales tax you pay on your online purchases from out-of-state sellers (SB576);
  3. A tax increase on water bills (HB1737);
  4. A tax increase on tobacco products and e-cigarettes (HB1565), and
  5. A tax increase on your cell phone bills (HB1564)

Asa’s Resolution #1 is crazy for someone claiming to be a Republican.

  • Crazy, because Arkansas has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation.
  • Crazy, because Arkansas is receiving record general tax collections (which doesn’t even include the new gas and diesel fuel taxes), meaning there is new money to fund highways even without the new tax.
  • Crazy, because Asa prefers to impose this sales tax so he can keep spending piles of your tax money on other things such as crony capitalism and on increasing state agency budgets without ever looking to see if the agency is running efficiently or to evaluate whether their programs are important or not.
  • Crazy, because although Asa self-identifies as a Republican, he fails to identify with the party’s principles such as: “Lower Taxes To Produce Economic Growth” and “Individual freedom and liberty secured by a limited government.”

Asa’s resolution is crazy but he is not crazy. He knows exactly what he is doing … what he is doing to your wallet … and he is eager to spend your money.

ASA’S RESOLUTION #2.  The other big item on Asa’s 2020 list for elections is to help reelect Senator John Cooper (R- Jonesboro).[ii] This is just like his first resolution – TAX AND SPEND.

Senator Cooper voted “For” every tax in 2019. Cooper voted “FOR” the resolution to put the sales tax on the ballot, “FOR” the tax increase on gasoline and diesel fuel, “FOR” the internet sales tax, “FOR” the tax increase on water bills, “FOR” the tax increase on tobacco products and e-cigarettes, and “FOR” the cell phone tax to fund the 911 system. Cooper even voted “FOR” SB571 which would have imposed even another tax to fund a redistribution of wealth. It was called an “earned income tax credit” but there was nothing “earned” about it. It would have given some who report low income more money than they paid in taxes and funded it by taxing you more. Fortunately, SB571 was amended to death in the House of Representatives and never came up for a vote.

Governor Hutchinson does not want Cooper’s opponent Representative Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) to defeat Cooper because Sullivan wasn’t on Asa’s Team Tax-and-Spend. Sullivan refused to vote for any of the taxes, other than the cell phone tax to fund the 911 system. Cooper and Sullivan meet in the Republican primary on March 3, 2020.

Senator John Cooper self-identifies as a “Republican” but doesn’t like the Republican platform.  The Craighead County Republican Committee passed a nonbinding resolution requesting Republican officeholders to follow the Republican principles listed in the party platform. Senator Cooper was so upset with the idea of voting like a Republican that he compared the committee to the communist party of the Soviet Union. Cooper also railed against the dangers of having political parties. That is a wear-a-watermelon-helmet kind of CRAZY thing to say when you are attending a Republican Party committee meeting and running as a member of the Republican Party. And this is the kind of “Republican” Asa wants?!

So, there you have it – your “Republican” Governor’s resolutions for 2020.

If you are conservative maybe you should make some very different resolutions. We can’t afford Asa’s tax-and-spend game where he cuts one tax and raises six more.

Sitting back and doing nothing while tax-and-spend politicians pose as Republicans hasn’t worked.

[i] “’This is my No. 1 priority in terms of a state campaign here in Arkansas,’ the Republican governor told more than 100 people attending the annual meeting of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation in Little Rock.” Arkansas governor makes clear: Road-fix tax tops ’20 list, Democrat-Gazette, 11/27/2019

[ii]“’I have expressed my support in one race up in Jonesboro,’ he said referring to Sen. John Cooper’s bid to retain his seat against Rep. Dan Sullivan in the March 3 primary.”, Arkansas governor makes clear: Road-fix tax tops ’20 list, Democrat-Gazette, 11/27/2019