Surprise! Right-wing think tank criticizes Arkansas taxing and spending – Arkansas News

Surprise! Right-wing think tank criticizes Arkansas taxing and spending – Arkansas News

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The Mercatus Center, a unit of George Mason University, the go-to university for right-wing thinking on law and economics, is touting a report by Arkansas academics that says Arkansas government has it all wrong — too much spending.

The study comes from our own leading right-wing economists, Jeremy Horpedahl and Jacon Bundrick of UCA, who work in an ideologically oriented research unit built on Koch contributions and other financiers that then-University President Tom Courtway refused to identify. They are reliable cheerleaders of the notion that government is too expensive and taxes too burdensome

In defense: They are purer free enterprisers than some on that end of the spectrum, with critiques of Arkansas’s love of corporate welfare handouts to private business. This spending topped $200 million in 2013, they note, and likely will go higher with 2016 legislation that allows the state to give even more tax money away to private businesses.

Their latest effort says Arkansas has higher spending per capita than border states.

Their premise is that government has grown without providing more services. Example cited in news release:

Education transfers have increased dramatically and constitute a relatively large portion of the budget. Arkansas’s education expenditures jumped from $1,206 per capita in 1992 to…

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