A clip from KNWA encapsulates what voters can expect of Republican priorities in the coming legislative session. It won’t be kids.
The station interviewed Reps. Charlie Collins (R) and Greg Leding (D) of Fayetteville. This followed a Joint Budget Committee vote that rejected a request to spend $14 million more on pre-K education. The program was been held flat since 2008. In other words, it has been losing ground. Benji Hardy explained this earlier this week, when outgoing Rep. David Kizzia (beaten in the election by a teabagger) presented Republican legislators from states like Oklahoma and Alabama who talked about the wisdom of putting more into pre-K education. Leding agrees wholeheartedly in the value of the investment.
All these people might as well have been talking to a wall with Charlie Collins.
State can’t afford to spend more, he said. If it must spend more, it should take it somewhere else in the education budget. This is disheartening enough. But it is almost outrageous when you consider that Collins was the architect of a multi-million-dollar tax cut that gives virtually all of its benefits to the wealthy, particularly the super wealthy.
Why should pre-K might the paygo standard anyway? Do we build a prison only if the prisons can cut an amount somewhere else? Highways? Economic development? Is it only education where helping one kid means hurting another kid?
What you have here is Charlie Collins serving up word salad to cover a refusal to meet children’s’ needs that even Oklahoma Republicans recognize.
Footnote: Poor people in Arkansas spend twice as much on taxes as rich people as a percentage of income.
Watch it and weep.
For another day, Sen. Missy Irvin’s nonsensical notion that schools would have plenty of money if they weren’t spending it on monogramming shirts. Say what?