Sunday, April 15, 2018
Guest writers’ tax cuts will hurt Arkansas poor
Suggestions made by representatives of the organization Americans For Prosperity [guest column, April 6] to “make state friendlier to business” will worsen lives of low-income and poor Arkansans. Despite widespread poverty in Arkansas, the writers advocate reduced state expenditures.
Americans for Prosperity advocates cutting state funding despite the reality that nearly one in five Arkansans live in poverty (540,000 peo-ple). About 1.2 million of our fellow citizens (42 percent in this state) are either poor or low in-come. They want to cut the state budget further despite the fact that one in four children here live in poverty (186,000), or one in 10 elderly live in poverty (45,000 people) or one in four people with disabilities live in poverty (118,000).
So we are supposed to start cutting taxes fur-ther? Reduce funding for basic health programs and our rural hospitals like Arkansas Works? Are we supposed to cut funding to our public schools, like they have done, disastrously, in some surrounding states?
Following ideas of groups like Americans For Prosperity, America has become an increas-ingly polarized society, deeply divided between very rich and very poor. We need a reasonably well-funded state government working to meet basic human needs of our people. There is abso-lutely nothing in the column published April 6 that will improve the lives of anyone in Arkansas — except perhaps for that part of our wealthy citizens whose political priority is the next tax cut
JOE NEAL Fayetteville
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