Dear Governor Beebe, the people of Arkansas would like you to know that we are not buying your political jabber jawing about budget cuts. To say there is no room to improve our fiscal situation is counter to our core beliefs and flies in the face of truth, according to numerous newspaper headlines we have read over the last year.
In a speech this past weekend you said to the Democratic Party of Arkansas Executive Committee:
“We are in the midst right now of discussion and negotiations and threats and counter threats about actions that people want to take primarily on the Republican side of the ledger that potentially impact our ability to deliver essential services or keep this budget balanced like we are talking about,” (read about balanced budget)
Your definition of essential services evidently differs from most Arkansans in that, we would not define essential services as $400,000 spent by just eight of our legislators last year alone on travel and expenses?
Or the 658 vehicles at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for only 613 employees.
Nor the bloated $324,000 a year salary we pay to the Lottery Director, Ernie Passailaigue, whose base pay should be $141,603 a year, but the Lottery Commission has been paying him $324,000 a year thanks to an optional multiplier included in the state’s lottery law, which CONSEQUENTLY, according to a statement from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on February 7th, Arkansas law “expressly prohibits."
Pretty sure not many Arkansans you would find that your $5,000,000 private jet and pilot are an essential service . Being one of the poorest states in the union not many have a private jet at home.
In 70 of our 75 counties median household incomes dropped 6.9% from 2000 to 2009 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and you, Governor are telling us you can't cut your budget?
I would say the math is not the problem, but your definition of “essential”.