The careful review of a major taxpayer investment in the proposed Big River steel mill is nothing but a good thing and there’s no debate we can thank the new Republican legislative majority for the oversight.

As everyone here says, there are no guarantees that corporate welfare will produce a successful business. Nobody has ever said otherwise (indeed the Arkansas record is littered with failures of well-meaning efforts), but I think it’s true that this fact was too often underplayed, if mentioned at all, before the money was handed out.


I have to wonder, too, whether Republicans will apply such strict scrutiny to their own economic development schemes and not just those of the Democratic governor. One example: The Republican article of faith that tax cuts for the wealthy are sure-fire economic engines. There’s a pile of contrary evidence. Will Republicans commission reports from sources such as these when they run their own corporate giveaways through the legislature? Speaker Carter, who’s lusting to cut the capital gains tax, primarily a windfall for the rich, you’re up.