The Koch heads over at the billionaires’ political organization, the Arkansas branch of Americans for Prosperity, deserve an acknowledgment when they make a fair point.
The AFP branch in Arkansas is in near hysteria urging the bitter enders in the legislature to wreck state government rather than endorse Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Arkansas. It’s not the end of the world if that happens, they say. Other government spending can be cut. Surplus money can be used. (God forbid they suggest a rollback of recent income tax cuts.)
But also, the barrage of AFP talking points today include these:
* We have $87 million to give Lockheed Martin, but can’t find money for foster care.
* Arkansas spent $750 million in 10 years on corporate welfare. Yet they’re proposing cuts to foster care to get Medicaid expansion.
The AFP has been a reasonably reliable voice on the excesses of corporate welfare. There, for once, they depart from the Republican script that normally says taxpayer gifts to the wealthy — whether through subsidy of private business or special tax considerations — trickle down on the poor in economic prosperity.
(No, I don’t expect AFP to be lobbying for an increased budget for the Department of Human Services despite their concern today for foster kids. The kids are just a handy tool today.)
Poor ol’ Republican Sen. Jim Hendren has had to throw away the usual GOP script for this battle, too. He’s working to pass the Medicaid expansion appropriation. He’s making the perfectly valid point that the aginners’ solution to the budget if Obamacare money is removed is a recipe for disaster — using one-time surplus money to pay for ongoing government operations.
The Republican script normally holds that Hendren’s sensible point is wrong. Forced to evaluate government carefully with less money, the script holds, there, of course, is enough fraud, waste and abuse to run government for less.
NOTE: Gov. Asa Hutchinson punctured the Kochs later in the day. They are behind the group that got millions in state help to build a steel mill in Arkansas. They take welfare, but object to others getting it?