With his tax cut windfall for millionaires and his push for government “efficiency,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson has built the image of classic Republican governance. But note he still has his doubters on the right.
Yes, I said the right.
That’s the ultra-conservative Conduit for Action political organization, which parted company with Hutchinson long ago on many issues, including the Medicaid expansion, even with its punitive work rule.
Their latest: A recitation of state budget figures under Hutchinson, on target for more than ONE BILLION in increased state spending before he’s done in two four-year terms.
Given that general revenue started at a bit more than $6 billion in the Hutchinson tenure, you’re talking about a 16 percent increase over eight years, or about 2 percent a year. Inflation is real, after all. Not exactly a breathtaking incline upward.
You could argue from my end of the spectrum that Hutchinson hasn’t increased spending nearly enough. We know the state is short-changing public schools on adequate state funding. We know prison and post-prison costs are so high (and yet not high enough) we’re talking privatization. General revenues are being robbed to build highways. And so on.
But Conduit offers a perspective of its own.