Category: Think Tanks

State Rep Candidates Set to Discuss Healthcare Tonight in Searcy

State Rep. Mark Biviano & his challenger Searcy Police Chief Kyle Osborne will participate in a healthcare forum tonight in Searcy.  The discussion will be moderated by Dan Greenberg, president of Advance Arkansas Institute. 

Coincidentally, the Supreme Court also begins hearings on the constitutionality of Obamacare today.

If you’re in White County, it would be worth your time to stick your head in.  The event begins at 6:30 and will be held at the Carmichael Community Center, 801 South Elm Street.

(See what’s wrong with American healthcare in one graphic)

Nic Horton


The Truth About Health Insurance Exchanges

As you probably know, Obamacare permits states to establish health insurance exchanges that will operate as new bureaucracies to oversee the purchase of government-approved insur­ance.  There has been an ongoing debate within conservative circles about whether or not it is best to implement the exchanges now in order to retain some state control or whether states should whole-heartedly fight their implementation.  In Arkansas, Republicans have been united & adamant that the exchanges be delayed.

Now a new report has set out to debunk some of the purported benefits of implementing the exchanges.

According to Jonathan Ingram, a health care policy analyst for the Illinois Policy Institute, states electing to create these exchanges must comply with federal rules that will dictate virtually all aspects of the exchanges’ opera­tions.

“If a state chooses to establish an exchange, it will bear the full cost of running it.  While a number of people are urging states to immediately create an exchange, the reasons are based on myths, not facts.”

In this report, Ingram responds to those myths.

Myth: If a state does not build an ex­change, the federal government will build its own and op­erate it here in Illinois.

  • Fact: Nobody knows what will happen if Illi­nois refuses to implement an exchange.
  • Fact: While Congress supplied funding for the states to set up health insurance exchanges — though not to run them — it did not provide the federal De­partment of Health and Human Services with the resources necessary to establish a federal ex­change in every state that refuses.

Myth: An exchange administered by a state will en­sure the state has greater flexibility than if the federal government administers the exchange.

  • Fact: Although the state exchange would be run by state officials, the state would have no more freedom or flexibility than under a federally-im­posed exchange.
  • Fact: Federal rules will dictate virtu­ally all aspects of the exchange’s operation.

Myth: The Supreme Court case only concerns the in­dividual mandate and the exchanges will move forward regardless of the Court’s ruling.

  • Fact: The Supreme Court is deciding several is­sues concerning the ACA, including wheth­er to strike down the entire law.
  • Fact: If the Court strikes down the entirety of the law, the money and effort expended to create the exchange will have been wasted.
  • Fact: Even if the Court upholds the law — or part of the law — legal challenges to the exchange provisions and their related federal rules are already being prepared.

(This report was included in Advance Arkansas Institute’s weekly policy bulletin, which you should sign up for if you are not already receiving it.)


Nic Horton

Arizona Considers Eliminating Capital Gains Tax

The state of Arizona may be on the verge of strong economic growth.  Why?  They’re considering eliminating their capital gains tax.

A similar proposal was put forward by conservatives in the Arkansas House last year, spear-headed by Rep. Ed Garner, and I strongly suspect it will be a topic of discussion once again in the 2013 legislative session.

Some facts about the capital gains tax, from Goldwater Institute:

  • States that have lowered their taxes on capital gains have seen higher investment and ultimately, job creation.
  • When New Mexico, dropped capital gains taxes to a lower rate than standard income tax rates, venture capital nearly quadrupled.
  • Between 2000 and 2007, states that had low capital gains taxes had job creation rates that were 35 percent higher on average than the states that tax capital gains at higher rates than ordinary income.
  • Goldwater estimates that elimination of the tax could increase investment in Arizona by $30 million in the first two years and create more than 3,000 new jobs by 2016.

As Stephen Silvinski explains,

Taxation of capital gains is, among other things, a tax on entrepreneurship. Businesses – new businesses especially – need investment to flourish.

And of course, as I always say: Businesses don’t pay taxes. Consumers do.

If Arizona passes the bill (HB 2815) they would be the first state to completely abolish the tax. Hopefully Arkansas will follow suit.  3,000 jobs sound pretty good about now.


Nic Horton

State Policy Network Launches “We The People” Project

Our friends over at the State Policy Network have launched a new project called “We The People.”

The project is designed to ‘equip today’s revolutionaries,’ which, if you’re reading this blog, is probably you.

Check out We The People’s introductory video:

SPN is doing excellent work to defend liberty across the country, partnering with think tanks around the nation, including Advance Arkansas Institute here in The Natural State.

Check them out on Facebook & Twitter.

Nic Horton