Like most states, this year Arkansas faced a budget shortfall, yet
there was enough money from previous surplus years to make balancing
the budget much less painful than in most places. The majority of the noted achievements
relate to taxing and budgeting, though some important gains were made
in other areas, principally in education and health care. However, the
majority of progressive gains were incremental.
This Dispatch is a roundup of what ballot initiatives will
appear on state ballots across the country this November. Whether it's
workers rights, energy policy, education, transit, abortion or health
care, ballot initiates give voters a chance to directly vote on an
By one estimate, the federal government spent over $367 billion in 2005 aloneon subsidizing Americans' retirement savings and tax breaks to build upother assets like buying a home. Unfortunately, those subsidies gooverwhelmingly to those Americans who already have high-incomes; almostnone of it goes to the poorest Americans who need the most helpbuilding the financial assets that can lead to long-term economicopportunities and security.