For State Senate District 13

Alan Clark         
Alan Clark         
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alanclark4statesenate@yahoo.com
 P.O. Box 211, Lonsdale, AR. 72087   501-262-3360
ALAN LISTENS
What is important to you?

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS



I want you to be able to relax a little and know that someone who both cares and is capable is working on the economy for you in this state. There are things we CAN do that will make a real difference.

We need more commonsense business people at the state capitol; people who have made a payroll, who know the difference between what we need, what we want and what we can afford. With over 30 years’ experience in business and being on the frontlines of this economy, I know that the three most important issues before us are JOB, JOBS, JOBS.

It seems like politicians and elected officials are easily sidetracked and aren’t in touch with how businesses and their employees are truly hurting in this economy. There are things we can do.

I will evaluate each bill in the legislative session by asking the following:

1. Will it grow jobs in Arkansas?
2. Will it enhance jobs in Arkansas?
3. Will it bring jobs to Arkansas?
4. Will it hinder job growth in Arkansas?

The corporate tax rate in Arkansas is 10% higher than the six states that geographically touch our borders. We are often ‘dead in the water’ from that fact alone when competing for major new jobs (e.g. car manufacturers). 

The State of Arkansas only allows businesses to carry losses forward three years. This is just another example of creating a less than ideal business climate. A bad business climate is a bad jobs climate. 

My management philosophy is MBWA: Management By Wandering Around. I know if you want to know how to drive a truck better, ask the truck driver. If you want to know how to improve healthcare, ask healthcare professionals that work in it every day. One of our greatest resources in this district is its people. As I have traveled thousands of miles and visited with many of our neighbors I am hearing some encouraging ideas. I will take the best ones, find support and fight for them.  

We need to study states like North Dakota and replicate what they have done. (North Dakota has gone from 82% to 110% of national median income in 10 years, 3½% unemployment, 6th fastest growing state in the U.S.) Our resources may be different, but the principles they have used will work in any state. Their governor (now Senator John Hoeven) put a team together that studied the North Dakota economy and which sectors they could directly influence. Then they put that plan in action. That is what a businessman does.

Now, I’d really like to hear what you are thinking.  Please  click here to send me your thoughts.

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GUN RIGHTS


The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are three of the greatest documents ever written. They have helped make the United States the greatest, strongest, wealthiest, freest nation in the history of the planet. When someone does not believe in the 2nd Amendment I question their commitment to the rest.

If you do not have the right to protect your life, you do not have the right to life. If you do not have the right to protect your property you do not have the right to property. The 2nd Amendment is the key to all other rights. 


"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good" 

George Washington


Now I’d really like to know what you are thinking. Please click here to send me your thoughts.

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SANCTITY OF LIFE

I am proud to be endorsed by Arkansas Right to Life. Sanctity of Life is one of the issues that drew me into being politically active. The issue crystallized for me when my wife had me feel the kick of our firstborn while still in her womb. All human life deserves protection. None more so than innocent life. Who is more innocent than the unborn? 

Almost 4000 unborn children’s lives are taken everyday in this country in the name of choice. That choice must be made before conception. How many Albert Einsteins, Dr Martin Luther King Jrs., Amelia Earharts, or Jonas Salks have we destroyed in the womb? 

Now I’d really like to know what you are thinking. Please click here to send me your thoughts.


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OBAMACARE

I am dedicated to finding REAL answers to make medical care more affordable for working Arkansans. Obamacare is not the answer. Enrolling almost 40% of our population in an entitlement program is an irreversible decision that will lead to far reaching consequences we will never recover from. 

The expansion of Medicaid is one of the biggest problems Arkansans face. 

1. Do you oppose PPACA (Obamacare)?
Much of the opposition to the affordable care act was because of Medicaid expansion. States now have an opportunity to reject the Medicaid expansion provision of the affordable care act. Supporting Medicaid expansion is embracing the affordable care act.

2. From where is the money to expand Medicaid going to come?
Does the federal government have the over $1 billion per year that will be required to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas alone? Where will the $1 billion plus come from? The ultimate answer is increased taxes that will be required to pay off huge debts. Check your pay stub… SSI, Medicare, and Federal Tax are real money that come from Arkansas taxpayers. There is no free money.

3. What is the future cost to Arkansas?
10% of $1 to $2 billion per year is a lot of money. Someday, Arkansas will have to deal with the future commitment if Medicaid is expanded today. Medicaid already has built-in unfunded liabilities because of the increasing cost of healthcare that is not addressed in baseline budgeting. Expanding Medicaid at this time with so called “free money” really will be kicking the can down the road, creating even more problems in the future not only for Arkansas but for the whole United States

4. How will we effectively spend an influx of $1 to $2 billion for health care?
If $1 to $2 billion of additional funds are put into the Arkansas health care system, who will provide the legitimate services to spend those funds? Are there enough health care providers and facilities to provide a 20% plus increase in Medicaid services? Will there be future funding requested to expand hospitals, clinics, etc. ?

5. Is expanding Medicaid philosophically the direction we want to go?
Is it philosophically in the best interest of Arkansas to increase dependence on government services and programs? Wouldn’t a better approach to providing health care services be to unleash the Arkansas economy so working age adults could get good jobs and afford their own health care services while contributing to the tax system rather than taking from the system? Would this not allow better medical care for all involved, including the truly needy who rely on Medicaid?

6. Is Medicaid expansion the type of " economic development" we want for Arkansas?  
DHS claims a $372 million benefit to Arkansas with Medicaid expansion. The logic behind this calculation is basically: Take $1.2 billion of federal tax money and spend it in Arkansas. The projected 4% state tax collections on the $1.2 billion federal tax dollars spent in Arkansas along with some projected savings in uncompensated care and transition populations less the projected administrative program costs to implement the expansion is equal to $372 million over 7-years. Is this the kind of economic development plan we want in Arkansas?

7. If a system is broken should we reform it or expand it?
Medicaid in Arkansas is a broken system that has been running deficits for several years now. These deficits, to the tune of over $1.0 billion ($200 million/year), have been covered up with one-time stimulus money and the Medicaid trust fund that is currently being depleted. The rate of burn through the Medicaid trust fund is currently at a level of approximately $300 million per year and this is after an increase in Medicaid’s budget of $116 million in general revenues that are being matched with federal funds at a rate of 2.37 to 1. Do we want to expand a broken system? Arkansas Medicaid needs to be fixed, not expanded, so it can be sustainable in the future for those who are truly in need.

8. The governor has approval from HHS to “get out” of the expansion program if it doesn’t work as intended. Do we believe that a government program would be expanded to include 250k additional folks and then scrapped? Show me an example where that has ever happened. Are there doubts about the success of the expansion if we need a back door for the program? 


SUMMARY
One of the most important things we must do is put Arkansans back to work in the private sector. This is where real wealth is produced. If instead we add huge costs and taxes for the service sector (medical care) the private sector (especially farming, mining, energy production and manufacturing) already in trouble will never have a chance. If we do not recover the private sector, we will be in a permanent recession economy that will continue to spiral downwards making universal health coverage more and more impossible. 

In other words, the rest of the economy is built on our ability to feed ourselves and produce things. All real wealth comes from these areas. We must address them and what they need and what we need to put Arkansans back to work before we spend billions we don’t have. This will only put us in a permanent deficit situation and eventually the medical system will bankrupt us all and permanently stunt the economy. 

Do we want to expand Medicaid in Arkansas? Can we afford to expand Medicaid in Arkansas? Before Obamacare even kicks in we face a shortfall of $400 million dollars for Medicaid in the next legislative session. That money has got to come from new taxes or be taken from something in the budget like roads or education. The answers are not going to be easy.  

Obamacare proposes to spend up to $2 billion more on Medicaid in Arkansas. With Arkansas’s part only being 10% of that for the first 3 years, that is still up to another $200 million Arkansas taxpayers have to shoulder.

Now I’d really like to know what you are thinking. Please click here to send me your thoughts.


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DEATH TAX

I oppose the death tax. I especially oppose the death tax on estates under $20 million. The first reason for opposing the death tax is fundamental fairness. People who have paid their fair share of taxes their whole lives should not be taxed again. 

The second reason for opposing the death tax is that it is fundamentally changing our society. The family farm and the family business are on the endangered species list and in danger of extinction. They are being replaced by the large corporate farm and large corporate businesses in which the principals never die and therefore never pay a death tax. The family farm and family business are generally being forcibly sold or incurring huge debt after the second or third generation to pay tax obligations. That not only affects those families, but the communities where they exist and of course their employees.

 If we want our only job and shopping opportunities to be only with large corporations then this is a road we might want to continue to travel. If we believe the family farm and the local family business is an essential part of the fabric of local communities and of America we must stop the death tax from destroying these institutions now. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

Now I’d really like to know what you are thinking. Please click here to send me your thoughts.


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OVERSPENDING

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
— Benjamin Franklin

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
— Thomas Jefferson

Many of us have warned for years that that running a consistent government deficit was going to lead to huge problems. We never imagined that we would jump to such a huge deficit in such a short time. We certainly did not conceive that we would have leaders that even in this crisis seem to have not an inkling of the perilous situation we are in. I am told that no nation has ever recovered from this percentage of debt. Indeed there is a limit to the wealth in the world that can be borrowed and we are dangerously close to that figure.

We MUST balance the budget. It is immoral to spend like drunken sailors and hand the debt to the next generation. The State of Arkansas is not immune. We may have a balanced budget, but a huge part of our balance sheet comes from the federal government. We must stop the increase of government spending. We must then begin to pay our debt down. We cannot continue to exacerbate the problem. 

Arkansans not only must keep our own budget balanced… we must insist on stopping the proliferation of federal spending….even if it is “FREE” money coming to Arkansas. If not we and our families WILL participate in one of the greatest financial disasters in the history of the world.

Now I’d really like to know what you are thinking. Please click here to send me your thoughts.


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