Mike Beebe on Tax Reform
Beyond that, I don't see any room for additional tax cuts or significant increases in program funding. If we are to retain the enviable national position we now hold, we must remain cautious & conservative. If you make a proposal that seeks to cut revenue or increase spending, the only responsible approach is to state precisely where that money is coming from. If the proposal calls for a tax cut then it is only fair to detail exactly which existing programs you will cut to offset that loss in funding. Abstract claims of hypothetical future growth don't change the immediate impact that a tax cut will have on state revenues and state services.
The nation's governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy. This would include $6 billion in Medicaid assistance by freezing scheduled federal FMAP reductions and increasing all states' F Congress approved $20 billion in assistance to states, including $10 billion in Medicaid and $10 billion in block grants. The governors' current stimulus proposal is essentially the same, with the exception that it is a total of $12 billion as opposed to $20 billion. This proposal can be enacted quickly, as there is precedent and it is timely, temporary and targeted.
Additionally, governors appreciate federal efforts to use tax policy to get additional money into the hands of consumers and businesses to stimulate the economy. When considering tax changes to spur economic growth, governors urge Congress and the Administration to follow the maxim of "Do no harm" by avoiding changes at the federal level that would diminish state tax revenues or force state actions that would undermine the effectiveness of federal efforts.
We look forward to working with you to enact the appropriate stimulus program.