Regardless of your position regarding tax money paying for non working people in Arkansas, it should be understood what tactics, planned deception, and misleading has been utilized for one side to retain and grow power. In terms of policy, we can disagree without deceiving voters to such an extent that the average person cannot possibly take enough time from their lives to be properly informed and vote according to facts, party, and/or ideology.
It must be understood that the budget comes from the Governor; the scheme comes from the Governor in cahoots with the senate and house leadership. It is supported by all those benefited by the expenditure of taxpayer dollars into the system.
If your policy cannot be successfully implemented without the use of these deceptions, here is one way to set it up.
1. Confuse the issue in public statements: Arkansas Works is NOT Obamacare (This is the classic “what the meaning of “IS” is”)
2. Set up a false and intentionally devious vote:
a. The same person that claims to the voters that his intention is to end the program and to trust him sponsors a bill that fully funds an entire department (DHS) AND includes the program he has claimed to end.
b. Ignore others’ previous requests and assurances that the controversial portion of the program would be voted on separately to avoid a crisis.
c. Repeat all previous claims the sky is falling if this program is ended.
d. Publicly declare that the legislature does not have the right to do the exact thing they have the right and duty to do.
3. When the vote did not go your way:
a. Amend the bill to terminate the program at the end of 2016 with the intention of having the Governor “line item veto” that provision.
b. Publicly announce that the above is the plan.
c. Publicly demonize the opponents from your own party.
d. Reiterate the disasters that you claim will happen if voting NO
e. Claim you gave the opposition what they wanted, even though that is not what they would get and everyone knows this (except the future voters for the most part)
f. Force the vote at the earliest possible date.
4. Creates the following choices and consequences for the legislature:
First we must understand that there are 27 Yes votes needed to pass in the Senate for spending bills and 75 Yes votes in the House. A non-vote, a present, or a NO all amount to a No but 27 and 75 must be a YES vote to pass. If the bill fails, it is dead, no other action needed.
a. YES vote: Vote for Medicaid expansion with amendment to defund it, which is known to be destined for a veto. This veto would require ~51% to override thus circumventing the spirit of the budget process as laid out in the constitution (3/4 to approve) and would not happen.
Legislators elected to stop Welfare expansion can claim they voted to stop the funding while fully aware that it would ultimately be funded by the line item scheme.
Legislators for the program are assured the Governor will strike out the amendment to defund it!
b. No Vote: Vote for Medicaid expansion scheme even though it includes the defund mechanism (which we know will be removed later).
Bill dies, but probably schemers will try again another way but likely not separating the welfare expansion from the regular DHS budget process.
Schemers claim they gave opponents what they wanted (in show only) but they cannot be pleased by anything; they are all no, no, no people.
Schemers claim these people want poor to die, kids to starve, highways to rot, and hospitals to close. (all total lies, but concerns voters just enough)
Schemers calculate they can sell this and other things to the voters next election and get more schemers elected.
c. Present Vote: Functions like a NO vote but takes away the no-label and disarms the “shut it all down” attacks.
Schemers will claim these people are not doing their job as legislators by not giving Yes/No Votes, even though they know the schemes above.
d. Not Vote: functions like a NO vote, same claims as above, allows legislator to provide “dog ate my homework” excuse. Other legislator could have cast vote for them but did not happen. Might be legitimate reason.