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Sarah Huckabee Thinks Everyone Is Way Jealous Of How 'Normal' Arkansas Is
Because of how they're mean to trans kids, not because of the child poverty and child labor.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a lot to brag about — or at least she thinks she does. After signing a law yesterday that would prohibit journalists from requesting access to her travel and security records through FOIA (specifically the cost of any European vacations to taxpayers), Sanders posted a series of videos detailing the things she is most proud of doing in Arkansas.
For one, she’s super jazzed about cutting $250 million in taxes for rich people and banning “government Covid vaccine mandates.”
In fact, she says her plan is to phase out income tax in the state entirely, which is certainly a bold choice given the fact that it is the 5th poorest state in the nation. Call me crazy, but if I ran a state in which 22 percent of children were living at or below the poverty line, I might tax some rich motherfuckers in order to correct that situation.
Worth noting here that, thanks to pandemic-era social programs, the child poverty rate in the United States dropped down to an historic low of 5 percent, and has since, with the loss of the Child Tax Credit and other programs, gone back up to 12.4 percent — so we could all stand to do a little better in this area. It feels very reasonable to say that “child poverty” should, under no circumstances, even be a thing in this country.
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Huckabee Sanders also claimed that “people all over the country are looking to Arkansas as a bastion of of normal in an ever crazier world.”
“No more men playing women’s sports, no more indoctrination in our schools,” she continued. “No more gender science experiments on our kids. This is what this administration and legislature have been able to do in just eight months. And we’re not stopping here. We are breaking the status quo, we are bucking special interest, and we are making Arkansas the absolute best state in the union to live, to work and to raise a family.”
Unless your family includes a trans kid, that is. Or a kid who might like to take a Black History class.
Of course, Sarah Huckabee Sanders cannot take all of the credit for making schools more ignorant. Arkansas has, in fact, been failing to teach students about the Civil War for actual decades.
To say that their commitment to rearing ignorant bigot children makes the state a bastion of normalcy flies in the face of the many abnormal things about Arkansas. Things that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is actually in a position to do something about, but isn’t. Why? Because she’s too busy freaking out about trans kids existing, because she doesn’t actually care or because they were her idea to begin with.
You know, like her initiative to bring child labor back to the state.
Arkansas also has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation, which isn’t going to improve much now that they’ve completely outlawed abortion except in cases where doctors are 100 percent certain that the mother is going to die without one. It’s a very bad place to be pregnant or to, frankly, require health care of any kind. 73 of the state’s 75 counties are “designated medically-underserved areas.” So sure, Sarah Huckabee Sanders likes to boast that trans kids won’t be getting any health care in her state … but what she fails to mention is no one else is gonna get very much either.
Also not very normal? The state’s teen pregnancy rates, which are the highest or second highest in the nation depending on which source you’re looking at. Why? Lack of access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education. Teenagers in Arkansas aren’t actually more sexually active than teens in any other state, they’re just more poorly prepared and informed, perhaps because former Governor Asa Hutchinson barred Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of sex education programs in the country, from Arkansas schools — because “abortion.”
This is something that Sarah Huckabee Sanders could easily do something about — like how she banned sex education for students in 5th grade and below — and chooses not to.
It’s also maybe not a great place to live if you want your kids to go to college. Arkansas has the second lowest educational attainment rate in the country, with only 33 percent of those over 24 having an associate’s degree or higher.
As for being a great place to work? Not so much! According to statistics compiled by the Junior League of Little Rock, 60 percent of Arkansas workers have hourly jobs, with 51 percent of the jobs in the state paying less than $15 an hour; 41 percent of families cannot make ends meet and 1/3 of families with children are living below the poverty line.
The JLLR also reports that a quarter of families in the state qualify as ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — meaning that they earn enough to put them over the Federal poverty line, but not enough to reach the basic cost-of-living threshold.
That seems bad! And also like it’s maybe not the greatest place to work. Or live. Or raise children.
I’m not trying to drag Arkansas as a place. There are lovely people in and from Arkansas, and it looks very pretty in the Google image searches I have seen. But Sarah Huckabee Sanders, while she is surely very proud of how aggressively terrible and inhospitable her state is to transgender children, should perhaps keep the bragging to a minimum.