Trust Kansans, not government
Despite claims of disaster, Kansas is showing encouraging signs of economic growth. Kansas lagged most of the rest of the country on private-sector job creation since 2000, but we’re running neck and neck with other income-taxing states so far in 2014, even if we’re still behind the states with no income tax. Kansas also had better private-sector gross domestic product growth in 2013 than its peer group.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s adrenaline metaphor for the impact that tax cuts would have on the economy may have been a poor word choice, but New York Times columnist Paul Krugman’s recent critique of these tax cuts poked a politician for rhetorical hubris – a bipartisan affliction (“Kansas shows enduring power of bad ideas,” July 1 Opinion).
If Krugman believed that trailing a national average is evidence of failed policy, he would have concluded that former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ policies were worse than Brownback’s. Private-sector GDP grew 61.1 percent between 1998 and 2008 nationwide but only 55.6 percent in Kansas. Private-sector jobs grew 7.9 percent nationwide but only 5.3 percent in Kansas.
Opponents of lower taxes are really saying that taxpayers should fork over more money to government instead of asking Topeka to operate more efficiently. Really? It shouldn’t be a leap for people to know that government can, and should, operate a few percentage points more efficiently, the imperative required to finish tax reform.
Let’s place our trust in Kansans. Allow them to start businesses and raise families with a little more money in their pockets each month. Otherwise we are left to follow the Illinois, California and Krugman model into economic stagnation.
Vice president and policy director
Kansas Policy Institute
Cuts not working
The Brownback tax cuts are not working, and given more time they will still not work, because they are based on false assumptions:
• If businesses make more money they will hire more people. That is true only if the additional money is from increased demand, not from tax breaks. The money from increased demand for a product will result in a need for more employees. Less taxes mean more profit with no need to increase the workforce.
• People will move business to Kansas to save on taxes. Do you believe a business will move to Kansas to save a few thousand dollars a year? The owners must sell houses and business buildings to move here with no guarantee that they will have the customers or suppliers that they need. If they try to keep old customers and suppliers, shipping may eat away any possible savings. They also don’t know if they would be able to keep their employees if the business moved, or be able to hire workers here.
All in all, there will be no rush of businesses relocating in Kansas, as has been noted.
The economic policies of Gov. Sam Brownback are so flawed that they prompted a commentary by New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman (“Kansas shows enduring power of bad ideas,” July 1 Opinion).
Krugman pointed out that the “Kansas debacle” shows that tax cuts don’t have the job-creating results promised by supporters. Worse, Brownback’s efforts are made on behalf of the wealthy.
Brownback’s policies closely follow a blueprint laid out by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive group whose agenda serves corporations and the extremely wealthy. While ALEC advocates tax cuts for the wealthy, it calls for increases in the sales tax, which ends up burdening lower-income households. At the same time, ALEC works for cuts in social programs.
One of the most tragic outcomes of these policies is the underfunding of Kansas schools.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis understands the failure of Brownback’s tax-cutting policies for the wealthy while lower-income households and school programs suffer. He deserves a chance to be our next governor, and Kansans deserve Davis.
OK, call me a Scrooge, but a week-plus of loud fireworks is way too much to celebrate our independence. We need, as a city, to limit shooting fireworks to the day before, day of and day after the holiday. As to the current rules, very few adults pay any attention to them, at least in our neighborhood. Most all of the nighttime fireworks were far higher than 6 feet, and thunderous booms went on until midnight on at least three nights. Our dogs were so frightened they stopped going outside when the sun set, and Monday they were still showing behavior that proved the noise level was way too high. And the complaint hotline was stopped before the fireworks stopped.
Can’t we show how proud we are of our independence in three nights, rather than an entire week?
Out of touch
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, wants to represent us in Congress, but he is out of touch with Kansans. In a recent campaign commercial, Pompeo showed a European combine harvesting European wheat (July 4 Local & State). He must not realize we just had a wheat harvest with bona fide Kansas combines. I am tired of country-club Republicans. Pompeo does not understand what my life is like, and I will not vote for him.