State should cut spending, taxes
I was interested to read the commentary by Bernie Koch of the Kansas Economic Progress Council (July 10 Opinion) in which he stated we should be skeptical of a recent report concluding that low taxes and regulatory burdens are the keys to a strong economy.
In 2010, the KEPC gave legislators positive scores for supporting the second-largest tax increase in state history and for opposing implementing a supermajority requirement for raising taxes. The KEPC formed in 2005 to oppose "unreasonable spending and tax limitation legislation." In other words, the KEPC believes legislators shouldn't be limited in spending increases and that it shouldn't be more difficult to raise taxes.
The Americans for Prosperity organization believes Kansas must reduce spending and eliminate individual and corporate income taxes. We support Senate Bill 1, which reduces the income-tax rates only if the state has more money to work with than the previous year, allowing plenty of funding for essential services.
As the Kansas Policy Institute recently pointed out (July 3 Opinion), Kansas is the only state with a net loss in private-sector jobs in the past year, so it's easy to conclude that the Kansas Economic Progress Council's way of taxing and spending into prosperity hasn't worked in our great state.
Kansas state director
Americans for Prosperity
Paid for by taxes
Are fewer taxes and less government what we really need? Those of us who are older remember a time when the economy was good (late 1940s, '50s and '60s). Taxes were high (they could be 75 percent and more). Large programs were being funded by the government — investing in new businesses, the space industry, etc. Veterans had excellent educational opportunities and loans for housing. Our massive interstate system, dams and other modern infrastructure were being built (stimulus money?). We also were helping European countries rebuild. All paid for by taxes.
At present, much of our infrastructure needs upgrading. We need alternate forms of energy. In the interest of our future defense and safety of the world, we need to lead the world in space programs. And people would need education for those jobs. Taxes would be needed to pay for the programs. If the system in the '40s, '50s and '60s worked, why wouldn't it work now?
Simply having more funds on hand (lower taxes) doesn't mean businesses will expand. Businesses expand when there is a market for products.
Those on the far right are espousing an unfounded, hopeful theory. I hope people in America search for the facts rather than simply being swept away with the angry rhetoric.
The mainstream media do not cover some important stories and issues of world concern. It is difficult, for instance, to find much mention of Flotilla 2, an international group of ships, including one U.S. vessel, attempting for a third time to bring the world's attention to an outdoor prison with 1.6 million captives.
This prison is called Gaza. The border crossings into and out of Gaza are closed by Egypt and Israel. There is no way to get humanitarian, medical, school or building supplies into Gaza. An inhumane and brutal situation is quickly getting worse. As usual, the women and the children are the most vulnerable.
Last year, Flotilla 1 was attacked on the open seas by Israeli commandos who killed eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American citizen. During the past couple of weeks, the U.S., Greek and Israeli governments have worked hard to stop Flotilla 2 from leaving the Athens port, and they are succeeding.
Recently, we celebrated the Fourth of July and our Declaration of Independence. Maybe it is time to make another declaration of independence — from Israel.
I can't escape the growing conviction that it is our American, and probably European, consumption of illegal drugs that is fueling the overwhelming and often fatal violence that grips Mexico and other Central American countries. Deepest shame on Americans' participation in this horrific crime.
FORREST J. ROBINSON