Kansas returning to its freedom roots
A Hutchinson News commentary blamed the 2010 and 2012 elections for widespread poverty, high property taxes, poorly educated children, out-migration and rural depopulation, and a maniacal hatred of government (“A political obituary for Kansas,” April 3 WE Blog excerpts). That might make for a gripping made-for-TV movie, but it would be fiction.
Out-migration, high property taxes and economic malaise didn’t begin with recent elections. Kansas lost population due to domestic migration every year since 1998, and property taxes increased 94 percent between 1997 and 2010. Kansas’ private-sector jobs, wage and salary disbursements, and private-sector growth all trailed the Plains states, the national average and low-tax-burden states between 1998 and 2010.
If anything, election results may have been prompted by a decade of falling behind, while media and others unquestioningly defended the status quo.
The Kansas Policy Institute and a growing number of Kansans yearn for the same things that brought homesteaders to Kansas – individual freedom and the opportunity to capture the entrepreneurial spirit. We have a deep belief in the limited government envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, who said, “The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.”
Kansas Policy Institute
Poor must wait
Gov. Sam Brownback may be right in saying the best thing for the poor is providing them a job. But what are the poor supposed to do while they wait for those “job creators” to provide all those jobs that will lift them out of poverty?
The new tax law exempts thousands of businesses from paying state income tax, but there is no requirement that any of them hire a single soul. Sure, some may hire, and a few will make physical improvements to their businesses, but the vast majority will pocket the difference. Can’t say I blame them; running a small business is hard work. But why do they get a pass on the backs of the rest of us?
The trickle-down economics of the Reagan era has been proved baloney time and again – just look at the booming stock market that rewards companies that fire people rather than hire them, with ever-expanding bonuses going to those who do the firing or who work the few employees they have to death. But, hey, it’s Reagan’s office that Brownback aspires to, so if it takes tax cuts to pad his resume for 2016 (along with cuts to social services and public education), what does he care?
KATHLEEN C. BUTLER
The new Affordable Care Act rules on no-cost contraception are smart, good for women and good for America.
How to prevent abortion? Contraception. How to prevent some birth defect? Contraception. Because so much of the fetus is formed before a woman knows she’s with child, planned pregnancies usually result in healthier newborns and children – and, of course, moms and dads who are more committed.