Fix state budget by undoing mistake
Cue the clown music and watch the show as Kansas government tries to fix the budget disaster it created by looking at everything to find money other than undoing what it did.
There are about 300,000 income tax-exempt businesses in Kansas. Exempting those businesses was supposed to cause more jobs and higher tax revenue. Instead, the obvious happened – increased profits for the tax-exempt and decreased tax revenue for the state.
The solution is as simple as either restoring the exempt businesses to the tax rolls or selling the tax exemptions for some fee, perhaps $10,000. If each exempt business would pay an average of $1,000 per year in taxes, that would increase revenues by $300 million and help fix the Kansas budget disaster.
Whatever happened to solid Midwestern values? Admit you were wrong and fix the problem – not by taxing beer, cigarettes and gasoline, but by simply undoing your huge mistake. It’s not complicated, but it does take a little bit of spine.
When I served as spokesman for Paul Davis’ campaign for governor, we attempted to hammer home the destructive impact of Sam Brownback’s reckless economic experiment. Study after study and common sense validated what we knew to be true: Kansas’ economic situation is dire, and the governor can’t bring himself to admit it.
Fast-forward six months, and it’s only gotten worse. Services are being cut. The tried-and-true school funding formula was tossed in favor of “block grants.” School years are ending early. And that was before Monday’s news that an additional $100 million is needed to plug the hole in next year’s budget.
Yet Davis was accused of riling hysteria. “The sun is shining in Kansas,” they assured us.
Give me a break. The governor’s and his allies’ claims are literally unbelievable, and the people of Kansas deserve better.
Our state is in serious fiscal peril, and we need courageous, pragmatic leaders to solve these self-inflicted problems. But as we all know, the first step is admitting there is a problem.
The sun is shining? You might want to check the latest forecast.
A new low
Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. has sunk to a new low (“‘We the people’ are the ‘government,’” April 20 Opinion). He stated that the “lunatic fringe,” such as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, is now “the mainstream, the beating heart of the Republican Party.”
This is just another example of the hate-filled rhetoric of the extreme left wing. It is an insult to every fair-minded American, and it denigrates those who gave their life in service to this country, many of whom were “mainstream” Republicans.
Is this all liberals have left? Are they so afraid to run an election based on the issues that they resort to lying and name-calling?
Somehow Pitts forgets about the bombings by the Weather Underground or the Black Panthers. Or how members of the “New” Black Panther Party stood outside polling locations intimidating voters during the 2008 presidential elections, or how the IRS intimidated tea party groups. Many of the leaders of these organizations are, in fact, now part of the mainstream Democratic Party. To this day, the Obama administration is protecting IRS officials from investigations.
There are radicals on both sides, and it is disgusting for people such as Pitts to use an occasion such as the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing to try to connect the Republican Party to the likes of McVeigh. All Americans should be outraged.
Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed a bill that would put new regulations on ride-share services because it would “overregulate” an industry (April 21 Eagle).
Wow. The governor has no problem regulating the medical profession when it comes to reproductive choice.
On April 7 he signed Senate Bill 95, which dictates to qualified physicians their scope of practice. Criminalization possibilities are even implied.
Health care is one of the most personal transactions in our lives. This administration’s continual intrusion and regulation of the doctor-patient relationship is well-documented.
Now the governor finds it “overregulating” to require adequate insurance and criminal background checks for ride-share drivers. Senate Bill 117 passed with rare bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate, but the governor was persuaded to veto it.
This administration is all about “small government,” which usually means fewer rules and regulations imposed by government. Reproductive choice is subject to multiple rules and regulations, while business interests are granted reductions in rules and regulations.
The word “hypocrisy” comes to mind.
DELPHINE (DEL) SMITH
As I was leaving a parking lot recently, I noticed a note tucked under my windshield wiper. It provided a phone number and said, “My back door put a half-inch scratch in your back door on passenger side. I will be happy to pay to have it fixed.” My two friends and I got out to look. None of us could see it (if the sun was just right – maybe).
There are so many people who do nice things in this world. She is one of them.
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