Rays of hope greatly diminished
During his re-election campaign, Gov. Sam Brownback said that “the sun is shining in Kansas.” It was most evident the governor intended to distract us from the damage caused by his elimination of state income taxes for many of our state’s wealthiest citizens.
Kansas’ financial loss of revenue from just the Koch brothers, if known, would stagger the imagination. I have an acquaintance who told me that Brownback’s “incompetence” saves him $20,000 a year in taxes that he would have gladly paid.
Almost daily, editorial writers throughout the state complain about the impact of Kansas’ foolish tax policies. Thanks to The Eagle’s Kansas Views feature, we have access to those critical editorials from across the state.
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Kansas tax policies have also provided fodder for late-night comedians and national opinion leaders. A July 14, 2014, New York Times editorial noted: “There was only one reason for the state’s plummeting revenues, and that was the spectacularly ill-advised income tax cuts that Mr. Brownback and his fellow Republicans engineered in 2012 and 2013.”
In response to this shortfall, Brownback has cut funding for education, health programs, transportation and other critical areas of state government. I agree with a May 9 Opinion Line comment: “If Sam Brownback was the captain of the Titanic, not only would he hit the iceberg, he’d back up and ram it again.”
Yes, the sun may still be shining in Kansas, but the rays of hope for its citizens have been greatly diminished by Brownback’s incompetence.
MENDELL (MITCH) BUTLER
Pay ‘fair share’
As we continue to see budget issues in Kansas and the United States, the problem becomes increasingly obvious: Nobody is paying their “fair share” of taxes.
Now keeping in mind that the definition of “fair” includes the word “equitable,” the answer to the problem is obvious: Everybody should pay the exact same percentage rate in taxes. Everybody should be a taxpayer.
No more property tax abatements. No more tax exemptions. No more taxpayer-funded “free government subsidies.” No earned income tax credits that redistribute wealth from those who earned it to those who didn’t.
If you’re an individual or a company, you should pay an equal percentage of your income as state or federal income taxes. Income is defined as wages for individuals and profits for business owners and corporations and their shareholders.
Now, as soon as it can be agreed upon what the “fair share” is for all to pay as a percentage of their income, and that rate is implemented, then we should no longer hear about any one segment not paying their fair share.
Quit making a “fair share” a moving target manipulated by politicians and those who are jealous and envious of others.
Need Ex-Im Bank
Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation argued we should eliminate the U.S. Export-Import Bank because it only accounts for 2 percent of U.S. exports (May 14 Opinion). But American companies export more than $2 trillion a year. Slashing 2 percent of those sales would tear at least a gaping $30 billion hole in our economy.
Katz made two further mistakes. First, she assumes that if her political allies succeed in shutting down the Ex-Im Bank, private lenders will fill the gap. But Ex-Im is barred by law from getting involved in a deal if a commercial alternative exists. Shutting down the bank means every transaction it supports – large or small – will be lost to U.S. business, and snapped up by our rivals overseas.
Second, she believes Ex-Im only benefits large businesses, because its biggest users are strong companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar. But nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im’s transactions are with small businesses. Large products such as airplanes or construction equipment depend on the work of smaller suppliers and vendors. My company, McGinty Machine, has made machine parts and assemblies for the aviation majors throughout the United States over the past 67 years – so attacking Ex-Im because it helps Boeing and other companies sell planes is also attacking my company and my employees.
I might just be a businessman from Kansas, but I know how our economy works better than a pundit from Washington, D.C. And anyone who cares about business in our state must support the Ex-Im Bank.
McGinty Machine Co.
Hats off to The Eagle for the great photos and nice article about our local renaissance artist Robert Elliot and his work on the Carnegie Library Building (May 14 Local & State).
Thanks also for the letter on how simple our government structure is supposed to be (May 14 Letters to the Editor). Because our government is meant to be “for the people” and “by the people,” we need to find ways to encourage more people to get out and vote at each and every local, state and federal election. With such low voter turnout for our election process, I wonder if maybe it is time to consider requiring more people to vote – which might keep the almighty dollar out of office.
Thanks also for the wonderful article about the “Candy Bomber” (“Meeting is sweet for Wichitan, WWII pilot,” May 15 Eagle). This should be required reading for all schoolchildren across the nation. Thank you, Goddard schoolteacher Julie Campa, for arranging the visit, and to The Eagle for printing the moment in history.
JUDY L. YOUNG
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