Daily Archives: June 26, 2011

Moran, Huelskamp take hardball vow on debt ceiling

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who was one of the first (and few) senators to join the Senate Tea Party Caucus in January, has similarly stepped out front to take the “Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge” being pushed by conservative groups including Let Freedom Ring and the Club for Growth. By taking the pledge, Moran has committed not to vote to raise the debt ceiling unless the vote includes substantial spending cuts and caps, and a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution — no small task politically. As of Friday, 12 Republican senators had taken the pledge. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, was among 20 House members to take the pledge.

Is Kansas a rich state or poor state, and why?

Gov. Sam Brownback wrote the foreword for the new report “Rich States, Poor States” and participated in a press conference last week in Topeka with the free-market advocacy group that produced it, the American Legislative Exchange Council. The report ranked Kansas in the middle of the pack for economic competitiveness. Brownback wrote that the evidence is clear that “states should pursue policies that leave more money in our citizens’ pockets to help fuel and drive our economy.” But Bernie Koch of Wichita, the executive director of the Kansas Economic Progress Council, contends that the report is too narrow in its evaluation of economic outlook, focusing mostly on taxes and regulations. “Other factors not evaluated in the study have been shown by respected empirical studies to be as important, if not more important, including investment in infrastructure and equipment, labor efficiency, education and innovation,” Koch said in a statement.

No shortage of material for Kansas satirists

Titled “Teamtime in Kansas, or Your I.D., por favor,” the Topeka Bar Association’s recent satirical show for the Kansas Bar Association annual meeting had a lot of new material to work with, including activist Gov. Sam Brownback. Its “Brownback” summarized his to-do list for the audience: “I recently noticed a loophole in the Uniform Commercial Code, and I’ve instructed the secretary of state to take immediate action. We’ve created a whole new filing category — faith-based mechanic’s liens. But there’s still a lot more work to do. We still have some Democrats. We still have labor unions. And the Koch brothers still have to pay taxes.”

So they said

“Drive myself to Burger King.” — Defense Secretary (and Wichita native) Robert Gates, when asked about his first retirement activities

“The Arts Aren’t in Kansas Anymore, Toto” — headline on a Huffington Post commentary

“Overall it’s a noble experiment that Sam Brownback has begun in Kansas, and the dramatic value may be worthy of an opera someday. Privately funded, of course.” — World magazine’s Janie B. Cheaney, on Brownback’s arts-funding veto