Daily Archives: June 4, 2012

Tax Foundation not a fan of business tax cut

The Washington-based Tax Foundation, which conservatives regularly cite, isn’t impressed with Kansas’ new law eliminating income taxes on many businesses. “The small-business exemption creates an incentive for businesses to structure themselves as pass-through entities for tax reasons, even though it might otherwise be unwise for them to do so,” said Tax Foundation economist Mark Robyn. “Furthermore, promoting pass-through entities will not necessarily create net new jobs. Favoring those businesses over traditional C-corporations may lead to an increase in people employed by pass-through entities, but many of these ‘new’ pass-through entity jobs may simply be reclassified C-corporation jobs.” Some state lawmakers also questioned whether the cost of the tax cut will be greater than projected, if businesses reorganize in order to take advantage of the tax break.

Voter restrictions blocked in Florida, defended in Wichita

The same day last week that Secretary of State Kris Kobach took some heat at a Wichita briefing on Kansas’ new voter-ID law, a federal judge blocked parts of a new Florida law regulating voter-registration drives. The Washington Post reported that it was the first time a federal jurist had struck down provisions in one of the voting laws passed since 2011 in nearly 20 states. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law called it “a breakthrough victory for Florida voters and voting rights advocates nationwide.” Kobach has insisted that Kansas’ law, which requires photo ID to vote as of this year and proof of citizenship to register as of Jan. 1, will be “bulletproof in court.” But critics in Kansas and elsewhere still view these laws as less about fighting the negligible problem of voter fraud and more about suppressing turnout of poor and minority voters, who tend to vote Democratic. “If these laws suppress voters, I would not be for it,” Kobach told the Wichita crowd. Turnout will be closely watched as Kansans vote in August and November.

What if the bad guys get drones?

Nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction are hard to acquire. As he highlighted David Ignatius’ “Bloodmoney: A Novel of Espionage,” the Atlantic’s Steve Clemons asked a worrisome question: What happens when America’s enemies get drones? “While the U.S. is today preparing to further expand its drone force and as of late arm Italian drones, Iran is now trying to develop its own drones. So too it seems China and Russia,” Clemons wrote. “The question that President Obama, who has admitted direct, routinized involvement in creating the drone ‘kill list,’ should ponder is what will happen as the barriers to entry on drone technology fall enough so that an adversary’s drones can be deployed against U.S. and allied forces and interests.”