Daily Archives: Nov. 18, 2012

Kansas’ tax cuts making neighbors nervous

Gov. Sam Brownback pointed to other states’ lack of income tax as a key reason Kansas needed its own massive tax breaks. Now that it has them, forces in Missouri and Oklahoma in turn are pointing to Kansas with alarm. “What if people start moving jobs and businesses to Kansas? What’s going to happen to our tax base? Who is going to pay my teacher? What’s our plan? You got nothing?” asks a little girl in a new TV ad, sponsored by a group called Save Missouri Jobs, calling for action by Missouri lawmakers. And Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, whose tax-cut advocacy fell short this year, wants to slash Oklahoma’s top income-tax rate from 5.25 to 4.8 percent or lower — less than Kansas’ new rate of 4.9 percent. “Oklahoma needs to compete with our neighbors; to do that, we need to lower our income tax,” Fallin has said.

Huelskamp had some opposition after all

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, won a second term this month without so much as a token third-party challenge. But nearly 800 voters in Reno County chose other candidates anyway, according to the Hutchinson News, variously writing in “someone else,” “anybody but,” “any warm body,” “a rock,” “any dipstick,” “no confidence,” Democrat, Betty Boop, Bob Dylan, Jesus Christ, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Some voters also used the opportunity to show unhappiness with Huelskamp’s failure to support extending the production tax credit for wind energy, which is tied to recent layoffs at Hutchinson’s Siemens plant. One voter wrote in “Wind Mill”; others wrote in Dave Kerr, the former state Senate president who has criticized Huelskamp and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, on the PTC.

Region again steps up for United Way of the Plains

Congratulations to the United Way of the Plains and all those who helped push the fall campaign across the finish line Friday. The $15.6 million raised, which was $1,613 more than the goal, was an amazing display of generosity during a period of uncertainty about the economy. Last year United Way raised $15.2 million, surpassing the goal by more than $120,000. Let there be no doubt about the willingness of south-central Kansans to act on behalf of neighbors in need.

So they said

“You’re all asking questions today. You disappeared before.” – Sen. Pat Roberts (in photo), R-Kan., chiding reporters last week for how the sex scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus heightened their interest in the Benghazi attack and investigation

“Sam Brownback is a dazzlingly Reaganesque success as governor of Kansas.” – Forbes contributor Ralph Benko, counting the governor among “the rising new generation of officials dedicated to prosperity and moral courage”

“One way to shrink government is to choke the input.” – Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, on the revenue shortfall projected to follow the huge income-tax cuts

“If a person wants to live in a San Francisco lifestyle, they can go there. If they want to live a Kansas lifestyle, they can come here.” – Secretary of State Kris Kobach, suggesting Kansans who dislike their state government’s conservatism can, like other Americans, “vote with their feet and choose a state that reflects their values and the way of life they’d like to enjoy”

“I was fighting a billionaire, a governor and a secretary of state.” – Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, referring to the roles of GOP donor Charles Koch, Brownback and Kobach, respectively, in her 21-vote re-election defeat