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Archive for Monday, December 20, 2010

Statehouse Live: Kansas Republicans wrestle with earmarks, tax cuts

December 20, 2010

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— The fight over earmarks and tax cuts last week provided some interesting comments and votes from Kansas Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, criticized the $858 billion tax deal that extended Bush-era tax cuts for two years, and extended unemployment benefits for 13 months.

"More spending, more debt and an uncertain tax structure," Moran said. "Business as usual in Washington D.C. where tough decisions are put off for another day." Moran voted against the bill, saying he wanted to make the tax cuts permanent.

The deal was passed, however, with bi-partisan support, including the votes of Republican Reps. Lynn Jenkins of Topeka, whose district includes west Lawrence, and Todd Tiahrt, and U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts. Democrat U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, whose 3rd District includes east Lawrence, also voted for the deal.

After voting for the tax deal, Jenkins and Tiahrt released a strongly-worded statement.

"Playing chicken with a struggling economy to prove a political point is not why Kansans sent us to Congress. Quite simply, Kansans expect and deserve more. Simply put, a vote against this bill was a vote to take families’ hard-earned money and put it in Government’s pockets," they said. 

Meanwhile, when an omnibus spending bill died in the Senate, Jenkins cheered, saying that the bill was laden with earmarks and pork-barrel spending.

"When I was elected to Congress, Eastern Kansas knew that wasteful earmarks, runaway government spending, and the same tired notion that we are going to spend our way out of debt were leading this country down the wrong path," she said.

But Jenkins' fellow Republican and fellow Kansan, Brownback, had included in that bill an earmark for $40 million for the development of the National Bio- and Agro Defense Facility that is proposed for Manhattan. NBAF is a project that state elected officials have been fighting for for several years. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has picked Manhattan for the site of the lab.

Brownback is leaving the Senate to be sworn in as governor on Jan. 10. Moran was elected to take Brownback's place in the Senate.

Comments

QuinnSutore 3 years, 10 months ago

Gotta throw Brownback under the bus in second to last paragraph, because Lord knows we can't have a totally positive news story about a Republican.

Meanwhile, on page 1 is a story about how Obama cures cancer, walks on water, and guides his disciples.

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Jimo 3 years, 10 months ago

Is there something factually incorrect with the paragraph? Is it outside of the context of the story? Since you believe news stories are to be "positive" about the politicians within them I assume you spend your time watching the Propaganda Department of the GOP (a/k/a, Fox) and have become comfortable with the idea that facts exist to service the political ends of the editor (or should I say the choreographer?).

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gudpoynt 3 years, 10 months ago

Gotta ignore that Jenkins (a Rep in the HOUSE) worked to get the NBAF earmark into the bill in the first place (along with Brownback), and then cheered the bill's failed passage in the SENATE, complaining of, what else?... it's excessive earmarks.

Meanwhile: Brownback Vows to Shrink Government by Creating New Government Department (http://bit.ly/hkeUMz)

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William Weissbeck 3 years, 10 months ago

There is no such thing as a permanent tax cut or tax rate. The GOP's attempt to argue this is utter nonsense. Historically, tax rates have changed on average every 3.5 years. For better or worse the tax code has been used as a tool for economic stimulus by simple things like shortening/changing business asset depreciation and social policy like "Brownstone rehab credits" (under Reagan). Federal revenue needs change over time - anyone notice we are engaged in two unfunded wars? In normal/sane times - taxes are increased to pay for foreign adventures. The GOP is engaged in class warfare by trying to convince the middle class, average wage earner, that his/her ills are caused by tax spending on the poor. The GOP diverts attention from the fact the the more affluent are earning more than ever and paying less as a proportion of their income than ever. Wall Street and major bank bonuses are at an all time high for the second year. How's your 401(k) and your CD rates? Where are the jobs?

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JustAsking 3 years, 10 months ago

Very interesting? Where did the $200,000+ for Yankee Tank pond come from? Federal government that's where. Let's see, private pond, republican, federal money. Looks like an "earmark" to me, or at least a very questionable action. The $200,000 could have been much better used for other purpose, not to fix the plug in the dam for the rich living around Pond Alvamar (Yankee Tank Pond).

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booyalab 3 years, 10 months ago

The GOP had a momentary lapse into actual conservatism when they wanted to ban earmarks. Unfortunately, it didn't last long.

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IndusRiver 3 years, 10 months ago

The money the politicians have peed away already plus what's coming will effect us and our children and their children and their children plus their children and then the children thereafter.

Stupidity the American way will run you and your far off descendants about 15 trillion + interest = quadrillion eventually. Better get a Living Trust rather than a Will.

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