Archive for Monday, August 13, 2012

Who wins, loses if Senate shifts to right?

Conservatives have big agenda to push through

August 13, 2012


— So what will happen should conservative Republicans take over the Kansas Senate when the 2013 legislative session starts in January?

Public schools, middle class families and women are in for a rough ride, according to Democrats as they assessed the political landscape after a slew of moderate Senate leaders were defeated in last week’s Republican Party primary, courtesy of a combined effort from Gov. Sam Brownback, the billionaire Koch brothers, Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Kansans for Life.

“The Kansas Republican Party took another hard right turn away from the ‘middle of the road’ politics that have served our state so well for many decades,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. In 2010, the House fell into the hands of conservative Republicans.

“Today, the face of the Republican party is more anti-public school, more anti-worker, more anti-woman and more anti-middle class than ever before,” Davis said.

Brownback said he was going to focus on improving the economy.

“Most Kansans want to grow the economy and increase the number of private sector jobs in our state. We will continue working every day to help Kansans fulfill their aspirations,” he said in a statement after Tuesday’s primary results.

His spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag added, “Like in the primary, we look forward to a debate on the issues important to Kansans such as smaller government, repealing Obamacare and properly funding essential services like schools, social services and public safety.”

Even though “Obamacare” — the Affordable Care Act — is a federal law, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity hammered moderate Republican state legislators in Kansas. The groups said the moderates were against giving Kansans a state constitutional amendment vote to opt out of “Obamacare.” Critics of the proposed constitutional amendment said it was a waste of time and money and dishonest because federal law is the supreme law of the land.

Conservative issues

Republicans already hold a 32-8 edge over Democrats in the Senate. But a combination of moderate Republicans and Democrats has maintained a slight majority on some issues in the Senate over conservatives.

That has likely changed.

In the GOP primary, voters defeated eight moderate Republican senators. After the November general election, conservative Republicans may hold 27 seats, maybe more. Under the scenario where both chambers are in step with Brownback, what follows is a sample of some issues that may have a better chance of becoming law.

  • The “Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act,” was approved 91-33 in the House during the last legislative session, but moderate Republican Senate leaders let the bill lie dormant as the session ended.
  • The measure would prohibit state and local governments from substantially burdening a person’s religious beliefs unless the government can prove that the burden is advancing a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive way of advancing that interest. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer testified in favor of the bill, and the Kansas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas supported it. It was opposed by Lawrence officials, the Kansas Equality Coalition and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women. Supporters of the bill said it was needed to prevent government from forcing a person to violate his or her religious beliefs. But opponents of the bill said it would invite discrimination against gays and lesbians and invalidate a Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation.
  • An anti-abortion bill approved by the House proposed numerous changes to Kansas abortion law, including a provision that would prevent state employees, including doctors-in-training at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., from performing abortions on state property or state time. KU Medical Center officials voiced concerns that the accreditation of its obstetrics and gynecology program would be in danger under the bill. Legislators added a provision saying its medical residents could do abortions off-site, on their own time, for a year, but the Medical Center wanted a permanent exception. Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, had said the Senate needed more time to consider the proposal. He declared the bill “materially altered,” which sent it back to a Senate committee with only a few days left in the legislative session. Morris was defeated in the primary, one of the Republicans targeted by Brownback, who is anti-abortion.
  • Brownback has urged approval of a bill that would give him greater control over appointing judges to the Kansas Court of Appeals. Currently, the governor must select an appeals court judge from among three nominees chosen by a nominating commission. A bill that passed the House in 2011 would allow Brownback to make an appointment subject to Senate confirmation. But the bill died in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by state Sen. Tim Owens, who said the proposed process would inject more politics into the judicial system. Owens was defeated in the GOP primary.
  • As a U.S. senator, Brownback supported school vouchers and there are many legislators who also endorse this view. Last session, a bill surfaced that would have given taxpayers a 90 percent tax credit for contributions made to an organization that would provide scholarships for students to attend private or parochial schools. House leaders also have pushed for a number of education policy changes that the Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, and Vice Chair John Vratil, R-Leawood, resisted. But Schodorf was defeated in the primary and Vratil is retiring.
  • Democrats say Brownback may make another push to try to get rid of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Brownback sought elimination of the state version of the EITC, which helps low-income families, as part of his tax-cutting package. Brownback’s staff said there were abuses in the EITC system, but advocates for the poor said it is a crucial credit to help low-income families. The Legislature eventually left the EITC intact, but Democrats say conservatives will try again.
  • Conservatives and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce also have pushed for a proposal to restrict labor unions’ ability to raise dues from members’ paychecks and prohibit public employee unions from endorsing candidates. That bill also languished in a Senate committee whose chair is now retiring.
  • Last session, Brownback’s plan on changing the way schools are funded didn’t get much love in the Senate Education Committee. But his proposal may get another look with a more conservative Senate.


Mike1949 5 years, 9 months ago

Kansans lost their freedom this past election. Middle class will be taxed and will join the poor in this state. Women's rights will be assaulted and restricted freedom will be similar to the early 1900's. One of the first things to happen (not in the article) is Brownback will diluted the power of our judicial system so the middle class and the poor can NOT sue for equal rights. Brownback has already promised that! The Republican party will take away money for education in this state so the rich can get almost free private school assistance. The only jobs they (republican party) will bring is $7.50 part time jobs with no insurance. That is the Republican plan, slave labor! I'm ashamed I was born here, and a lot of other Kansans are feeling the same.

What I can't figure out, why or where do these miss guided people come from that they want to destroy Kansas and our rights & freedoms? It breaks my heart that Kansas has turned into a dictatorship of the far right! Their assault on the bottom 75% of the population will go down in history as a second term of the DARK AGES. Again, religion is behind this second one also, but they have help, they are funded by the top 5%.

LogicMan 5 years, 9 months ago

"Kansans lost their freedom this past election."

Some friendly advice: If you want rational people to read your post, don't start off with a lie.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

I've learned over the years that "one's lie can be someone else's truth". That's his observation, which to you are free to say is correct or incorrect. This isn't a lie.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

The GOP strategy is tell a lie over and over until it is accepted as the truth no matter how easily it can be disproved.They fully understand what they are doing. The bad part is that some people buy into the lies and believe it is true because they saw it on TV or read it on the internet. These sources are never wrong, are they?(insert Sarcasm here)

mdlund0 5 years, 9 months ago

"The GOP strategy is tell a lie over and over until it is accepted as the truth no matter how easily it can be disproved."

In this, the term 'truthiness' has its roots.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with his post 101% We have sold our government to the Koch family and our sanity to the right wing extrimist facists.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Cuts aren't necessary, and the pain of the cuts that you say are necessary will be borne by those least able to tolerate or even survive them.

That's just the darwinist nature of the new GOP (Grand Old Plutocracy.)

John Hamm 5 years, 9 months ago

+1 to LogicMan's comment - this new "reply" doesn't work such well sometimes.

rtwngr 5 years, 9 months ago

The truth about the EIC is that if you qualify, you probably are not paying any taxes anyway. It is a handout. That's the truth. Look it up for yourself.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

I have lived in Kansas for over fifty years. I remember living in communities where the comment by a fellow Kansan was "how can I, time, effort". Now, that neighbor is saying "get away, it's mine and I'm not giving anything to help you."

I personally see the conservative direction of the state going towards isolation, narcissism and greed. Protection of "mine, mine, mine" rather than sharing for the common good. My grandparents survived the Dust Bowl helping out others, and sometimes being helped themselves. That no longer exists. Guess the would have been classified as socialists or communists by some of the commentators on this website. Regardless of wanting to help their neighbor making them socialists, they were darned good people.

Where are the jobs? Have they come to Kansas or coming? Is public education going down the tubes? I believe in religious freedom, freedom for all religions and not promotion of one. I'm certain that Brownback and friends will take credit for any success in the future. But, if there is failure producing gloom and doom, will he step up and say he's wrong? will he hit the road off to Washington? More than likely, he'll blame Democrats, moderates, independents, the Federal government and others for these failures rather than seeing these were ill-advised decisions.

I hope, I sincerely hope, that I'm wrong. I want the best for the State, but fear this is going to be the "Dark Ages" as Mike49 has said. Time will tell.

optimist 5 years, 9 months ago

The Government taking from one Kansan and "gifting" it to another Kansas is not help, it is institutional theft. You spoke of a time when Kansans helped one another. What's changed? Government has taken over that role. Government was empowered by those that had less to take from those that had more. This continues to be peddled even today in the midst of an economic calamity.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury." -Eighteenth-century Scottish historian Alexander Tytler

Today we have by any estimate approximately 50% of the population that pays no income tax and/or receives "EITC" from the federal government. That has steadily increased since the inception of the income tax. I think it's safe to say we are at significant point in our history.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

It would be so nice if people would stop misusing the approximately 50% pays no income tax.

This figure applies only to Federal income tax. The majority of people who pay no Federal Income tax are seniors who have paid into the system all their life. The next group of people are working families with children who also pay taxes (State income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, gasoline taxes, etc.).

One must be working to receive a EITC (there are a few exceptions but they are not even remotely close to the rule). That is why it is called the Earned Income tax credit.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

If the 50% of the population who doesn't pay Federal income tax are earning less income than the poverty line, I don't begrudge them the exemption. (Although I do think that paying even a token amount is good, because it defends them against allegations such as optimist's.) But if the 50% includes the likes of Mitt Romney, then I do begrudge them. I hope that optimist would, too. Mitt Romney refuses to let us see whether he paid any Federal income tax before 2010, so what are we supposed to think?

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

I have trouble when the word gift is put into quotes "gift". There seems to be the implication that it really isn't a gift. It seems like it is defined as a "hand out" or that the recipient is undeserving, or that it goes to someone who is "not one of us", whether that be employed, white, English speaking.

Those that are critical of governmental "gifts" have no difficulty with farm, banking, business assistance because "they deserve it". Those who believe in the "individualism" of Americans because they did it themselves, have no problems "taking" the benefits of an organized society, roads, a steady supply of utilities and communications, commerce, as well as, protection from crime, injury and fire.

I do believe in some degree of redistribution of wealth. Grossly high accumulation in the 1% occurs only at the expense of the 99%. Ultimately, the 1% will be adversely affected by their wealth accumulation because there won't be anyone out there with sufficient money to buy things.

I get mad when Republican candidates say that Obama is engaging in "Class War", when it is really they who are promoting the conflict.

I seem to remember that income tax came into place during the years when Republicans were trying to make change by breaking up the dominating trusts which overburdened the American economy. It was then that income tax came to be. Strange when Democrats are now more true Republicans than the Teabaggers now in control.

And, I wonder where the money is being invested. If the theory is that lowered tax rates create more money to reinvest into society, why hasn't that been occurring now when tax rates have been lowered in comparison to historical past. Seems like the reason is that business isn't confident in consumer spending, therefore the money stays in the bank. So, if there are fewer dollars in the hands of the 99%, the 1% just won't use it to invest in the economy. Interesting.

werekoala 5 years, 9 months ago

"prohibit public employee unions from endorsing candidates"

Compare this with:

“Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act,”

Y'know, I would respect these guys a lot more if they had any consistency to their ideology. Any underlying ethos at all, really. Take Paul Ryan. I don't agree with the guy, but his track record shows he is sincere in his convictions.

But the two above quotes demonstrate a completely situational and pragmatic view of the First Amendment, not as essential rights of a free and open society, but as privileges to be enhanced or rescinded as needed to advance your agenda.

Basically, these guys are amoral flip-flopping opportunists like Romney, not sincere antagonists like Ryan.

average 5 years, 9 months ago

Umm... consistent like Paul Ryan? You mean Paul Ryan, the deficit hawk who voted for the TARP bailout, for Medicare Part D, and for an unfunded Iraq War?

Are you sure you aren't thinking of Ron Paul?

Bob Forer 5 years, 9 months ago

"Take Paul Ryan. I don't agree with the guy, but his track record shows he is sincere in his convictions".

And? ,,,,,,,, I am sure Hitler and other monsters were also sincere in their convictions. Since when did sincerity of belief become a litmus test?

optimist 5 years, 9 months ago

He is not only sincere he is the only one telling the truth about what is coming. There will be pain for those that are supported by the Government. These programs must be cut or they will cease to exist. We cannot sustain 8% increases in entitlement spending per year while the economy grows at best at 3% on average. The math simply doesn't work.

scarlett 5 years, 9 months ago

Brownback and his religious wingnuts know exactly what they're doing. Theocracy has replaced democracy in kansas, Taliban style, and the dark ages will be a fond memory compared to what's going to happen to people here. There won't be any jobs because the workforce will be uneducated. Anyone intelligent will leave this miserable state. Ten year old girls will be forced to bear children even if they were raped by their uncle. LBGT people will continue to be victimized in every way possible with no legal recourse. The poor will continue to eat cake and pay a greater share of the tax burden. Humanity and compassion are not important to those who've got it. The brownbackistanis have and will continue to go way too far and they'll be smug about it.

Kansans will either fight back or go quietly into the darkness. It's time to choose. The state is an embarassment to human beings.

mdlund0 5 years, 9 months ago

"Anyone intelligent will leave this miserable state."

I am attempting to be your first example. My wife and I have both have Ph.D.s (from a very highly regarded institution, which I will decline to name) and, after the recent direction in politics, we are beginning to look for someplace else to be. We haven't lived here terribly long, but it would appear that this isn't going to be a very nice/friendly place to live anymore.

Jean Robart 5 years, 9 months ago

it will get better when you leave, then., Gee whiz, give it a chance

StirrrThePot 5 years, 9 months ago

I am a lifelong Kansan and I am considering a move now as well.

All of the people who say, "Fine, if you don;t like it--just leave."

OK! You'll get your wish. Have fun in Brownbackistan. This state will soon become the Mississippi of the midwest. You can have it when that happens.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 9 months ago

And the sounds of weeping and micturition did ascend into the firmament and it was vastly amusing. BTW, what's the version of the Godwin flag for out-of-control Taliban references?

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for showing your sadistic tendencies so clearly.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

"Taliban Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban. Insurgency is the way they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes......Taliban -- is an example of how you go about to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that Insurgency may be required when [dealing with] the other side" - Rep Pete Sessions, March 2009

beebo 5 years, 9 months ago

This story belongs on the editorial page. It is not "news".

beebo 5 years, 9 months ago

It reports on some things that MAY happen in the FUTURE. THAT is not "NEWS". PERIOD.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, what MAY happen if they attempt to pass the legislation they failed to pass previously. You know, the legislation they wanted that moderate Republicans blocked, and motivated Brownback to attack members of his own party, and now that they've been removed, do you seriously think this legislation won't be reintroduced?

For the Brownback/Koch/Fox sheeple, ignorance may be bliss, but not for the rest of us.

John Hamm 5 years, 9 months ago

The "editorializing" is in the Democratic comments and the writer's obvious desire to write that the proposals are all "bad" for Kansas - News is reporting the proposals not determining their affects.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

The average citizen will get a few bucks back. Local property taxes will increase and services will be cut everywhere.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Local sales taxes will also go up-- all part of the continuing transfer of wealth from the many to the few that's at the heart of the new GOP's (Grand Old Plutocracy) agenda.

mdlund0 5 years, 9 months ago

"GOP/Teabaggers are on way out once they start implementing their christian nutcase policies." That, I think, is pretty optimistic.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

conservative, liberal - just two sides of the same coin. Hypocrites, liars and oppressors the lot.

Democrats, do you think Americans want Brownback and Romney? We don't. We just don't want them a little less than we don't want democrat thieves. The only difference of any importance is that the right says they want less of my money.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

I take it you don't have kids in the school system...

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

That is correct. I am paying a certain amount for schools, but I have no kids to send there. So what do you think of that?

I take it you do have kids in school. That's wonderful. Please explain why it is ethical for my money to be taken away to educate your children?

Not that it matters. I support public education and I don't complain about anything regarding other than employees of the public school system not negotiating their own compensation. Pay each according to skill and dependability, not with some cookie-cutter scale negotiated for a herd.

I'd like to see a community college and a vo tech in Lawrence because those can change more lives than anything, but the last time I said that, the leftists informed me that JCCCCCCCCC is good enough and they preferred a bus to local education.

You can't really accuse me of being anti-education.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to see a vo-tech and junior college here too. You don't need a four year degree to make a living with a future, but you do need some accredited training after high school that focuses on marketable skills.

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

"Please explain why it is ethical for my money to be taken away to educate your children?"

I don't see the point in explaining the value of an educated citizenry esp. when you admit that you "support public education..."

And I don't accuse you of being anti-education, but just sense that you don't have the same skin in the game when keeping maximum income appears to be your primary interest.

Time will tell if these policies prove as devastating to rural schools as they would appear.

Bob Forer 5 years, 9 months ago

Please explain why it is ethical for my money to be taken away to educate your children?

Because those children are the same people who will end up caring for you, and even perhaps saving your life once you reach your golden years. That's one example.

Do you want competent health care professionals serving you, or under and uneducated boobs?

mdlund0 5 years, 9 months ago

"That is correct. I am paying a certain amount for schools, but I have no kids to send there. So what do you think of that?

I take it you do have kids in school. That's wonderful. Please explain why it is ethical for my money to be taken away to educate your children?"

I think it's fantastic that your money is being used to fund the education of other people's children. Why? Because you are a beneficiary of it. An educated population is more productive, creates more innovation, more economic activity, and thus more jobs. It improves the standard of living for everyone, including you. It is immunization of the herd that you are benefiting from, and it is right that you should pay something for it.

By the way, I do not have kids in the educational system and am quite happy to pay for the education of others.

question4u 5 years, 9 months ago

"His spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag added, “Like in the primary, we look forward to a debate on the issues important to Kansans such as smaller government, repealing Obamacare and properly funding essential services like schools, social services and public safety.”

Another Sherriene gem: they look forward to debating whether "services like schools, social services and public safety" should be "properly funded". No prizes for guessing which side of the issue they will be taking on that one.

Does Brownback want a medal from the Chinese? They no doubt couldn't be happier with Flim-Flam Sam's ideas about public school funding. Who needs an well-educated America when the Chinese are excelling in math and producing so many new scientists and engineers? We can get by on low standards and convince ourselves that it's really true that funding levels have no effect on quality of education. We'll let the Chinese fool themselves into believing that prosperity will increase by educating their workforce. In the short term, they can continue to fill America's needs as we cut back on preparing our own kids to fill those rolls. In the long term, they will develop more advanced military technology and will define the cutting edge of information technology. Our military and industry will have a tough time keeping pace, especially if we get to see Ryan's plans put into effect and funding is slashed for basic research. Chinese prosperity should get quite a big boost from that.

But hey, if you're old and expect to die before those things happen, then debating whether education should be properly funded could be fun.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

""services like schools, social services and public safety" should be "properly funded""

In new GOP (Grand Old Plutocracy) speak, "Proper funding" is a euphemism for defunding.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh, just the public schools. The magic of free market makes everything better, even if it doesn't. Bonus if the taxpayer money can be syphoned off to campaign donors. It will take years and years to sort out that the results aren't any better and are quite often worse, and by that time the public system will have been dismantled.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"It's mainly a matter of how they get your money. "

Yes. They take a lump sum to make me pay for what is constitutionally mandated and what they want. I don't mind the first, but the democrats push for more of the second than I like.

Lesser of evils by a little.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

We'll see.

I predict that in Lawrence, property and sales taxes will increase as income taxes decrease, and that the overall tax burden will be about the same, for most people.

Other communities may lower taxes a bit, and cut services.

There's no free lunch.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

If you really care about personal freedom, Liberty275, you'd be better off voting for Democrats. The Republicans advocate government intrusion into people's intimate lives, restricting whom they can have sex with and what birth control they can use. It was the Republicans who brought us the Patriot Act, which permits much greater surveillance of citizens, even to the point of scrutiny of what we read. It was the Republicans who invented the prison at Guantanomo, where people are held indefinitely without trial--something that could not be done on US territory--and it was the Republicans who made it impossible for the Obama administration to close it down.
But perhaps you care more about a few dollars than you do about liberty, Liberty275?

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, the real victims of the shift to local taxes will be the rural districts. The question is, how many schools will lose accreditation (any links to suggest?)? Will those rural Republican voters see a stark enough decline to realize the purpose of state funding? And are we going to see further depopulation in these areas? Just how far down the libertarian fantasy path do we have to slide just to get a slight pendulum swing back to moderate governance?

average 5 years, 9 months ago

You are correct that small-town and rural Kansas will be the hardest hit by the Brownback plans. Lawrence will muddle through. Johnson County will love some parts of it (letting them have far better schools without sending money to Chanute or Kingman). But, rural Kansas is utterly, completely safe for Brownback's people. There is no upcoming rural populist grange movement in the fields.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

They'll shift the blame to teachers' pensions and salaries and blame unions. It's what they always do. I doubt the rural areas will come around until it's unfixable.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm looking for the rural school district which has the choice between programs and funding sports. If they don't fund the programs, they' risk accreditation. On the other hand, if there isn't any football, some of those school district residents will be bent out-of-shape. Guess, they can use their new riches to come see KU football. What a blessing!

scarlett 5 years, 9 months ago

Talk about an extreme slant. You meant to the right, the far right. Now that's a slant, and a very smug, foaming at the mouth one at that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, but I really don't feel thankful for your fantastical fits of delusion.

mdlund0 5 years, 9 months ago

What part of the article are you suggesting isn't true?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

As opposed to a histrionic conservative?

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

Why do I care? I'm a 62 year old woman, past reproductive years and have no grandchildren attending Lawrence schools. If public schools go further down the crap hole, what is it to me? Why do I care? My house is paid for. I live a rather frugal life. I have enough resources for retirement. Why do I care? I am an atheist. What these evangelicals believe does not concern me.

Why do I care? Because this state has been hijacked by the rich and the powerful using religion as the peanut butter on the mousetrap for the great nonthinkers. Because the powerful keep undercutting jobs, reducing benefits, reducing salaries and keep bleating out, "pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps" while they rape and pillage public funds laughing all the way at the silly people who believe the crap they put out there for them to consume and be consumed by.

I do believe in the power of the pendulum. However, I fear that things will get much worse, before it gets better. Too many Kansans have been brainwashed to think the word "democrat" is evil while they put on their brownshirts and marsh lockstep into their own demise.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

You should also care because your property taxes are about to skyrocket in order to pay for the Kochs' big income tax break.

I agree completely, btw. The pendulum will swing back, but I feel very sorry to anyone who has kids entering kindergarten out in rural Kansas. You're about to be very very screwed.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you totally about the property tax rates for most Kansans. One of the many reasons to wait on the Wreck Center. It's going to get very, very ugly.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

"The Low Class are people that leach off of the people that work all the time."

And I bet your people back in Tennessee referred to them as white trash or the N-word, depending on their skin color, all the while working 60 hours a week sharecropping on your farms so you could sit on your collective arses drinking mint juleps.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

How do you reconcile that idea with the analysis showing that middle class folks will pay higher taxes as a result?

fiddleback 5 years, 9 months ago

Though obvious troll bait, that's a hilarious caricature of what an idiot rube would say, especially making us trying to guess whether you meant "reader" or "raider". Good thing you ain't no Low Class that a banjo I hear? A+

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

The people who are "leach off of the people that work all the time" aren't the working poor and aren't the unemployed and aren't the disabled. We help them out of human compassion, as Jesus taught us (and so did the sages of other faiths). The true leeches are the wealthy people who get out of paying taxes. They have a thousand times more than they need to survive, but they still begrudge paying the taxes that help members of the community who are in dire poverty. And now the Republicans want to make all of us middle class wage-earners, who are already footing the largest share of the costs of our society, to pay still more so that the ultra-rich can get still richer by eliminating jobs here in Kansas. How many more teachers and state employees will get laid off, if Brownback and the radical right wing get their way? How many more people in the community will lose their jobs because their potential customers can't afford their goods and services any more?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

Exactly! How are businesses going to succeed in KS (no matter how little they have to pay in taxes) if they don't have enough customers who can afford to buy their goods and services?

They can't create jobs without a profit. Instead, jobs will be cut and this will just perpetuate the spiral downward.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

Kansas looses. Brownbackwards has sold the government to the Koch family. This is not a first is history, past history is repleat with evidence of the dangers of facism and extremism. And it has never been more evident that the results of the clueless western Kansas voters than with this last "election" The slippery slide has started, the decent to facism and the ideals of the Nazi party. Could never happen yere??? It happened once when the people gave the government to Hitler and failure of the citizens to be aware of the dangers of that pose a real threat. And don't throw any of your hokey theories about comparing present days events to the nazi ideology, they are out there, they are agigtating for political power and they are a threat to our democracy. And Brownback is a willing tool of the extreme right Romney/Ryan Reich.

irvan moore 5 years, 9 months ago

i'm thinking soylent green is the retirement plan brownback has in mind for us

Kate Rogge 5 years, 9 months ago

If the current GOP is not anti-women, how do you explain that ALL of the GOP federal and Kansas state legislation proposed and passed since 2008 that deals with women's health care is solely to eliminate healthcare services to women and to restrict or eliminate abortion access. Looks and sounds like a duck to me, sir. Being GOP pro-life at the expense of each woman's right to healthcare that includes access to contraception and abortion IS anti-woman no matter how you choose to spin it.

Jean Robart 5 years, 9 months ago

the legislature as a whole gets the responsibility for that, not the members of only one party.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 9 months ago

And who is the majority party in the Kansas legislature? Who wrote the bills (well, ALEC had a strong part in this) and who brought them before the state legislators for passage? Who voted for them? Who cited them as part of their agenda successes? Republicans.

Glenn Reed 5 years, 9 months ago

... not the smartest comment....

Let's say I have a room of 20 legislators. 15 of them consistently vote against women's right, 5 of them consistently vote for women's rights.

I'm going to blame the 15 because they had control. The 5 really didn't have the power to do much.

Jean Robart 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you liberal! I do, however,think that Sam must go as soon as possible.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 9 months ago

"What the republicans are in favor of is being able to pay for the things we have instead of drowning us in dept and promising all things to all people." Have you been napping for the last 40 years? The hemorrhage started during Reagan's term in office and except for a brief respite during Clinton's (and a bipartisan legislature's) time in office, the Republicans have led the deficit spending by a huge margin.

wastewatcher 5 years, 9 months ago

When will the L J World start reporting news and quit being a shill for the extreme LIBERALS? The headline should give the truth about the article and not be a bait and switch like this one is.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

I predict the following:

-many lawsuits filed

-a lot of time wasted on meaningless legislation

-much embarrassment for Kansas

-very few positive things accomplished

-a lot of quotes from Brownback about "growing the economy" and "creating jobs" with very little of either actually happening

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

Or handed out to private contractors who take over state services at inflated rates.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

That's the drill. Both parties have pushed this over the years. The Republicans are taking it to the extreme, as is their wont .

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

You do know that Boeing consolidated to a state with a higher tax rate, right?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Welcome to Muscular Sam's new middle ages. His strange little muscular jesus cares not for the poor. The GREAT ESSENE has become a muscular businessman.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 9 months ago

Does power corrupt? Are those who seek more limitless power more corrupt? Is funding from billionaires an indicator of those seeking more limitless power more corrupted? Are those who vote for power structures designed by the billionaire fools, therefore, more corrupted? Are those who believe they are God's right hand on earth more deluded and egomaniacal than those who oppose egomaniacs? Has anyone ever been manipulated by religious belief? Has anyone ever been influenced by a distribution of funds that benefits them? Has anyone ever been influenced by FUNDS? We are promised jobs and support of our righteous indignation. We are told that God is on one side and not the other. Luckily, this has never happened. This has never lead to revolution and desperation. We will all be much better off by slapping down our neighbors. Enjoy the new prosperity of desperation!

I am SAM I AM and I approve of this comic book message, kids!

I'm sure you have all been taught the right words to say to our opponents. Go now, in love and peace, to serve the self-serving.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 9 months ago

The bottom line is that we have given up our power to Super Pacs. We have allowed money to rule our temple. Get a clue.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 9 months ago

I love this demented distinction between "freeloaders" and "us'ns that work".

The unemployment rate in Kansas is 6%.

Something tells me the right wing crazies who are convinced the state, and nation, are overloaded with freeloaders aren't referring to 6% of the population.

They must be referring to retirees and schoolkids. And the disabled. Bunch of freeloaders, that lot.

As such, there is no other conclusion -- The Kansas right wing/GOP hates old people and children. And the disabled.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 9 months ago

They don't hate them. They just want those old people, children, and disabled to take real personal responsibility for themselves and stop being dependent on others for help ('cause that's the kind of robust individualism the Christian founding fathers put in our constitution, right?). Hell, if those losers want to live, they should get a job like God expects them to have.

chootspa 5 years, 9 months ago

Don't forget the working poor. Hate them, too. If only they were worthy, their bosses would bless them with all those trickle down tax savings.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

Going to keep saying it---these people are not conservatives. They are exteme reactionaries.

Also noted is the many accusations on these boards by the extreme right that those damned liberals are doing exactly what the extremists themselves are doing. Isn't that from the Karl Rove playbook?

Lies, lies and more lies. Policies that have repeatedly failed held up as supreme truth.

On another matter, I have a number of rural relatives who hate the current administration. It's also not fair to lump all rural people into one group.

msezdsit 5 years, 9 months ago

Who wins, loses if Senate shifts to right?

Kansas loses and the people of Kansas will get kicked around in the dirt because of the fake christian conservatives.

As verity says, these people aren't conservatives. They, as is the case with all their policies, think their opinion trumps science, facts, morality, and the common good of the people. They think they can simply declare themselves conservative and therefore they are conservative.

They would be far more accurate to call themselves the "Third world party" because that is exactly what Kansans ,all but the selected few, will be living in.

Ironically, those who support these fake christian conservatives will ultimately become their victims too. How does that go, Cut your nose of in spite of your face. People who vote against their own best interests ain't so bright.

Insanely greedy radical right wing extremist anti people of the "Third world party", disguising themselves as conservatives of the republican party.

msezdsit 5 years, 9 months ago

Just calling it like it is not how I made it. You know, just the messenger.

walterhomple 5 years, 9 months ago

Quick! Leave the Holy Rolling Empire before the Right's mind fogging radiation removes your ability to read a road map. Head for California.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

The idea that Ryan is the only one to see the problems with Medicare and SS over the long term is wrong, as is the idea that he's the only one with a plan to help fix them.

The bi-partisan debt reduction commission was quite aware of those problems, and presented a plan.

bevy 5 years, 9 months ago

Which was rejected out of hand, I'm sure, because it was bi-partisan. I wonder where those fake Christians left the idea that we are supposed to work together? Heck, if they see the Dems as their enemies, maybe they should think on "Love your enemies, and bless those that curse you." Oh wait, there's no money in that.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately I think the D also rejected the plan.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.