To the editor:
What is Gov. Brownback trying to do? His immediate aims are clear. He is reducing the tax burden of the wealthy and shifting a portion of that to the middle class and the poor. He plans to eliminate state income tax while maintaining a high sales tax and eliminating other tax measures that help the poor and middle class. A reduced state budget will require that services that benefit the poor will need to be cut. All that seems clear, but why is he doing this?
Gov. Brownback is a religious man. I believe that. Is all this a sort of social Darwinism sanctioned by his God — God helps them that help themselves? Is he just nudging the process along? Does he worship a zero-sum God — anything you get is something I lose? Does the God of “do unto others ...” have any say in this administration? Medicaid could be expanded to 185,000 additional Kansas residents who presently cannot afford medical insurance. From one religious angle this would seem a no-brainer: Of course we can afford this and of course we will help. The governor is more hesitant.
I wonder about the effectiveness of the governor’s plan. In the long run, can the wealthy be supported by a large population of poverty wage workers? Doesn’t somebody have to pay for the goods or the financial instruments or the pricey services (e.g., a physical exam)?
We should say a prayer for the governor — and for Kansas.