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Archive for Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brownback: Keep state sales tax at current level, cut more income taxes; change judicial selection

Governor Sam Brownback waves to lawmakers as he is escorted to the speaker's podium of the House chamber before delivering the State of the State address on Tuesday at the Kansas Statehouse. In his speech, Brownback called for a cut in taxes and changes in the way judges are selected.

Governor Sam Brownback waves to lawmakers as he is escorted to the speaker's podium of the House chamber before delivering the State of the State address on Tuesday at the Kansas Statehouse. In his speech, Brownback called for a cut in taxes and changes in the way judges are selected.

January 15, 2013

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Governor Sam Brownback is applauded by House Speaker Ray Merrick and Senate President Susan Wagle as he delivers the State of the State address on Tuesday in the House chamber of the Kansas Statehouse.

Governor Sam Brownback is applauded by House Speaker Ray Merrick and Senate President Susan Wagle as he delivers the State of the State address on Tuesday in the House chamber of the Kansas Statehouse.

Policy proposals

  • Keep the current level of the state sales tax of 6.3 percent instead of allowing it to fall as required by law to 5.7 percent on July 1.
  • Reduce the top rate of the state income tax from 4.9 percent to 3 percent and the lowest rate of 3 percent to 1.9 percent.
  • Funding to educate 50 additional medical doctors and new state-of-the-art medical training building at Kansas University Medical Center.
  • Proposal to define in the Kansas Constitution what is a “suitable provision” for school funding.
  • Proposed constitutional amendment to make Kansas Supreme Court justices elected or named by governor subject to Senate confirmation.
  • $12 million to support innovative programs to help young struggling readers.
  • Requiring third-graders to show an ability to read before being promoted.
  • Merge the Kansas Turnpike Authority and Kansas Department of Transportation.
On the street

What is the biggest issue facing Kansas in 2013?

I’d say for me it’s education. I know in past years there hasn’t been an emphasis on education funding.

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— Despite dwindling revenues because of tax cuts, and a court order to increase school funding, Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday called for more income tax cuts, and changes in the way appellate judges are selected.

But to reduce state income taxes, Brownback wants to keep the state sales tax at 6.3 percent. Democrats said that constituted a tax increase because under current law, the state sales tax is set to fall to 5.7 percent on July 1.

In his State of the State address, Brownback, a Republican backed by large majorities in the House and Senate, said the keys to growing the economy are lower income taxes and reduced government spending.

Brownback also wants constitutional changes to give him more control over picking judges and told the Legislature to assert itself over the courts in school funding.

Democrats howled at the proposals.

"Gov. Brownback has brought us to the edge of our own fiscal cliff right here in Kansas," said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka. House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said Brownback was "treating the Kansas Constitution like a political pinata" because of his beef with the courts over school finance.

Taxing issues

Last year, Brownback signed into law cuts in the state income tax rates that also eliminated income taxes for 191,000 business owners.

Those cuts are causing revenue shortfalls, but Brownback on Tuesday proposed slicing income tax rates deeper with the endgame being the elimination of the state income tax altogether.

"Tonight we are here to take another step on our path to no state income tax," Brownback said. "This will create jobs and opportunities in our state that the current generation has left for Texas or Florida to find," he said, referring to states that have no state income tax. "Look out Texas, here comes Kansas," he said as Republicans gave him a standing ovation.

Under Brownback's plan, the bottom income tax rate would drop from 3 percent to 1.9 percent and the top rate would fall from 4.9 percent to 3.5 percent.

The previous round of tax cuts are already producing a revenue crunch. In the fiscal year that starts July 1, the state is projected to collect approximately $5.5 billion, which is about $700 million less than current spending.

Even so, Brownback vowed to protect funding to education and social services, which together make up the bulk of state spending. The details of his proposed budget will be released Thursday.

State Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, was skeptical of Brownback's tax proposals.

"I grew up in politics believing that we had a three-legged revenue stool — income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes," Sloan said.

"So what we are doing is now saying we are going to have a two-legged stool, property taxes and sales taxes. I really don't know that that's a good way to fund the essential services that Kansans want — education, social safety net programs, public safety, and then investing in our future, whether that is preserving our water supplies, or maintaining a viable highway system," he said.

Judicial proposals

On the judicial front, Brownback called for either the election of Kansas Supreme Court justices, or giving the governor the power to pick justices with Senate confirmation. Currently, a nominating commission gives the governor three nominees to choose from when filling appellate court vacancies.

He also called on the Legislature to make it clear that they are in charge of public school funding, not the courts.

During this segment of his 30-minute speech, Supreme Court justices listened quietly while Republican legislators at times stood up to applaud Brownback's statements.

Last week, a panel of three state district court judges ruled the Legislature had shirked its constitutional responsibility to adequately fund schools, ordered a $440 million increase in funding, and criticized the state's position of cutting taxes while breaking previous funding commitments to education. The state has appealed the ruling to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Childhood poverty

In his speech, Brownback also said he wants to tackle childhood poverty. He proposed an initiative aimed at increasing the number of children who can read at grade level by the fourth grade.

Under his plan, third-graders who can't read "at a basic level" will not be promoted to fourth grade.

"Passing children up the grade ladder when we know they can't read is irresponsible — and is cruel," he said.

Davis called Brownback's words on childhood poverty "very empty" because the governor has signed into law the repeal of several tax credits that were designed to help low-income families.

In higher education, Brownback said his budget will provide funding to educate 50 additional physicians each year "at a new, state-of-the-art medical training building at the Kansas University Medical Center."

In response, state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said, "I'm looking to see the budget for the universities of the state, but certainly a priority is medical training. The models have changed and we do need to be educating additional doctors. So that is good news."

And Brownback called for putting the Kansas Turnpike Authority under the Kansas Department of Transportation. Asked if that meant he was proposing the sale of the Kansas Turnpike, his office said no.

Comments

Orwell 1 year, 10 months ago

Brownback admits he didn't know that Kansans used to elect judges, but we chose to change that system and move toward judicial competence and independence. The only reason Brownback and his allies want to return to the Bad Old Days of political selection is so they can control the judiciary and eliminate independent restraints on implementation of their extreme ideology.

Mike1949 1 year, 10 months ago

Could NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER myself! Brownback is on a power trip. He thinks that people are going to elect him for as second term. If he is elected again, I would (and will) ask the Federal Government to investigate corruption which I already know has contaminated Kansas Government. It is the same corruption that has destroyed Texas State Government. I just hope Kansans will be able to clean up the corruption!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

He's going to eliminate child poverty by giving the wealthy tax breaks, and finance that by raising the taxes on baby food. He's going to raise reading scores by stacking the courts with judges who'll allow him to dismantle the public school system, but he'll punish those lazy slacker third-graders who don't read up to his standards by doing something actual educators know to be a really bad idea.

Is this guy that clueless, or does he think we're that stupid?

verity 1 year, 10 months ago

He doesn't have to give a damn what we are or think. He has the Kochs. I went to a county Democratic Party meeting tonight and discussed the 2014 election. We need to get the state party to pick a candidate for governor NOW! Tom Holland didn't have a prayer because most of the state didn't know who he was and he apparently refused to even come to this area.

"Get organized, get involved and don't let anybody tell you it can't be done."---Hillary Rodham Clinton

Bitch all you want, I know it's fun and I am right up there with the best, but get off your collective butts and get involved. If you don't, we will be stuck with this puppet until 2018.

verity 1 year, 10 months ago

We may have to form a commune in order to survive!

George_Braziller 1 year, 10 months ago

He was elected Governor so I think he already has the stupid support.

kansasbirddog 1 year, 10 months ago

The governor is right. I am a business owner who left Kansas and moved to Florida to get out from under Kansas taxes. The savings in taxes from leaving Kansas pays the entire cost of my Florida home, mortgage interest, taxes, insurance and utilities - and I have a very nice house on the water and am enjoying the weather.

It is no accident that the low tax states are growing and the high tax states are stagnating. Those who have "options" regarding where to live will exercise them. And, those that have those options are the entrepreneurs who employ people.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Nice anecdote, probably written on a Koch-sponsored computer, but I call BS.

headdoctor 1 year, 10 months ago

Umm. Florida has one of the highest property tax rates in the country. They have a much higher population to generate sales tax as well as a variety of attractions and resources that draw people in to pay even more sales tax.

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

It's all the windstorm liability driving those premiums up. Their auto insurance rates are high as well due to all the fraudulent clinics, ambulance chasers, etc.

Orwell 1 year, 10 months ago

Feel free to stay in Florida. Kansas is a better state without your concern only for yourself.

Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

Kansas is a boring flyover state. Florida is a tourist destination.

I'll feel free to stay in Florida after we get a federal government that isn't driving up inflation so people can buy houses.

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

You do realize that inflation has not been rising rapidly in recent years, don't you? Or do you mean the relative cost of living in Florida vs Kansas, which isn't something the feds did?

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

"Driving up inflation?"

We're at historic levels of low inflation right now, Liberty. In fact, inflation in the US in December was flat.

See http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hoqAwnvp9b7DfSTShw7UqUABQdXA?docId=CNG.e0843333a301cd62e11c5aa64af78d26.51

Why do make so many assertions that are flatly wrong? What satisfaction do you get out of doing that?

deec 1 year, 10 months ago

States with highest job growth in order:Utah, Arizona,Florida,North Dakota, South Carolina, Washington, Alabama, New York, Indiana,Tennessee,

States with the lowest tax burden in order: Alaska, South Dakota, Tennessee,Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas,New Hampshire,Alabama,Nevada, South Carolina.

Not a lot of states on both lists, so I guess the correlation is false.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2012/10/28/state-taxes-states-highest-lowest/1654071/

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T012-S001-10-states-with-the-biggest-rate-of-job-growth-in-2/index.htmlindex.html#page1

Bike_lover 1 year, 10 months ago

low taxes = place nobody wants to live unless you pay them.

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

And you just happened to make a brand new ID right here today to come and tell us this? Pull the other one. It has bells.

oldexbeat 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm waiting for Brownback to outlaw snow and wind. Then we'll be like Florida.

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

After he gets the oceans to rise enough, we can build Disney World and launch cruise ships.

verity 1 year, 10 months ago

Northeast Kansas used to be a sea, it could be again. I believe the beach was between Lawrence and Tonganoxie. Think of all the entrepreneurial opportunities.

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

"The savings in taxes from leaving Kansas pays the entire cost of my Florida home, mortgage interest, taxes, insurance and utilities - and I have a very nice house on the water and am enjoying the weather."

That must be a very nice double-wide trailer you have. Shag carpeting too?

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm surprised he hasn't proposed changing his title from governor to "emperor for life" that's the path he's laid out...consolidating all power in his hands. This new legislature will probably grant him these new dictatorial powers to thunderous applause. Kansas, the new Mississippi.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 10 months ago

You need to try to get more oxygen to your brain try inhaling DEEPLY.

speedy47 1 year, 10 months ago

OMG! What's he smoking? How can we have a deficit and still be cutting taxes? Where is the money coming from? I'm thinking Sam's 3rd grade teacher at Parker should have held him back until he passed Math.

Currahee 1 year, 10 months ago

Technically there is no deficit, presently.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 10 months ago

Kansas is also required to fund schools as per law, and willnot do that. What's your point?

63BC 1 year, 10 months ago

The Governor also noted that unemployment has dropped from 7 percent to 5.4 percent on his watch, 2012 was a record year for new Kansas business filings (over 15,000) and Wichita State projects another 24,000 new private sector jobs this year.

A growing economy is very good for the budget...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

You wanna recite the improved unemployment figures nationally, and tell us how it's Obama's policies that are doing it?

Currahee 1 year, 10 months ago

It comes from not counting those who have given up looking for work- and there are a lot of them. Our unemployment figures are nothing but a whitewash.

jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

No.

I think his point is that when a lot of people leave the work force, the unemployment rate goes down.

jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

Assuming all of those leaving are replaced, and businesses don't downsize through attrition, of course.

But, the general point is correct - as older folks retire, that will generally open up jobs for younger folks who are looking for them, and so the unemployment rate should decline.

Orwell 1 year, 10 months ago

Many of these business filings were by existing businesses changing structure to help themselves to the new tax breaks. Net effect : no new jobs, reduced revenue for schools and health and safety.

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

My comment exactly when I heard him say it last night. How illusory can one be? Time will tell...

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

Not if significantly less of that "growing economy" is actually paying into the budget. We had lower unemployment in the 90's, and the Kochs were still paying taxes back then.

63BC 1 year, 10 months ago

(1) Kansas has the tenth lowest unemployment rate in the country.

(2) There has been an increase of more than 20,000 private sector jobs over Brownback's first two years [compared to a LOSS of private sector jobs over the previous DECADE].

(3) Wichita State projects 24,000 more jobs in 2013. That's not people dropping out of the labor force, that's not just our piece of a national trend. That's the fruit of pro-growth policies in Kansas.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled haters of the Governor...

Andrew Dufour 1 year, 10 months ago

We have 70 years of experience and a non-partisan report that shows supply side economics does not work. Cutting taxes has no positive net effect on the economy. Sure, maybe Wichita State is projecting more jobs but I sincerely question the linkage between that and Brownback's policies. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121213/POLITICS03/212130502

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

Kansas has always had lower unemployment. People don't move here if they don't have work. Unemployment has fallen after the recession, as it always does. There's nothing spectacular or particularly policy changing about that. If this change in tax policy were to be given credit, it would not change unemployment before it was enacted. It would change unemployment in 2014-2015. Unemployment in Kansas has fallen after recessions before, and indeed it was lower in the past without income tax policy changes. You're grasping at straws to justify your flawed ideology.

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

To critically challenge the assumptions of / assertions of someone is in no way identical to hating someone.

Here's a partial dictionary definition of "hate": "to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility." Tell me, how do you know how other commenters feel? Given that many times people aren't clear on their own feelings, it's fairly astounding that you assert that you determine what other individuals are feeling.

In reality, you're likely only engaging in a common mistake whereby one asserts that an imagined motive for an action is a factual description of that action.

headdoctor 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes Sam Brownback is amazing. He managed to fix many of the Kansan woes before the bulk of his pro-business programs even took effect this January 1st. Figures don't lie but liars figure.

Andrew Dufour 1 year, 10 months ago

Exactly, look out for some pretty regressive taxes (property/sales). We already have a pretty darn high sales tax and I for one am not looking forward to the sharp increase we'll see if the income tax disappears. Goodness, he claims he doesn't want to cut law enforcement, fire, or education and social services but in what world does his math add up without skyrocketing sales taxes.

1 year, 10 months ago

So I guess he's going to balance the budget with a state take-over of Kansas Turnpike Authority?

deec 1 year, 10 months ago

Moving the turnpike is a preliminary step to selling it off to private investors. This has already been done in Indiana and other places. The end result is abuse of power, poor maintenance and higher tolls.

http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1061&context=njlsp

Slowponder 1 year, 10 months ago

Governor: Why stop at zero income tax? Why not have anyone who makes less than $X a month be responsible to pay half of their income to the state so the State can fund the Koch Bros latest boondoggle. Put your money where your mouth is, Sammy.

patkindle 1 year, 10 months ago

start taxing those pecky internet sales , of course remember to excempt baby food from internet sales taxes

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

I know I've mentioned this to you before. Many internet retailers are assessing sales taxes on your purchases. Check out your invoice the next tie you order something from Amazon.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

They only do that because they have a physical presence in Kansas. They don't charge sales taxes on shipments outside of Kansas to states where they have no physical presence. I expect they follow a similar policy on shipments from warehouses in other states.

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

Amazon is only one of many that collect sales tax now. Burt's Bees, Petco, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Macy's, Kohl's & Home Depot all do too. The idea that one can avoid sales tax by purchasing items online is an idea that is fading fast.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Has Amazon changed their policy on sales taxes? They had been fighting very hard against the enforced collection on out-of-state sales.

Also, the bricks-and-mortar operations you mentioned are likely required to collect sales taxes everywhere because they have a physical presence in pretty much every state.

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

There apparently a lot of things that factor in for sales tax for Amazon. They have a lot of ifs and whens in the policy. It looks like they do collect if the item is normally subject to sales tax in the state to where it is shipped. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=468512

Burt's Bees does not have any stores themselves. They sell products in other retailers such as Target. They also sell their products online. I couldn't find a sales tax policy on their website but I have been charged sales tax on my purchases.

Macy's charges sales tax based on the state you are located in or if that state has a Macy's store. https://customerservice.macys.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/280/~/how-does-macys.com-calculate-sales-tax%3F

Kohl's charges sales tax based on the shipping address and whether the item is taxable in your state. http://www.kohlscorporation.com/customer_service/shopping/shoppingbag.html

The point is the days of tax free purchases on the internet are going fast.

Now, whether that collected sales tax is actually making it to the state it is due is another matter.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

And as "red" states continue to eliminate the income tax (on the wealthy, anyway) the pressure to replace those lost revenues through highly regressive sales taxes will increase.

headdoctor 1 year, 10 months ago

Yup. Kansas has made an example out of a few businesses that haven't paid in collected sales tax. The State's track record at collecting delinquent sales tax is far from perfect. There are many thousands of dollars uncollected right here from Douglas County. The higher profile businesses like Amazon are always a target for the State. With the smaller internet companies I tend to believe that by collecting sales tax, their profit margin just went up by the collected tax rate.

GUMnNUTS 1 year, 10 months ago

Leave the turnpike alone, it's the one decent road in the state.

gccs14r 1 year, 10 months ago

It isn't taxation that is sending our youth to other states, it's the gutting of education and culture that's doing it. I wouldn't raise a kid here on a bet. Not any more.

patkindle 1 year, 10 months ago

katara, i have never bought anything from amazon, or much else on the internet,, one of the many reasons i dont care, this is the same reason people support taxes that do not affect them

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

If you are the Pat Kindle I am thinking of, you have plenty experience buying and selling on the internet.

Jean Robart 1 year, 10 months ago

no no no, Brownie---cut the sales tax on July as scheduled---we pat 8.85% in Lawrence, and i'm sure rates in other areas of the state are even higher.

Currahee 1 year, 10 months ago

Have you not been hearing the news? The commissioners want to increase sales taxes here to maintain the 8.85% if the state drops its sales taxes.

Currahee 1 year, 10 months ago

Have you not been hearing the news? The commissioners want to increase sales taxes here to maintain the 8.85% if the state drops its sales taxes.

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, that is part of the program when you eliminate a big chunk of a state's revenue. The locals suffer because the amounts budgeted to them suffer so in response local tax rates go up. Expect significant tax increases for property and sales in the near future as local entities attempt to keep even basic services afloat.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

"I grew up in politics believing that we had a three-legged revenue stool — income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes," Sloan said.


In the Teapublican new math, that all grade school kids will be learning from now on, 3 minus 1 equals 4.

NewYorkLilly 1 year, 10 months ago

Brownback is going to prove to be the worst thing to happen to Kansas since the Phelps family. He can "pray on it " all he wants but the policies he suggested today regarding taxes and education are absurd. Why dont we consider actually funding our educational system adequately instead of " holding third graders back " to repeat 3rd grade for a second time Anyone with an education themselves can tell you that there is NO research to support that as being an effective solution for students with reading problems . It is that type of backward thinking that contributes to keeping businesses out of Kansas......Must we always be the laughing stock of the nation ???!!!!

patkindle 1 year, 10 months ago

sure i sell, but i dont hide behind a secret name when i post on line.. ok, i know you are black ops, and cant reveal your identty, i really get tired of gutless wonders on the jw

headdoctor 1 year, 10 months ago

Patkindle. Did you ever consider if and how much business you have lost from people who refuse to do business with you just based on your attitude and posting content? I can think of a hand full of no deal for you with out giving it much thought. There are some very valid reasons for remaining anonymous online. Perhaps in a few more decades you will figure that out.

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

Typical faux conservative. Make decision that turns out not to be the wisest and blame everyone else for it rather than owning your poor decision and taking responsibility for it.

Dan Eyler 1 year, 10 months ago

No income tax, I cannot wait. Thank you governor. I am good with leaving the sales tax at the current level. I agree more with his policy suggestions. I'm not rich, in fact the taxes are killing me and my family. We need jobs, and opportunity, not higher taxes. A friend of the family is just starting a small business and they are excited about the opportunity lower taxes will mean for them. A much better change that she can make it work. Lets get it done this year.

Armstrong 1 year, 10 months ago

Spelling correctly would make YOUR post gooder

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

If you aren't rich, then your taxes are going up, not down. Same for anyone starting a small business.

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

That's what kills me. If we really wanted to encourage small businesses, there are ways we could be doing it. Instead, we're giving handouts to big, established businesses and pretending that it's doing something for the small ones.

Katara 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes, there are some excellent ideas out there. In fact, the USDA just launched one that should help family farmers. They are introducing microloans. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/usa-agriculture-usda-microloans-idUSL2N0AKPLA20130116

Microloans have been very successful in helping small businesses.

Bob Forer 1 year, 10 months ago

Great news, but the cuts don't go far enough. I suggest the following:

1) Eliminate ALL income tax in Kansas now.

2) To make up for lost revenue, lower mandatory school attendance to the 8th grade. Make our high schools competitive by requiring application and limiting admission to the top 25 per cent of students. Since sports are an essential part of high school life, create an exception for the dumb athletes so each school can have a football team. Athletes with lower academic functioning can remain in school as long as they remain on the team. Starters would have their tuition waived. Second stringers would be allowed to do janitorial work to pay for their school. fees.

3) Charge each family 500 per year per student for primary and secondary school tuition. Low income students accepted to high school would be elibigle for tuition waivers based on income. At the primary grade level, parents would be able to work off the tuition as night janitors.

4) Reduce the per pupil state reimbursement to $3.000 per student, to be adjusted for inflation. Allow local school districts to raise and spend more through local property tax.

5) Vouchers at 1/2 the state reimbursement level for home schooling or private schools. Good Christian families should not have to be double taxed for providing home schooling, which offers a superior education and minimizes the tax burden for all of us.

6) Offer huge tax incentives for business to bring low wage, low skilled jobs to Kansas. Subside the minimum wage for businesses hiring 14 to 18 year old kids. If they are not smart enough to be in high school, they should be off the streets doing something productive. This way they can help support their families, and would reduce welfare costs.

7) Sell the Kansas Turnpike. With highways costing millions and millions of dollars per mile, it should bring a pretty penny. Things don't happen overnight. Its going to take a few years for our dear governor's great plan to bear fruit, and we will probably need a cushion until the new business and industry starts rolling into Kansas. As an added incentive for new businesses, the state would pay the school tuition fees for the children of all new management jobs above $50,000 per year, and/or give each kid of the new management team private school vouchers up to the cost of tuition, but no more than 6,000 per year.

Hey, education is overrated. Reading riting, and rithmetic is all that is needed, except for those capable of becoming community leaders and truly productive citizens.

And one more thing: Mandatory sterilization for single non-Christian mothers receiving public assistance. No more welfare babies.

Our dear governor is doing great. But he's moving way too slow for my tastes. Lets stop all that mooching by the 47 per cent here and now.

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

Interesting suggestions, TheSychophant.

Trouble is — if you're being serious, which I suspect you are not — many of your ideas are specifically contradicted by the Kansas Constitution and by the United States Constitution.

The Kansas Constitution specifically mandates that the state fund public education. So, your idea 3 is a non-starter. Same with your #4.

The constitution clearly states that "No religious sect or sects shall control any part of the public educational funds." So it's arguable that your #5 is unconstitutional on its face.

Lastly, you refer to "the 47%" as if it were some real observable entity / group of identifiable people. Kindly provide evidence for the existence of this group who are apparently "mooching." I assert that you'll not be able to, because no such group exists outside the fantasies of those engaging in class warfare.

Bob Forer 1 year, 10 months ago

You initial hunch is spot on. I couldn't agree with you more. Perhaps a poor attempt on my part to make fun of the Brown Shirts of Kansas.

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

Ah. A list of modest proposals, then.

question4u 1 year, 10 months ago

According to a 2010 poll 30% of Texans believed that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time, and another 29% didn't know. Yes, Texas is a great model to follow for policy on funding education.

Look out Texas, here dumbs Kansas!

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

What? Haven't you seen "One Million Years B.C." starring Racquel Welch? That right there is proof positive humans & dinosaurs existed at the same time. I just didn't realize they had the film production capacity way back then. Live & learn, eh?

Bob Forer 1 year, 10 months ago

Perhaps I am mistaken, but are you suggesting that dinosaurs and humans did not live at the same time. Where's your proof?

Want my proof. If you are a good Christian American, read your damn bible.

Oh, you're a communist athiest? OK. Forget about the Bible. Go rent ."One Million Years B.C." Pay patricular attention to the scene where Raquel Welch is chased by dinosaurs.

oldexbeat 1 year, 10 months ago

Make sure the working poor -- and those with the large (no birth control allowed) families -- to pay for the state. Sounds right, huh ? And then we'll get rid of science in the schools -- and with the hand appointed court judges, all will be right in the world. Officially. They'll rule it so.

average 1 year, 10 months ago

Texas and Florida. Two states with higher unemployment rates today and every single month of the recession than us. HERE COMES KANSAS! Two states with more childhood poverty than us. HERE COMES KANSAS! Two states with worse schools, roads, prison overcrowding, and a hundred other things than us. HERE COMES KANSAS!

ElwoodTSuggins 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess the concepts of separation of powers and a system of checks and balances are foreign to the Governor.

headdoctor 1 year, 10 months ago

This really isn't a big secret. For sometime the Republican party has operated with the mentality that the law makers make the laws therefore they are above the law and so do not have to listen to the Courts. Since Brownback pushes for laws he wants he is part of the above the law crowd.

Hooligan_016 1 year, 10 months ago

Article forgot to mention that Brownback also wants to merge KDOT and KTA.

tanaumaga 1 year, 10 months ago

Never, Ever , compare us to Texas. Mr. Brownstain, you are the devil. Please go back where you came from. Thanks.

kujayhawk7476 1 year, 10 months ago

Seems to me these judicial moves by gov Brownkoch are setting the stage for abortion and school voucher issues. He and his merry band of right-wing whacko buddies will certainly take Kansas to the brink of bankruptcy and frankly that may be the only way to defeat them in 2014.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 10 months ago

These things take time. We won't hit bottom in time to have any effect on the 2014 elections. In 2016, we'll all be concentrating on the Presidential elections and by 2018, no one will remember what happened in 2013 that caused the problems we'll be experiencing. By then, the Democrats will accuse the Republicans and the Republicans will blame Washington. Some politician will skinny dip in the Dead Sea and some crazy will shoot up a school. And we'll all keep re-electing the same old same olds because that's what we do. We keep re-electing them at rates of 90%, even though they have approval rates of a small fraction of that number.

Let me propose a solution. Refuse to vote for Democrats and refuse to vote for Republicans. Vote Green. Vote Libertarian. Vote Social Democrat for all I care. Just don't vote for the same old same old. It won't make a difference in 2014. But neither will voting in the manner we've been doing for decades. It won't make a difference by 2016 either. Probably. But it might by 2018, or 2020.

If enough of us vote for the Green Party, either the Democrats or Republicans will look at why that is happening and seek to regain those voters by incorporating the policies of the Greens into their platform. The same is true if enough of us vote Libertarian. Or some other party. Your voice will still be heard, just in a more round about manner. It's worth a try, in my opinion.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 10 months ago

Why is anybody surprised at this? George Santayana said "Those who fail to remember the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them" Hitler did not take over Gemany. The clueless, spineless citizens of the Reich gave it to him. Brownback was elected by his religion soaked-western Kansas and Koch consortium. He wants fervently to prevent educated citizens in Kansas, he hopes to rule unfettered over a state of willing dupes and hayseeds who wull not oppose his facist policies. Why is anyone surprised at this??

voevoda 1 year, 10 months ago

History doesn't repeat itself; each situation is unique. Most people draw parallels with the past in order to uphold what they already think about the present. Most people take from the past only the lessons they want to learn--the ones that grant credence to what they already believe.

Hitler did not win a majority vote in the 1933 German election; his party won a plurality among multiple parties. His backers included true believers in Nazi ideology, people who responded to the politics of fear (fear of Jews, fear of socialists, fear of communists, fear of Roman Catholics, etc.), and businessmen who thought that Nazi party rule would lead to prosperity and that they would be able to control Hitler. Supporters of Nazism included not only "willing dupes and hayseeds," but also calculating persons who thought that Nazi rule would benefit them, ideologues (including academics) who believed in German "racial superiority," and lots of ordinary people who were in favor of any government that brought prosperity and made Germany stand proud in the world.

What does this history have to do with Governor Brownback and his administration? As I said, people usually take from the past the lessons they already hold to be true. For myself, I don't think that comparing Brownback to Hitler does anything to clarify the many serious problems with his approach to government.

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

Unfortunately for your point of view, consumer, the Kansas constitution mandates as a core function of the state government that "Institutions for the benefit of mentally or physically incapacitated or handicapped persons, and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law. "

The Constitution also declares that the state "may provide by law for unemployment compensation and contributory old-age benefits and may tax employers and employees therefor.

Sorry, but your lack of interest in the public good is not and has never been shared by the Constitution of the State of Kansas.

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

Unfortunately for your point of view, consumer, the Kansas constitution mandates as a core function of the state government that "Institutions for the benefit of mentally or physically incapacitated or handicapped persons, and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law. "

The Constitution also declares that the state "may provide by law for unemployment compensation and contributory old-age benefits and may tax employers and employees therefor."

Sorry, but your lack of interest in the public good is not and has never been shared by the Constitution of the State of Kansas.

patkindle 1 year, 10 months ago

head doctor, I really didn’t think this was the place to air your laundry But since you insist, I will jump in. first you may claim to know me But not very well, if you did you would know I turn down more business than I do because I only do what suits me. I can do that after working for over 40 years, and not blowing my paychecks. You on the other hand are one of the typical ljw mysteries, with a high profile job, so you are unable to post your name, that’s a load of bs but that is what Everyone hides behind so go ahead on. I think the ljw should ban all of You gutless wonders that cant post under your own name if you really had a high profile job you would be smart enough to keep your mouth shut in the first place

MarcoPogo 1 year, 10 months ago

This message was brought to you by the Random Capitalized Letters Generator.

Bob Forer 1 year, 10 months ago

If the journal world required true identities there would be only five people posting on these boards. Most Kansas are scared folks, and too timid to air their personal views in public. That's one of the reasons we have few candidates for public office.

I rarely agree with you Pat. But I do respect you for posting under your true name.

naturalist 1 year, 10 months ago

Brownback eliminated property taxes on equipment (trucks, tractors, etc) owned by KS businesses (but we individuals still pay it on our cars, trailers, etc). This money went directly into county coffers to fund county services. Now KS counties such as Jefferson Co, which has Hamm's, have lost a huge part of their operating budgets with nowhere to come up with the $, and many were running on a shoe string as it was. This is supposed to bring more business to KS I presume, but I suspect the biggest beneficiary of this is Koch Industries.

Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

Cut income tax to zero and pass a constitutional amendment that any further income tax must be approved by the citizens in a ballot initiative by a 2/3rds margin.

On a side note, I've not heard Brownback whining about the guy that served as governor before he took office. Too bad all our executive politicians can't figure out where the buck stops.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 10 months ago

Your idea sounds very much like Prop. 13, passed in California via ballot initiative. It's killed that state, especially the schools. And it continues to kill the state with it's two thirds requirement. I'd rather not go down that proven path to destruction.

HootyWho 1 year, 10 months ago

He's running for President already couple of years early i think

Bob Forer 1 year, 10 months ago

Perhaps. But he is a absolute fool if he believes he has even the slightest chance of obtaining the republican nomination. I would love to see him get it. Can't think of a worse candidate for President. But it ain't gonna happen. Other than a few backwaters like Kansas, the tea party movement's fifteen minutes of fame are just about up.

Sadly, the reactionary and backward philosophy of the tea party movement remains alive and kicking in Kansas. Kansans tend to be a bit slower than citizens in more intellectually developed states. By the time the average Kansan realizes Brownback's inherent danger, the damage will have already been done, and repairing it will take years.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 10 months ago

"I would love to see him get it" (the nomination). Be careful what you wish for.

"Can't think of a worse candidate for President". Does the name George Bush ring a bell.

I'd bet that in about 1997 or so, some very partisan Democrat was saying he'd love to see Bush get nominated, because no matter who the Democrats put up as their candidate, he'd trounce that buffoon from that backwater state of Texas.

Never underestimate the voters of either this state or this country.

chootspa 1 year, 10 months ago

Since the prior president came from the even more backwater state of Arkansas, I doubt there were many people saying that.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 10 months ago

Brownback said that Kansas was on the path to becoming Texas. May the gods go with you.

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2013/jan/16/247838/

RoyalDon 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey Governor Poopback. Newsflash: Texas and Florida generate a lot of money through tourism and property tax and are able to offset not having an income tax, because more people want to visit Texas and Florida or want to live there. Most people don’t want to visit or live in Kansas unless they have to. What politicians in Texas or Florida are you looking to impress or emulate?

whatupdown 1 year, 10 months ago

Somebody has to stick up the poor for the rich, I mean somebody has to stick up for the rich, Scammy is the man.

HootyWho 1 year, 10 months ago

how did he get elected i didn't vote for him,,,but dowg gone,,,somebody must have

Richard Heckler 1 year, 10 months ago

ALEC/KOCH agenda

In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC's pro-corporate, anti-consumer mission is clear.

Few have ever heard of it, but the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is the ultimate smoke filled back room.

On the surface, ALEC’s membership is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators. Each pays a nominal membership fee in order to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation. ALEC’s corporate contributors, on the other hand, pay a king’s ransom to gain access to legislators and distribute their corporate-crafted legislation.

So, while the membership appears to be public sector, the bankroll is almost entirely private sector. In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC claims to be nonpartisan, but in fact its free-market, pro-business mission is clear.

The result has been a consistent pipeline of special interest legislation being funneled into state capitols. Thanks to ALEC, 826 bills were introduced in the states in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law.

Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.

ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:

  • Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents;
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs;
  • Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband;
  • Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules;
  • Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid;
  • The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases; and,
  • Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.

http://www.justice.org/cps/rde//justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

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