Comment history

Federal judge considering blocking Kansas abortion rules

But, of course, those federal funds can't be used for abortions. Those funds paid for medical services for women including treatment of cancer, disease, etc. Birth control and education, thereby reducing unwanted pregnancies (and, therefore reducing abortions) are also provided. Many foaming at the mouth reactionaries overlook that little fact as well.

June 27, 2013 at 11:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage could affect Kansas

I think you are underestimating the impact of this ruling, and severely underestimating it at that. Fiddleback posted (after your post, I acknowledge) a link to the NY Times explanation of impacts in various states. According to his/her synopsis the Federal Government uses marriage location to determine if you are eligible for benefits. The IRS uses current location for tax status. So, even if Kansas residents cannot file federal tax returns as married as things currently stand, gay and lesbian couples who were legally married elsewhere would be eligible for federal benefits if one spouse was a federal employee. Given the large number of federal employees located in Kansas this has the potential to be a significant change. And it will likely force other employers to expand their benefits programs to compete.

Also, as I understand military taxes, a service member can declare residence in a state for tax purposes even if they are stationed elsewhere. For this reason a large number of people stationed at Fort Riley list Texas as their residence - no state income tax. Now gay couples may have another option. They might be better off listing New York or New Hampshire, paying a small state income tax and getting the federal benefit of filing a joint return. This means people living right here in Kansas could still file federal tax returns as gay couples.
In fact, I wish Kansas would do the smart economic thing here and recognize gay marriage, lower the state income tax rate to 3% (hell, its going to get cut next year anyway, at leas this would preserve some of the revenue) and make it known to military members they can file in Kansas as a gay couple if they are legally married. This would allow the state the opportunity to pick up tax revenue from folks who are currently not paying taxes here, and, possible, get folks stationed in other parts of the country to pick Kansas in order to get the benefits. And it would allow Brownback to decrease the marginal rate which he is hell bent to do. It won't happen, of course, but it would be the smart play.

June 27, 2013 at 11:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Dick Vitale loves life, wife and Andrew Wiggins

A couple years ago I stumbled across an espn classic rebroadcast of some Duke-North Carolina game from the eighties. I watched for a few minutes and my wife walked into the room. She asked the obvious question, "Why are you watching a old game between two teams you don't care about?" And I said, "just listen to the broadcast." After a minute or so she looks at me and says "Is that Dick Vitale?" It was, and he was awesome. There is a reason he became a superstar broadcaster. Once upon a time he had incredible passion for college basketball that he mixed with a coach's insight. The catchphrases were few and far between and the commentary was insightful. Unfortunately, he became a bit of a self-parody. Everyone loved the phrases, and wanted their freshman to be a diaper dandy, so everyone was. The wanted their star to be a ptp'er, baby. So everybody was. The same thing happened to John Madden. He went from an excitable, passionate guy with incredible knowledge and insight, to a guy who shouts catch phrases and doesn't add much except a cult of personality.

June 19, 2013 at 10:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Opponents of anti-union bill say it could shut down nearly all union political speech

Obviously my sarcasm did come through. I will rephrase - As long as Susan Wagle, as a recipient of taxpayer money, is prohibited from advocating for or against anything, anytime, anywhere, I am willing to consider her point.

February 6, 2013 at 3:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Opponents of anti-union bill say it could shut down nearly all union political speech

I can't believe it, but I think I am in total agreement with Senator Wagle on this. Once you accept taxpayer money, you should forfeit your right to take any public position or make any public statement that the electorate may not agree with absolutely. My problem is that the list of restricted parties is too short. I would add the following recipient of taxpayer funding who should be silenced: Susan Wagle.

February 6, 2013 at 9:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

State agency refuses to answer questions from legislators about growing waiting lists

Recent Kansas governors include: Carlin (D), Hayden (probably not nearly conservative enough for the current litmus test), Finney (D), Graves (Moderate republican) and Sebelius (D). So, at least four of those five, and possible all five, are not "Brownback" conservative. So, other than being completely wrong, you make a great point.

September 13, 2012 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback defends tax cuts as necessary to grow the economy

First, you are wrong. At least about me. I am a business owner. I own and operate an LLC here in Kansas. The tax cut will help me. That doesn'e mean I think it is good policy. It will not achieve its stated aims of creating jobs. Empirical evidence from the enterprise zone experiments confirms this.

Second, you "reality" strains credibility. Kansas income tax caps out at around 5%. To save $20,000 in taxes you must ahve annual income of $400,000. It is your contention that the only way you can get the opportunity to get the loan is if you save these tax dollars. I would think someonw with $400,000 in annual income would not need a transfer payment from the Kansas taxpayers to grow their business. In fact, if this is a good investment, it would seem you would want to make it regardless of your tax situation.

Finally, I do hope you carefully consider your real world example to see if it justifies your argument for these tax cuts. According to your example, you are going to take this tax subsidy from Kansas tax payers, use it to leverage a federally backed loan, which you will use to expand your business in another state. Kansas taxpayers get nothing from this exchange. You get a state transfer payment and take advantage of a federal loan guarantee. Why would Kansas want to do this again?

September 11, 2012 at 1:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback defends tax cuts as necessary to grow the economy

There are two problems with this "bold experiment" designed to be a "shot of adrenaline to the heart" of the Kansas economy.

First, targeted tax breaks for business in geographic areas have been tried before, and failed. "Enterprise zones" were all the rage in economic development circles in the seventies and eighties, starting in Great Britain before migrating here. The idea sounds great - pick an area and drastically reduce business taxes. This will free pent up entrepreneurial spirit and people will start opening businesses in these targeted areas. Unfortunately, the idea was a total failure (which is why you don’t hear about enterprise zones anymore). Business owners have multiple concerns to deal with – what to sell, how much to charge, health insurance, rent, etc. Taxes on profits are way down on the list. Reducing those taxes on profits has almost no measurable impact on business.

Second, employers (like LLC’s and S corps) do not pay taxes on wages – those are deductions. So, there is no reason to think a 3.5% tax reduction will increase employment - those costs were already tax free. If I own an LLC I deduct expenses, including wages paid, before I calculate my tax obligation. Since wages are already free of income tax for the employer, why do we think a tax break will cause the business to hire more employees? Those wages already were a tax break.

September 11, 2012 at 9:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Conservatives appear to be taking control of state Senate

The Washington Post article reports the incumbents themselves outspent the challengers. However, that is not all that informative in a post-Citizen's United world. The question is how much was spent on each candidate's behalf, not how much the candidate him/her self spent. I know in my district we would receive multiple hit pieces each week, sometime each day, attacking the moderate incumbent. But never from the opponent. Always from the Kansas Chamber,the Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, etc. Occassionally we would receive something from the incumbent, although I never remember receiving anything directly from the challanger. So if you look only at what the candidates spent, the incumbent probably spent more. But if you look in total, it was not even close. The challenger buried the incumbent with negative advertising (sorry, not the challenger because these things are not "coordinated" with the candidate, I meant to say the completely unaffiliated interest groups who were not at all coordinating with a specific candidate or set of candidates).

August 8, 2012 at 10:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Pastor in Kansas wants Government to Kill Gays

You can read the full, long winded version of my thoughts at if you are bored. Short version - this is wrong. Those of us that disagree with this expression of hatred have a duty to speak up and say it is wrong.

June 1, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )