Most Kansas legislators won’t declare their principles

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Lots of declarations are made on the campaign trail and town hall meetings, but when asked to declare their principles on key state budget and education issues, most Kansas legislators wouldn’t respond. Kansas Policy Institute asked all 165 Kansas legislators to respond to a 6-question multiple choice online survey between January 13 and January 30 but only 34 responded; some … Read More

Kansas job rank improves after tax reform

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The first three years after reducing income taxes saw the Kansas job rank improve nicely according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Over the fourteen years leading up to 2012, private sector jobs grew by 6.3 percent and that growth rate ranked #41 among the states.  But in the three years since income taxes were reduced Kansas’ growth … Read More

Kansas tax proposal endorses government favoritism

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The Kansas tax proposal in House Bill 2023 would significantly raise taxes on many Kansas small businesses and would be retroactive to the beginning of this year.   Legislators and others who support House Bill 2023 say the 2012 tax cut for partnerships, proprietorships, Sub-S corps, and LLC is a fairness issue and everyone should pay income tax.  But while the … Read More

Brownback’s budget proposal pretty good overall

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Governor Brownback’s budget proposal for the balance of this year and the coming two years contains a few things that, from a limited government perspective aren’t necessary but all things considered, it’s pretty good.  There are significant efficiency measures included, he continues to avoid expansion of Medicaid through Obamacare – which is especially smart since Obamacare will likely change under … Read More

State of the State puts students, citizens first

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

Governor Brownback’s State of the State address notably emphasized that students and citizens should come first, not government.  That sentiment created a great deal of heartburn for the many legislators and special interests who prefer big tax increases, upwards of $1 billion more in spending and no accountability for schools to improve outcomes but it was welcomed by those who … Read More

Coverage of proposed $820 million tax hike loaded with media bias

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

News coverage of a recently-proposed $820 million tax hike in Kansas was a case study in the many ways that media bias influences public opinion.  The unions, highway contractors and others pushing the idea were not challenged on their many undocumented claims, and even though the proponents all stood to gain from higher taxes, media failed to challenge the notion that … Read More

State think tanks lead the fight for freedom

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Anyone wondering whether the Washington swamp can be drained need only look to some amazing accomplishments in the states for encouragement, where state think tanks are leading the fight for freedom.  Michigan, with a long-standing tradition of forced union membership, became a right-to-work state in 2013 after decades of efforts led by Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  This year, the … Read More

$820 million tax hike not necessary

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

An $820 million tax hike was proposed by special interest groups last week so that Kansas government can continue to operate very inefficiently and those who profit from excess government spending can grab more of your money.  That’s not how they describe it, of course; they claim that government couldn’t possibly survive without a massive tax increase, the wealthy should … Read More