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

$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

Government’s Entitlement Mentality – Part 2

adminEducation, Tax & Spending

Government efforts to justify higher taxes while already spending more than necessary to provide essential services amounts to a direct assault on individuals’ economic freedom, and that’s what the Kansas Association of School Boards did last week.  The first installment of their three-part series attempted to make the case that Kansas’ personal income is growing slower than the national average, … Read More

Governing isn’t about granting wishes

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

government wish list

Many parents will soon be faced with the annual Christmas wish list dilemma – deciding how much of their kids’ list they can afford without inflicting economic turmoil on the family. A lot of new legislators will face the same challenge come January, as granting everything on the vote-for-me list would require enormous tax increases on individuals, which in turn … Read More

Government’s entitlement mentality – Part 1

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

To get a firm understanding of government’s entitlement mentality, imagine this conversation taking place at your neighbor’s front door. Susie:  “Yes?” Carmine: “Hi, my name is Carmine and I’m with the local school board.  I’m here to collect what you owe.” Susie: “What do you mean?  We paid our taxes.” Carmine: “On your income, sure, but your employer spent more … Read More

Oil, farming suppress sales tax collections

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Shortfalls in state sales tax collections are the single largest factor in missing revenue estimates this year, and new data from the Department of Revenue shows economic challenges in agriculture and the oil & gas industry may be the driving factor.  This KDOR map shows gains in northeast Kansas and the Wichita area but significant declines in many western Kansas … Read More

Pass-through entities drive job growth in Kansas

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Without any data to back their claims, opponents of Kansas’ tax reform maintain that owners of so-called pass-through entities (businesses not organized as regular C-Corporations) haven’t created jobs since their pass-through income was exempt from state income tax beginning in 2013.  But U.S. Census data not only shows they created jobs, pass-through entities actually created most of the job gains … Read More

Media and highway contractors mislead again

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Here’s another case of media letting its political views interfere with responsible journalism.  In keeping with many other media distortions about construction jobs this year, the Eagle editorial board today declared “Highway fund raids affecting jobs” citing data provided to them by Associated General Contractors showing that Kansas lost more construction jobs than any other state in July.  AGC members … Read More

Personal Income Ranking Distorted by Media

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

There are many variations of yellow journalism.  There’s the pants-on-fire type practiced by Steve Rose at the Kansas City Star and the let’s-give-cover-to-government version from KWCH-TV, just to name two.  Yesterday’s release of inflation-adjusted Personal Income totals by the Bureau of Economic Analysis brought forth another form: ‘sensationalize-even-if-it’s-misleading.’ The Wichita Eagle proclaimed “Kansans’ pay increase among the nation’s worst” even … Read More