The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

May 1, 2013

Our view: Wrong way in Kansas

There’s an old adage: It’s twice as hard to do right as it is to do wrong. That’s because in order to do right, a person must not only do the right thing, he must do it the right way. In order to do wrong, a person only has to screw up one of those two.

We think Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and some of his Republican allies are wrong.

Not because they are doing the wrong thing necessarily, but because they are going about it the wrong way.

Three years ago, Kansas legislators raised the state’s sales tax by a penny, from 5.3 to 6.3 percent, citing a temporary revenue crisis that has proved not so temporary. The plan was for the tax to decrease on July 1 of this year to 5.7 percent.

That difference — six-tenths of a percent — is worth about a quarter-billion dollars per year to the state.

Promises have been broken for a lot less.

Brownback and some Kansas Republicans now want to keep the sales tax at 6.3 percent, offsetting revenue the state lost when they cut the state’s income tax rates. That six-tenths of a percent — officially $258 million — is money they want to use to fund higher education and other needs, including social services.

But this “tax swap” was not the deal that was made three years ago.

Kansans were promised that part of the increase would be short-term, and if that is how it was sold, that’s how it should be handled.

The truth is, Kansans have not had the debate they need to have about switching from income taxes to consumption taxes. While it has yet to be decided whether consumption taxes are the better way to go, there’s no doubt that there is a better way for Brownback and the legislators to go about it.

Breaking a promise is no good beginning.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Sports