Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Political commentator Ken Ciboski stands just right of center and offers a common-sense view of politics today.

Ken Ciboski's editorial commentary is also available on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

The 2016 presidential election campaign has been disappointing for many Americans.

Many Americans this election year have lamented the choices for president of each of the major parties and especially that of Donald Trump for the Republicans. One explanation for this is that for many years now, the two major political parties and their activists have had a lesser role in selecting the nominee for president of their respective party. A strong and vocal segment of Americans demanded that “the people” and not political party activists should choose their nominees for president.

Kansas revenue estimates were missed by nearly $45 million for September. Some incumbent Republican legislators are worried that they will be defeated in the coming November election because of the state’s fiscal problems. Democrats see an opportunity to increase their numbers in the legislature. That is why Republican legislative leaders want the governor to act quickly to address fiscal problems. The state’s tax collections have not met revenue projections for 10 of the past 12 months and for 31 of 44 months since the first personal income tax cuts took effect in January 2013.

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When campaigning for president in 1976, Jimmy Carter said, “All I want  . . . is to have a nation with a government that is as good and honest and decent and compassionate and as filled with love as are the American people.” How good would that government be?    

Gov. Sam Brownback said in a newspaper column published last Friday that he wants policymakers and educators to work together for educational solutions that benefit students, their parents, and their teachers.

Does the Kansas tax cut experiment qualify as a model for national tax and revenue policy?  Two of Donald Trump’s closest advisers on tax policy are economist Arthur Laffer and Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore. They were the architects of Governor Sam Brownback’s massive tax cuts that took effect on January 1, 2013. They predicted that these cuts would bring an economic boom to Kansas.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Thirteen state house incumbents and nine state Senate incumbents of the pro-Gov. Brownback coalition were defeated by more moderate candidates in the primary election of August 2.

Donald Trump let us know in his acceptance speech at the Republican National convention that he thinks the United States is in a condition of crisis because of terrorist attacks and the killing of police in our cities.   He touts himself as the law and order candidate and told us that disorder will end if he becomes president next January. Safety will be No. 1. 

Sam Brownback has 29 months remaining as governor. Will we see an increase in revenues for the state over that time so that adequate support will be provided for public entities such as K-12 education?

 

Primary elections this August will give voters an opportunity to elect many newcomers to the state legislature. 

Ten of 22 incumbent Republican state Senators seeking to be returned to office face primary opposition, and 21 of 71 Republican state incumbent House members wishing to be returned have primary opposition.

This has fueled hope for many Kansans that enough newcomers could be elected to the legislature to help bring change to the Governor’s fiscal policies.

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