The Buzz

BuzzChatter Wednesday: Kansas City lawmaker pushes new tax code

Updated: 2014-02-19T12:50:45Z

By STEVE KRASKE

The Kansas City Star

Happy Hump Day, folks.

• “Over the decades, Missouri’s income tax structure has become so outdated that folks earning minimum wage pay the same tax rate as millionaires and billionaires.” — Missouri state Rep. Jon Carpenter, a Kansas City Democrat, on a sweeping rewrite of state tax policy that he’s sponsoring.

Carpenter’s legislation is aimed at ending a situation where those Missourians who earn more than $9,000 a year pay the same top rate of 6 percent as wealthy citizens. Under the bill, there would be three tax brackets with increasing percentage rates for those making more than $30,000 a year and $300,000 a year. The chances of Carpenter’s bill becoming law? Poor, especially in an election year and with GOP majorities in both houses who have different ideas.

• “The bill is essentially dead.” — Kansas state Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican, on a proposal that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.

The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Gail Finney, a Wichita Democrat, is the second measure in recent days that’s had the public wondering what’s happening under the dome. The first was a House bill aimed at allowing government workers to deny services to gay couples. After an outpouring of criticism of the spanking bill, Rubin said he’s killing it.

• “There's been no taste in the state of Kansas to implement Obamacare.” — Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Republican, on the likelihood that Kansas will expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Colyer’s statement came after a small Statehouse rally by advocates of an expanded health-care system. John Hanna of the AP reported that key Republicans don’t see any change in thinking about Medicaid expansion, despite the millions of dollars that would flow into the state from the federal government to pay for that expansion. The Legislature last year enacted a budget law prohibiting Medicaid expansion through mid-year 2015.

• “#HowAreYouNotOnTwitter?” — Former President Bill Clinton’s joking hashtag message to former President George W. Bush about not having a Twitter account.

Clinton was joshing his successor in a Happy President’s Day greeting to other living presidents. That Bush has no Twitter account (and his father does) speaks volumes about Bush 43’s interest in staying out of the spotlight.

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