The Kansas Legislature has finally decided to ditch the formula that, in addition to punishing wealthier districts, had become monstrously complicated. The goal is to create a new formula in two years.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he was neither for nor against expanding Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, “if it meets his own personal financial concerns.” But he said if he was presented with a proposal to expand Medicaid in Kansas, he would likely sign the bill.
The makeup of the governing board of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is out of whack and thus makes a mockery of fair representation. The ATA has lots of plans brewing for its future, but nothing much can go forward until this unbelievably outmoded board representation is fixed.
Kansas Sen. Jeff Melcher, a conservative Republican, did a smear job on the Shawnee Mission School District with figures that are a perverse distortion of the truth. And, as a businessman, he must know it.
Cuba, situated only 90 miles from the largest economy in the world, could increase its standard of living at a staggering pace, if only the Cuban government would loosen its controls, and if the U.S. would treat Cuba no differently than we treat China.
Perched where I sit in Johnson County, I can only marvel at how downtown Kansas City has been resurrected. All that is missing is a statue of Kay Barnes, the former mayor who pushed through its renaissance.
No one expects the Kansas Supreme Court to act swiftly, but there is a growing consensus that the high court will find current state spending for schools to be inadequate. The bitter irony is, even as school districts have been under the gun to just get by — because of cuts since 2009 — the governor and Legislature appear to be on a trajectory to cut millions of dollars from school budgets.
What is occurring in the state is so confusing, very few understand what’s going on. What everyone should know is the answer to this simple question: When Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature slashed income and business taxes at a magnitude unprecedented in state history, what exactly were they looking to accomplish?
Celebrity economist Arthur Laffer told me that he was not surprised by the huge deficits Kansas is facing due to massive tax cuts. “You have to view this over 10 years,” Laffer said. “It will work in Kansas.”
U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder has just earned the love and affection of the nation’s largest banks by ushering through the House of Representatives an amendment attached to the $1.1 trillion spending bill that repealed a part of the Frank-Dodd law. Guess who is now well positioned to run an expensive campaign for higher office?
No matter what many political pundits say, I believe Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee for president in 2016. Furthermore, the former governor of Florida is the only Republican candidate in sight who can beat Hillary Clinton (who, I believe, has nearly a 100 percent chance of running).
Time for predictions for 2015. What will happen to the border war in tax breaks, Sen. Claire McCaskill, body cameras for police, Gov. Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, interest rates, immigrants, Venezuela and Cuba in the coming year?
Two large semitrailers of food were scheduled to arrive Saturday at the local headquarters of the Salvation Army, in time for Christmas dinners to be delivered to 6,000 families throughout the Kansas City area, from Olathe to Grain Valley.
If Kansas were a family, it would be as if, to deal with the shortfall, the family invaded its college fund, its retirement fund and its savings account, then mortgaged the house to the hilt. Then the family decided to endure a slight sacrifice by cutting a small part of its expenses by 4 percent.
Based on my tiny, unscientific poll of three undocumented immigrants (sorry, Mr. Kobach, but I can’t recall their names), the president’s “temporary” relief for some immigrants is not going over all that well.
Charlie Cook, one of the most respected political experts in the country, believes there is only a 25-30 percent chance that Hillary Clinton will not run for president, and in any case he thinks she is either “rusty” or “she has lost her fastball.” The author of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report newsletter for almost 30 years also disappointed a local audience when he did not give Jeb Bush much of a chance of gaining the Republican nomination.
"“Government employees produce nothing. They’re a net consumer," Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick recently said of state employees. Op-ed columnist Steve Rose writes: "I have little doubt Ray Merrick thinks state government is too big and can be shrunk further. But I do not believe Merrick is as callous as he came across in the newspaper interview."
In a perverse way, watching the impending financial disaster unfold in Kansas is captivating. It’s like watching in awe as a tornado drops from the sky. It is frightening, but you can’t take your eyes off it.