The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Sam Brownback calls revenue deal not a tax increase


Good morning.

▪ “When looked at in totality, from 2012 to 2015, as I said at the outset, Kansans are paying less in taxes and continuing to move off income taxes to consumption-based taxes.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback insisting Tuesday that the tax increases that lawmakers passed last week were not, well, tax increases.

Brownback’s point is that Kansans are paying less in taxes than they were before 2012. Democrats responded by saying the governor was living in a fantasy world. Brownback is “incapable of telling the truth,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat.

▪ “This package is a victory for Kansans.” — Melika Willoughby, a spokeswoman for Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, on the state budget that the Legislature just funded.

The administration is framing the 2015 session as a huge success for the state. Not mentioned in Willoughby’s missive is the transfer of money from the state road fund to balance the budget. She did acknowledge the bump in the sales tax, which will cost the average family of four earning $36,000 a year — the state average — about $56 more a year.

▪ “The United States—and my home state in particular—is in an infrastructure crisis.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on the condition of her state’s roads, bridges and highways.

She and fellow Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt are part of a bipartisan group of senators backing a bill that would provide loans and loan guarantees to help states fund infrastructure improvements. According to a 2013 infrastructure report card, nearly 15 percent of Missouri bridges are considered structurally deficient.

▪ “Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the way, and we as a country are getting weaker.” — Donald Trump on Tuesday announcing his 2016 bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

He meandered. He went on for 45 minutes. And he made big, big promises, such as restoring the American Dream and making it bigger and better than ever before. That’s The Donald who will bring entertainment to the race.