Thursday, February 12, 2009

You know, I just don't think I pay enough taxes

Sun Publications Steve Rose is a patriot. A Joe Biden patriot.

In a Wednesday editorial, Rose blamed the state's current fiscal crisis on tax cuts over the years. And not just the cuts from last year or the year before, but all tax cuts from, well, seemingly forever.
A friend who serves in the Legislature asked the state’s research team to figure out how much all the costs of all the tax cuts have totaled since 1995. The cumulative impact on Kansas, the study finds, is a loss of $7.6 billion in revenue during that period. We are now losing about $600 million a year from tax cuts.
Of course, Steve fails to mention the 0.4% hike in the state's sales tax the last time we spent way more than we had. Since Steve fails to mention the legislator who requested the study, or really anything else about the study, I have no idea if the $600 million figure includes reductions due to the extra revenue generated by the 2002 sales tax increase. And increases in cigarette taxes. And a 83% increase in property appraisals since 1997.

Of course there are others who would say we spend too much rather than we're taxed too little. AFP-Kansas Director Derrick Sontag noted, "had we restrained spending growth to five percent since 2004, we wouldn’t be facing this budget shortfall."

However, I have a solution that everyone, liberal or conservative, can support.

I encourage the legislature to pass a law allowing anyone to voluntarily increase their tax liability. No more waiting for politicians to act. No more pleading, begging for votes to increase taxes. You can just increase your own taxes!

It's great for everyone. Steve Rose, the Kansas Jackass and others who want higher taxes and more spending can do their patriotic part.

Of course, there's been some trouble lately with Democrats paying their taxes. Maybe that's why they want tax increases, because they'll never have to pay?

Nah, I'm sure when given the opportunity to contribute even more to the government, they'll jump on board.

And because I firmly believe in leading by example, anyone who voluntarily adds to their tax liability should get their name published on a government website so everyone can see what a joy it is to give money to the government. This, in turn, will encourage others to give.

And those of us who feel that spending increases of more than 5% year in and year out are bad... well... we can just pay our required taxes and be very unpatriotic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barker caught funneling campaign donations

Mary Clarkin from the Hutch News has another interesting article up about the funneling of funds by Tim Barker's parents.
The Barker for Kansas campaign report showing money raised and spent during 2008 revealed the campaign returned $1,840 apiece to the candidate's parents, Patrick and Ann Barker, Pratt, because their donations exceeded federal limits.

The problem appeared to be triggered by campaign donations given by three Barker family-related firms, Barker Brothers LLC, Greengroup Ethanol LLC and Greengroup LLC. The report showed those donations in turn were reattributed to family members, so the donations were not actually given by the companies but by the family.

A corporation cannot give a campaign donation from its treasury, but must have a separate segregated fund for such donations, according to Mary Brandenberger, spokeswoman for the Federal Election Commission.

Reassigning the companies' donations to family members put Barker's parents over the $2,300 individual limit in 2008 per election cycle, thus prompting the return of excess donations.
I'm unsure why a lawyer and businessman would not be aware of the restrictions on corporate donations to his campaign.

I've been pondering over the past few weeks if Democrats would actually get a candidate for the first. I really began to wonder if they wouldn't just be happy enough with Barker. I mean, he hasn't even been a "Republican" for a year. He has a 24 year old Democrat as his Treasurer. And I've noticed comments on liberal blogs that supported him (kind of.) One was even from Bordonaro, Moran's last "challenge" in the first.

I'd have to say now though, that they will either have to find a Steve Morris to run or an actual registered Democrat.

The article also covered the other guys in the race:
Most of Wasinger's donations came from outside Kansas, while Huelskamp drew on in-state contributors
Of course I've already pointed out that Wasinger was only able to raise 3.4% of all contributions from Kansas, with nothing from the first district. That's a very sad state of affairs, although not as juicy I guess as campaign donation fraud.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Life: Imagine the Potential

A late posting I realize, but I just came across this video today and enjoyed it so much I thought I'd share it.

NBC Sacks Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

CHICAGO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBC has rejected an uplifting and positive pro-life ad submitted for its Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told today that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving "political advocacy or issues."

Brian Burch, President of reacted: "There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC's parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life."

"NBC told that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements. But that's not what they told PETA," said Burch. "There's no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group. NBC rejected PETA's ad for another reason altogether."

According to an email posted on, Victoria Morgan, Vice President of Advertising Standards for Universal, said: "The PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." Morgan even detailed "edits that need to be made" in order for the spot to run during the Super Bowl.

"NBC claims it doesn't allow advocacy ads, but that's not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison," said Burch.

"The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama," said Burch. "We are now looking at alternative venues to run the ad over the next several weeks."

The ad aired on BET in Chicago on Inauguration Day. It has become an Internet hit with over 700,000 views in seven days. The ad was in the top 10 "most viewed" category on YouTube on Inauguration Day last week.
There's a message abortion supporters don't want to hear.