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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kansas getting all kinds of bad press


Poor Kansas.

It used to be this great, enlightened, progressive place of ideas and hope for the working man and the middle- and lower-classes.

No longer, as we know.

Ever since the extreme Right Wingers and "conservatives" of the Republican Party took over first the statehouse and then, more recently, sadly, the Governor's office, it's gone to heck in a handbasket.

And it's one thing to be in a bad way financially and socially and regarding, say, women's rights and women's reproductive rights and other issues in private, but when the whole world starts looking at you, for whatever reason, critically, well, it just hurts that much more to be going to heck so publicly.

Proof?

Well, first, there's this article:

What's Wrong with Kansas' Tax Reform?

It's from the GOVERNING online magazine.

They point out the following:

According to finance experts from the left and right, it's the worst reform measure passed by a state in the last two years.

Check out just the first paragraph only, mind you:

At a recent Urban Institute forum, two policy analysts who follow state and local finances were asked a simple question: What's the worst and best tax bill a state passed this past year? Without hesitation, both Nick Johnson, an economist with the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Joseph Henchman, a lawyer with the right-leaning Tax Foundation, gave the same answer. Kansas, they said, was the worst.

That's how bad it's gotten in Kansas.  And the world is taking note.

Not that that's not bad enough, there's also this one from Bloomberg news this week, no less:

They write:

Kansas, I love your sense of humor.

It seems like every time the Sunflower State pops up in my news feed, it’s for something like this: House Bill No. 2366, a proposed law that would make it illegal to use “public funds to promote or implement sustainable development.”

Kansas, the place where I spent my formative years skipping school to go fishing in farm ponds, is populated with thoughtful stewards of the nation’s breadbasket. It also has a habit of turning reason on its head. The state famously dropped evolution from its educational curriculum in 1999, along with the age of the Earth and the history of the universe, for good measure.

Now the state’s “Committee on Energy and Environment” is proposing a law that would prohibit spending on anything that won’t set Kansas on a course to self-destruction. House Bill No. 2366 would ban all state and municipal funds for anything related to “sustainable development,” which it defines as: “development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come."

There are more but I'll leave it at that for now.

It's just all so sad and unfortunate and unnecessary.

And it only helps the corporations and the wealthy.

And, of course, the Koch brothers.

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