To the editor:

Talk to ancient civilization historians about what drives an economy, and they would probably argue power – the power of royalty, back then, to control and to tax imports and exports, to hire laborers to work fields and to build fortifications, to encourage or to discourage religious activities (often money-making ventures), to sponsor scientific inventions, and even to pay artisans – poets, entertainers, painters, sculptors, masons and carpenters – to entertain the populace and to demonstrate the sophistication and culture of the kingdom. Ergo, the government created and often controlled job growth.

According to the Kansas Republican party’s platform Plank 9, however, they believe “that business … not government, drives job creation, growth, and innovation.”

Similar to the way most Americans want religion kept out of government decisions, Republicans want the government to stay out of job creation. They apparently believe that every Kansan has the wherewithal to become an entrepreneur, but Brownback’s failed income tax repeal for the wealthy and LLC businesses has shown that such a tactic does not create jobs. In fact, most of the companies, including farms, that benefitted from the tax repeal never generated a single additional job. They just pocketed their money and went about business as usual.

Unfortunately, the Republican view on income taxes has led to a huge shift in who bears the actual tax burden in Kansas. Instead of having the rich pay income tax, now sales taxes are at an all-time high across the state as communities and counties struggle to make do with less state funding, including covering expenses for street and road upkeep, since Brownback has repeatedly robbed such funding to pay for his tax experiment’s shortfalls in revenue. 

Add together the increased sales tax and the increased property taxes in most communities to pay for shortages of funds for our public school districts, and the working poor find themselves unable to pay for their homes and many basic necessities. Note that many of Kansas’ poor and middle class work more than one job, with 18 percent of all working Kansans unable to find full-time work, and not by choice.

Since Brownback did not see fit to aid many of the middle and lower income generators in Kansas with expanded Medicare, we’re now talking about a state where the people who are most at risk of starvation, homelessness, and poor health from lack of medical care are clearly at risk of dying.

Do Republicans care?

It seems as though most do not, seeing life as the “survival of the fittest,” instead of doing what their demi-god tells them to do: to sell their worldly goods and give the money to the poor.

Being fiscal conservatives, they choose to keep their money, especially their tax money, despite “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” instead of contributing to the improvement of their society.

The only thing Kansas has to show for Brownback’s failed experiment is a looming $2 billion budget crisis and more poor people at risk.

Many Republicans claim they are fiscally conservative, but socially progressive, but what’s progressive about most Kansas Republican views about the rights of their fellow human beings?

Why are so many people leaving Kansas? Because the last time a conservative Republican cared about you, you were a fetus.

Instead of leaving, speak up.