Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Columnist Kathie L. Moore: "A SHARED VISION" @ HutchisonNews

Kathie L. Moore

Published as a column in the Hutchison News, March 9, 2015

So how does a “defeated,” “demoralized,” “decimated” political party proceed?

After attending the annual gathering of the Democratic Party last week in Topeka, the answer clearly was with great determination, committed to restoring the stability and common-sense approach to the governance of Kansas that is now threatened.

Armed with renewed resolve and encouraged by the growth of coalitions working toward that shared goal, a clear path going forward emerged. Those who value the past and hold out hope for the future success of our state are undeterred by the unprecedented influence of well-financed special interest groups and appreciative of the necessity to better reach out to the individual.

Despite the efforts to squelch honest assessment of the problems proffered by educated professionals and denial of the obvious, the stark realities being dealt with daily by Kansans stand as a testament to the failures inflicted on a trusting electorate by perhaps well-meaning but overly zealous policymakers.

The proverbial handwriting on the wall had been anticipated along the way. In searching through past views expressed by this humble observer over the preceding years, some portents of things to come stood out:

         From November 2009: Kansas was experiencing the effect of years of doling out revenue reductions during relatively prosperous times while trying to keep up with growing spending without additional taxes. It’s a grand way to appease voters and contributors. Unfortunately, current facts and figures are now revealing the fantasy we were living.
         November 2010: With a responsible media committed to fulfilling its obligation to the public, there was to be sufficient reporting of any errant behavior and a relentless demand for accountability from our elected officials. This is only as it should be in a free and open society.
         January 2012: In an interview aired on television station KWCH, Wichita tax attorney Jerry Capps cautioned, “A lower rate in and of itself doesn’t guarantee a lower tax bill.” What trickles out over the course of a year could come back as a soaking on April 15. … As income taxes provide about half the state’s general fund, it is also feared that future shortfalls will lead to even higher property taxes. … All this, coupled with the continued reliance on the regressive sales tax, paints a potentially dismal forecast for the average Kansas taxpayer/homeowner.

It may seem paradoxical to some, hearing the call for fiscal constraint, sensible conservation of our resources and demands for an end to government intrusion on personal freedoms coming from the speakers addressing an appreciative crowd at a Democratic gathering, but those are precisely the goals and aspirations that were so eloquently expressed.

The narrow constraints of party affiliation and single-issue ideologies are being recognized as roadblocks to achieving a future that offers stability, growth and equal opportunity for all. Those are the aspirations that are held dear to all concerned citizens dedicated to achieving those goals – working together, not beholden to arbitrary labels, but as Kansans united sharing the vision of brighter prospects for the state we proudly call home.

Kathie Moore, rural Hutchinson, is a freelance artist retired from the U.S. Postal Service. Email:

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