New tax plan puts Kansas headed in wrong direction.

The state of Kansas needs a new motto. "Ad astra per aspera" just doesn't represent the state anymore.

Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, president of the Kansas Senate, sent out a letter last week crowing about what a wonderful thing the Legislature had done drastically cutting income taxes and setting up the state to totally eliminate them in the future.

"We live in a mobile society," Wagle wrote. "Jobs grow and people locate where they can keep in their own pocket the maximum amount of their hard-earned money."

We're insulted.

The only reason to move to this beautiful state is because of money? Quantity of cash trumps quality of life?

We suspect a lot of real estate agents would say that one of the most frequently asked questions when they show a family a house is, "How are the schools?"

Inconsequential, in Kansas. Once again, parents are suing the state to increase funding for public schools (Gannon v. State of Kansas). ...

Wagle and Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, aren't worried. "I think there's enough votes now in the Senate and House that if the courts rule for Gannon, we might just say to the court that deciding expenditures is not your responsibility, thank you, and we'll take it from here," Brunk said. "I say this politely, but there's a mood to give the courts the finger, so to speak."

Education could go the way of the arts in Kansas.

Wagle's Fair Tax model "targets the taxation of consumption (sales) rather than productivity (income)." Which is fine, if you have the income to cover the consumption you need, such as food and housing. If you don't have enough "productivity," you may find your taxes on "consumption" going up more than you expected. We don't think that's very fair; in fact, it's downright regressive.

There's a lot to love about this state. It used to be a great place to live, before our focus became all about money.

But Ad Astra per Aspera, sometimes translated as "a rough road leads to the stars?" You can't get there from here anymore.

-- The Salina Journal