SINQUING IN THE WEST

When the legislature returns next week, we plan to check the backs of some Republicans for signs of knife wounds. It seems, at this point anyway, to be a logical thing to do.
The Republican-led legislature has acted aggressively in gaining passage–with Democratic support–bills offering to end the economic border war with Kansas. They hope that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will sign an executive order agreeing to the truce.
But along comes Rex Sinquefield, who does not have more money than God despite rumors to the contrary but can probably afford to play golf at the same country club, to throw gasoline on the fire.
Sinquefield has been a good financial supporter of Things Republican. But here he is–through nonprofit groups affiliated with him–bankrolling a series of television commercials in Kansas City that talk about how wonderful Kansas’ low taxes are and pillorying Kansas City as a high-tax city that businesses would do well to leave.
Sinquefieldians also are interested in lowering business and income taxes in Missouri, which would be a big relief for those who play golf at God’s country club, and increasing sales taxes to make up for the lost revenue, which critics say would have an especially adverse impact on those who sweep the floors in the country club bar.
And all of this is happening as The Tax Foundation reports Missouri already has the 14th highest average sales taxes in the nation. The Tax Foundation calls itself a “non-partisan tax research group” although critics say it tends to lean in a conservative, pro-business direction which, for whatever it might mean, seems to be the same leanings of the Missouri legislature’s majority.
These contortions are one reason politics is such a wonderful spectator sport.
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Speaking of Kansas. Fred Phelps is dead. He and his family came to Missouri many times to attend funerals as unwelcome guests. We wonder if any Missourians will return the favor for his funeral, complete with signs and shouts. Low-class behavior sanctioned by the First Amendment cuts both ways.
History is replete with movements that do not survive the deaths of their founders. Utopian movements have been known to drift apart and fade away when their central figure dies. Most people seem unlikely to consider the Westboro Baptist Church a utopian anything. But many, no doubt, would be glad to see it follow that historical trend.
It is interesting, however, that the Missouri legislature that has tried to pass laws protecting the rights of those who claim their faith-based conscience should allow them to refuse service to people in the LGBT community, among others, spent a lot of effort through the years trying to pass laws limiting Phelps’ right to express his faith-based conscience views on the same segment of society.

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