-The Anderson County Review/Dane Hicks....
For many Kansas voters put off by the ever-growing cost and size of government and the post-2016 antics of the country’s political left, the fact that Kris Kobach raises the hackles of liberals, socialists and their media hit men to such a degree is alone reason enough to justify voting for him in the upcoming gubernatorial election.
But if you peer through the dust and haze fomented by all the Kobach haters over the past several years, you see plenty more to like about Kris Kobach, his philosophy and his vision for Kansas.
Kobach’s media-smeared reputation revolves primarily around his work as Secretary of State and his attempts to ensure proper voter identification – in the face of critics who apparently believe every Tom, Dick or Harry should be able to vote in Kansas elections. Kobach’s private consulting work as an attorney to build legal barriers to illegal immigration has also galded the open borders crowd. The frequent and faulty assumption, dispensed by his liberal critics and embraced by a predominantly prejudicial press, however, often leaves off the “illegal” portion of the term and tries to pin Kobach as anti-immigrant instead of anti-criminal.
But little has been noted in public circles of Kobach’s plan to reduce the size of government and thus reduce government spending – a precursor to reducing taxes and putting Kansans dollars into the economy instead of into the state’s purse.
Kobach’s plan revolves around the simple aging of the population and the fact that retiring baby boomers make up not only a record number of private industry jobs, but also a significant portion of government jobs. Their retirement, then, is an opportunity to reduce the size and cost of government through attrition and without mass layoffs.
Anyone in business knows labor is one of the most expensive line items in a budget, and it’s a major portion of the massive expansion of government over past decades. While the growth of the federal workforce has slowed since 1960 to around 2.5- 3 million workers, state and local governments have ballooned, tripling to over 18 million employees. Kobach successfully cut staff through attrition in the Secretary of State’s office, and saved taxpayers dollars in the process while getting the same work done.
Every private business in the world now performs the same or more duties with less staff than it did 10 or 20 years ago. New efficiencies and technologies avail themselves, and smart operators take advantage of them.
This is a conservative philosophy toward fiscal responsibility, and Kobach is the only candidate in the race to have properly detailed one. The idea of commensurate spending reductions to match tax cuts – an area the Kansas Legislature failed to address in the Brownback Administration’s economic plan – being the key to any tax cut plan.
The Democrat’s nominee, Laura Kelly, embodies old school, tax-and-spend Democrat approaches – promising yet more tax money instead of more accountability for Kansas public education; seeking a financially disastrous expansion of Medicaid benefits in Kansas and pledging “support” for workers and training programs and rural enterprises. Outside of higher taxes and bigger government, there is woefully little meat on the bones of Kelly’s economic proposals.
Kelly also lacks the personal presence to effectively lead the Legislature. Her subdued personal style belies an individual more prone to following than motivating and inspiring. Indeed, many watching her acceptance speech the night she won her party’s nomination wondered, at the end, if she had actually won it at all. She makes her icy, stern-faced friend and political consort Kathleen Sebelius look like Lady Gaga.
With the nation now reaping the benefits of a conservative approach to economic growth, this is no time for Kansas to step back toward the high costs and inefficiencies of big government bloat. Kris Kobach should be Kansas’ next governor.