| September 11, 2013

Liberty is gaining ground

“The natural progress of things,” Thomas Jefferson once observed, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

Government has certainly gained ground in Oklahoma, where our political leaders continue to spend money (both state tax dollars and borrowed federal dollars) at record levels. Interestingly, though, our neighbor to the north is trying to prove Mr. Jefferson wrong. As Associated Press political writer John Hanna reports:

Important but relatively little-noticed provisions in the tax plan approved by Kansas legislators this year embody conservative Republicans’ vision for long-term constraints on government spending. … [The bill] has provisions for limiting annual increases in state spending and ensuring that Kansas cuts income taxes each year, until those taxes eventually disappear. Good financial times wouldn’t loosen the restraints on spending but instead accelerate what [Gov. Sam] Brownback and his allies call “the glide path to zero” on income taxes.

As Patrick McGuigan writes in this month’s issue of Perspective, “Kansas and Oklahoma have taken different courses. In the former, liberty is incrementally advancing. In the latter, government is incrementally advancing. It is not hateful or mean-spirited to say this: These are factual statements.”

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