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How Do Tax Rates Affect the Economy?

Supply-side economists like to make a direct link between tax rates and economic growth. Forbes magazine's Ben Wilterdink, in a 2013 article, explains, "Rather than driving up rates on a small number of overburdened taxpayers, these states create an environment where people and businesses can flourish.

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Congressional Situational Ethics

Jon Stewart nails it. When politicians can't determine whether an action is right or wrong until they've determined which political party is doing it, the system is broken.

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Why Not Tax the Farmers?

The state of Kansas is in crisis. Income tax cuts passed in 2012 have failed to give the state's economy the "shot of adrenaline" that Governor Brownback promised. Now the state is facing a $648 million budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. The legislature has discussed several ways to make up the shortfall.

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The Improbable Marriage of Faith and Capitalism

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made news last month when his annual budget was found to contain a line item that would amend the University of Wisconsin's mission statement to remove the sentence, "Basic to every purpose of the UW System is the search for truth." But an article this week by Salon's Heather Cox Richardson puts Walker's action in a historical context going back more than half a century to a then-recent college graduate name William F.

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In Defense of Burdensome Government Regulations

The year has just begun, but 2015 is shaping up to be a good one for those who worry about the burdens placed on businesses by government regulations.

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ISIS: What's in a Name?

President Obama has gotten a lot of criticism from Congressional Republicans over his rhetoric about the terrorist group ISIS. According to Ted Cruz, the president is "an apologist for radical Islamic terrorists" due to his refusal to refer to ISIS as an Islamic organization.

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On Discrimination and "Protected Classes"

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback can't seem to stay away from controversy these days. Following a contentious reelection campaign, and in the midst of a polarizing budget battle, Brownback has issued an executive order allowing discrimination against state employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The order rescinds a 2007 order by Brownback's predecessor, Kathleen Sebelius.

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"I'm Not a Scientist"

Five years ago this week a massive snowstorm shut down Washington, D.C. for several days. The family of Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe built an igloo on the National Mall and labeled it "Al Gore's new home" in a mocking tribute to Gore's efforts to publicize the seriousness of global warming. Inhofe told reporters he thought the igloo was "really humorous".

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Hedgehogs and Foxes

More than a half century ago, philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote a little essay he called The Hedgehog and the Fox. The title is based on a line from the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows only one big thing." Berlin used this as an analogy for how different writers and thinkers approach the world. Plato and Dante, for example, were hedgehogs, always keeping within one overarching framework. William Shakespeare, on the other hand, was a fox, exploring many ideas and themes throughout his writing career.

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