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Gatewood on “skin in the game”

Topeka Capital-Journal reporting on the Kansas House of Representatives campaigns of Sean Gatewood and Joshua Powell:

Gatewood called into question Powell’s support for the income tax cuts signed by Gov. Sam Brownback last session, saying Powell “has no skin in the game” if the bill results in cuts to education and higher property taxes, as Democrats predict.

“It’s OK for him to benefit from this, but here he is supporting a plan that reduces education and raises property taxes and he doesn’t have to worry about either one,” Gatewood said.

Gatewood’s contention that Powell doesn’t have to worry about property taxes because he rents instead of owning a home demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the pervasiveness of taxation, including property taxes. These taxes are baked into nearly everything, including the rent Powell pays.

Then, aren’t we told that the Kansas public school system is for the benefit of everyone? The Kansas National Education association, a campaign contributor to Gatewood, writes of schools being important to “the economic health of our communities and the future of our state.” The Kansas Association of School Boards writes it believes that “An educated and responsible citizenry is essential to a free and changing society.”

If, as Gatewood seems to argue, the only people who benefit from Kansas public schools are parents of schoolchildren, and that everyone else doesn’t need to worry about schools, then Gatewood has defined a special interest group that ought to pay for its own programs instead of insisting that the entire state pay for them. I don’t think he meant to do that.