As part of the Kansas Speaks survey released this week by the Docking Institute at Fort Hays State University, a divide in Kansas is clear, particularly when it
comes to President Donald Trump.
“There were several of these indicators on which our respondents were highly polarized,” said Dr. Gary Brinker. “Approval of President Trump was certainly one of those. 45 percent like him and 44 percent don’t like him.”
State issues also have some definite lines drawn. Tax policy is pretty partisan, with 40 percent of Kansans favoring pure spending cuts to balance the state budget, while 25 percent want to see just tax increases. The balance want to see a mix of the two.
“The Republicans wanted spending cuts, while the Democrats wanted to increase taxes,” said Brinker. “That goes right along with the platforms of the parties.”
As a follow up, those who agreed that tax increases were needed were asked which type they prefer.
“There’s some division politically,” said Brinker. “The Republicans were more likely to want to increase sales tax, which is thought to be more of a regressive tax, in other words it puts more of the burden on the lower-income earners, whereas the Democrats were more likely to favor increasing income tax, which of course is progressive. That tends to put more of the burden on the high earners.
Over half (56 percent) favored increasing income tax, 39 percent favored increasing sales tax and 19 percent favored increasing property tax.