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Politics

Three Gubernatorial Candidates Have Different Views Of Budget & Economy

Three of the candidates for Kansas governor have been painting very different pictures of the state budget and the state's economy.

Democrat Paul Davis, Republican Governor Sam Brownback and Libertarian Keen Umbehr met Friday at a debate in Johnson County to talk about taxes, among other topics.

Income tax cuts that Governor Sam Brownback championed reduced the state budget last year.

Libertarian candidate, Keen Umbehr says the cuts weren't fair because they completely eliminated income taxes for thousands of Kansas business owners.

"That's why we don't have enough money," Umbehr says. "191,000 of us pay zero income tax."

But Brownback said his tax policies have been driving the state's economy to new heights.

"About middle of the pack for states. We have made substantial improvements to the budget of the state and we are growing and we are creating jobs in this state--58,000 new private sector jobs in the last four years," Brownback says. "Shelling off income, moving people forward, getting them off welfare and onto the work roles, and it's working for the state of Kansas and we've got the money to prove it."

Brownback says the state's low, 4.9% unemployment rate is further proof that his plan is working.

Democratic challenger Paul Davis pointed out that the Kansas economy is growing slower than surrounding states and that the state's credit-worthiness has been downgraded on Brownback's watch.