State tax cuts? State tax increases? Kansas v. Maryland

It's revealing that Catholic governors Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Martin O'Malley, D-Md., have taken markedly different approaches to the state budget process. As is typical for Republicans, Gov. Brownback is a strong advocate for tax cuts. Gov. O'Malley favors tax increases. The New York Times story today offers an interesting look at each approach to state budgeting.

Here's an excerpt of Gov. O'Malley's recent speech to the mayors of Maryland towns:

Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, gave an impassioned defense of his approach to mayors from across the state who gathered here at the end of June at the annual convention of the Maryland Municipal League.

"Without any anger, and without any meanness, and without any fear, let's ask one another in these critical months ahead and years ahead: how much less do we think would be good for our state?" Mr. O'Malley asked. "How much less do we think would be good for our country? How much less education would be good for our children? How many fewer college degrees would make our state or our country more competitive?

"How much less research and development would be good for the innovation economy that we have an obligation and a responsibility, a duty and an imperative, to embrace? How many fewer hungry Maryland kids can we afford to feed? Progress is a choice: we can decide whether to make the tough choices necessary to invest in our shared future and move forward together. Or we can be the first generation of Marylanders to give our children a lesser quality of life with fewer opportunities."

Here's Gov. Brownback:

Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who sought the Republican nomination for president four years ago, said he was persuaded that his state needed to cut its income taxes and taxes on small businesses significantly when he studied data from the Internal Revenue Service that showed that Kansas was losing residents to states with lower taxes.

"My viewpoint, and the viewpoint of the majority of the Legislature, was we've got to change our tax policy to attract more people and attract more businesses," Mr. Brownback said in a telephone interview. "We're just tired of losing in our league -- I consider the surrounding states as our league -- and we want to start gaining."

Whose approach is authentically Catholic?

(Hint: It's obvious.)

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