Letter to the Editor

Hancock limits have served Missouri well

Saturday, February 15, 2003

To the editor:

In his Feb. 10 column, Jack Stapleton blames Missouri's current financial condition on the Hancock Amendment. His reasoning is "millions of dollars were refunded to wealthy taxpayers," and this "served to prevent the state from wisely investing its money in rainy-day accounts."

The state wisely investing? If Stapleton truly believes this is what would have happened to the extra money, I have a couple of real estate deals I would like to share with him. The only way that money would have been invested -- with the legislature and the governor's office controlled by Democrats -- would have been in additional entitlement programs for targeted constituencies with the sole intent of securing their hold on power.

We should thank the Hancock Amendment for preventing the previous legislature and governor from sending us as far down the financial toilet as California. The problem is not under-taxation, but rather excessive, unwise and self-serving spending as typified by the senior prescription plan. Our governor, while state treasurer, sent checks to all seniors under the income guidelines without regard to their insurance coverage. This occurred in the middle of his campaign for governor and far exceed the spending allotted by the legislature, forcing the state to come up with extra money. For what purpose, if not intended to secure the senior vote in the campaign?


Advance, Mo.