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Don Walton: Gun assaults, tax reform and Saltdogs

Don Walton: Gun assaults, tax reform and Saltdogs


It's this president.

It's this Congress.

It's the NRA.  

It's us — we can stop this, or begin to corral and reduce this, with our votes. And our action. And our insistence.

The Russians may be trying to damage or weaken our country through interference in our elections, but we're already doing a pretty good job of it ourselves by destroying our right to live free and unafraid to gather in public places or send kids to school by allowing virtually uncontrolled access to weapons that are designed to kill people rapidly.

This ain't a 2nd Amendment argument; we don't have a constitutional right to own rocket launchers, grenades, missiles and nuclear weapons either.

Still waiting for the responsible members of the NRA, and there must be many, to organize and speak out for responsible gun control. They could be a pivotal force. Their voice could matter.

Waiting for voters, grandparents and parents to say we're not supporting you in 2020 if you're not going to do anything about this. Doesn't matter if you're an R or a D. A president or a member of Congress.

This just keeps happening and what do we do about it?

Wait for the next one.

* * *

Cut and cap.

That was the essential message that the Legislature's Revenue Committee heard last week from Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.

The basic elements of the Goss plan included "rely more heavily on sales taxes" by eliminating some sales tax exemptions and "cut property tax rates and cap."

Also on the projection screen: cut K-12 spending growth; cut post-secondary spending growth.

A conservative fiscal message.

The Revenue Committee is attempting to find consensus — Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, its chairwoman, is aiming for unanimous agreement — on a tax reform package that would center on property tax relief and be presented to the Legislature at the beginning of its 2020 session. 

Linehan hopes that plan might also be supported by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

There's an equal rural-urban divide on the committee — but not a single Lincoln senator — and a much stronger conservative orientation than geographical unity. 

Not much appetite for increased revenue or spending sitting around that committee table. And they may produce a tax plan that reflects that.

* * *

Finishing up:

* If there's going to be major donor funding for a new Husker football complex, let's team it with an equal amount of new donor funding targeted to UNL academic facilities and programs. Husker football has reached out to help before.

* And let's invite all of the presidential candidates to individually come to the UNL campus when they're in the neighborhood. They're all going to be in Iowa multiple times during the coming months and they could bring a vibrant 2020 presidential election presence to the campus as part of the learning experience.

* Give Jeff Fortenberry credit for giving his constituents and detractors a public forum in which they can confront him directly. Lincoln can be a tough and challenging audience.

* The annual "federal legislative summit" that brings members of Nebraska's Washington delegation together at a Chamber of Commerce event at the Strategic Air and Space Museum at Ashland is scheduled for Thursday. Will any of them talk about gun violence?

* A rare night with the Saltdogs in the Haymarket over the weekend with lots of children and even a few real dogs in the park along with the hot dogs. Baseball at the national pastime level.

* Husker time, a wave of expectation and a dynamite home schedule ahead; stay well, Adrian.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSDon.


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