Moran says Kansas economy still strong despite financial crisis


    Though our nation is facing a financial crisis, Rep. Jerry Moran said Kansas’ economy is stronger than it was a few years ago.
    Moran, R-Kan., spoke to a politics class Friday afternoon in Weber Hall. He also answered several questions dealing with the Iraq War, the presidential campaign, and of course, the $700 billion financial bailout.
    While the financial crisis has not been a positive situation for Kansans, Moran said he thinks there are several factors that have improved the state’s economy.
    Most notably, Kansas farmers have experienced better harvests because of better weather. Declining fuel costs also have helped agriculture with the price of gas dropping about $1 a gallon since the summer.
    “For the first time in a number of years — six, seven, eight years — Kansas is better off,” Moran said. “I don’t mean we’re better off with a crisis, but we’d been in a drought. After 9/11, no one was buying airplanes [from Boeing]. Kansas will feel the consequences of this situation a little less than the rest of the country.”
    Moran voted against the $700 billion financial bailout bill. Other Kansas legislators Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan.; Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.; Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., joined him.
    The only Kansas legislator to vote for the bailout bill was Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan.
    “Congress doesn’t do many things well, and it does even less things well when we do it in a panic or a rush,” Moran said. “I sense the administration was trying to hype the crisis in order to get Congress to pass this legislation. It ultimately worked.”
    Moran said he’s skeptical of the Bush administration’s bailout plan. A lot of those feelings stem back to the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq.
    Before the war, Moran said then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told him the reasons for an invasion. Moran said he was given the impression that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and chemical and biological weapons and was close to acquiring a nuclear weapon.
    “Our military men and women and their leaders have performed admirably, but we have made some decisions about policy that were not the best,” Moran said. “I would say we’ve about done all we can do to see success in Iraq. I think our time there has about come to an end.”
    Moran was on campus Friday because he was taking a college visit with his daughter, Alex, a senior at Hays High School. Moran and his wife, Robba, live in Hays, Kan.
    Joseph Unekis, associate professor in political science, had Moran to speak to his U.S. politics class, because his students could interact with a real politician.
    “I think he did an excellent job, and I’m a Democrat,” Unekis said. “If we had more Republicans like this, we wouldn’t have as many problems.
    Basically he’s a realist. He just really held the class and gave them real answers to their questions.”
    Moran represents the First District of Kansas, which includes 69 of the state’s 105 counties. Moran said his “urban” areas were Salina and Hutchinson.
    “I tell people, if you’ve heard of the town in Kansas, it isn’t one I represent,” Moran said. “If you’ve never heard of it, those are my constituents.”