To the editor:
Kansas legislators, along with Congress, began shoveling out corporate tax breaks in the mid-'80s. The rationale for these revenue giveaways was that corporations would invest in American jobs and further stimulate economic growth. Contrary to justifications provided for these breaks, corporations invested in themselves, giving outrageous salaries of $1,000-plus an hour to top executives, cooking corporate books and lobbying politicians to maintain their privileged status while reducing wages, benefits and laying off thousands.
Placating ordinary citizens and families with $300 tax breaks while corporate and wealthy special interests groups walked away with millions ensured the haves were further insulated from the dire reality facing the rest of us. The reason Kansas is in such abysmal economic shape is directly related to the reduction in tax revenues paid by the wealthiest of the wealthy.
The tax break I received almost covers the increase in fees I now pay for my children to attend public schools. The state legislators' willingness to shift responsibilities from the wealthy and corporate interests to the backs of low- and middle-income citizens for the funding of education, social services and health care in Kansas reflects their priorities. The unwillingness of state legislators to revisit these tax breaks demonstrates they are more concerned with corporate interests and the protection of tax breaks special interests enjoy at the expense of ordinary citizens.