Archive for Friday, February 25, 2011

State Senate approves rural growth program

February 25, 2011


— Senators have approved a key piece of Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for helping revive rural Kansas counties experiencing declining population.

The bill advancing Thursday would grant a five-year individual income tax abatement to people who move from other states to any of 50 Kansas counties facing declining population.

The vote was 34-5, sending the proposal to the House, which is considering a similar version.

The program would be a pilot project for five years. It applies to counties that have had an 8 percent decline in population over the past decade, or has fewer than 12,000 residents.

Brownback’s proposal was for 40 counties that had 10 percent declines in population.


Paul R Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

Strangely interesting. I doubt it will work, but guess it's worth a shot. We need to save rural America as best we can.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

It's a pointless proposal, but it gives Brownback some window dressing he can point to.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

Where are the jobs to support the new Kansans and to support the tax dollar give away?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

David Stockman - "GOP guiding nation towards financial ruin"

"In 1982, 1983, and 1984, Reagan signed a series of tax hikes (PDF) that, according to Stockman, recovered 40 percent of the original 1981 tax cut. Meanwhile, unemployment fell from nearly 11 percent in 1982 to 7.4 percent by Election Day 1984, and inflation slowed."

Years later, Stockman says, George W. Bush and his crew repeated "in much greater magnitude the errors we made in the early '80s. A massive increase in defense spending, a massive reduction in the revenue base [via long-term tax cuts], and not even an effort at spending cuts. Then the economy finally collapsed as a result of the credit crisis."

So what's an old-school Republican to do? Stockman, who worked as an investment banker after leaving the Reagan administration (and was indicted in 2007 for securities fraud in a case federal prosecutors later dropped), is willing to live by the basic laws of math.

He opposed extending the Bush tax cuts for middle- and high-income Americans, and now he has a simple three-part prescription: First, cut military spending by $100 to $150 billion a year. Stockman considers both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars foolish.

His second point is classic deficit-hawkery: Apply a means test to Medicare and Social Security.

His third: "Massively raise taxes." His favorite device: a Tobin tax, named after Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin, which would be levied on financial transactions.

"There's no productive value for Main Street or the real US economy." Such a tax could generate $100 billion annually (PDF). Stockman also fancies a version of Europe's value-added tax on consumption. "High taxes aren't good," he says. "But at the end of the day, you have to pay your bills as a government."

Stockman has not suddenly turned into a Democrat: He didn't support Obama's stimulus (because he didn't think it addressed the fundamental problems of the economy), and he remains a small-government conservative who would slash all sorts of federal programs if he could. But he has no patience with today's Republicans. On MSNBC's Countdown, he called the GOP "the free-lunch party of tax cuts."

Stockman counters that Republicans' taxes bad/tax cuts good mantra is disingenuous. "I don't think those kinds of propositions are appropriate, and you could call them a lie if you really wanted to use rhetoric," he says. "They can't say government is too big if they're saying hands off defense. It's not responsible to say government is the problem when you've embraced 95 percent of the dollars.

"It's very dismaying," he adds, "to see that 30-year descent into the kind of nihilism, know-nothingism that is represented by the Republican Party today." It's not the Gipper's GOP anymore. David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief.

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