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Archive for Saturday, November 5, 2011

Debate on tax cuts, spending intensifying

November 5, 2011

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— The debate over state spending and taxes intensified Friday as financial experts released new revenue forecasts for Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature to use in forming a budget for the next fiscal year.

State revenue estimators signalled cautious optimism for the economic road ahead, revising upward by $200 million the expected revenue in the current fiscal year from about $6 billion to $6.2 billion. Slow growth is expected to continue in the next fiscal year, bringing the state $6.3 billion in receipts.

“Overall, the economic outlook assumes continued growth in the Kansas economy,” said Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director, Steve Anderson, sounded a more cautious tone, saying that nearly half of economists are warning of a possible “double-dip” recession.

“The real issue is we still have so much uncertainty,” Anderson said.

But in recent months, state coffers have received healthy hikes in revenue based on increased receipts of personal income tax and sales tax, officials said.

At the current pace, the state will have an ending balance on June 30, 2012, of nearly $320 million — a far cry from the nearly zero ending balance of a year ago.

Brownback issued a statement on the new revenue figures, saying, “The latest revenue projections show the power of economic growth and controlling spending. It proves the long-term solution for our state involves more jobs and limited government.”

Whether the increased revenue is used to fill in Great Recession budget cuts in education, social services and public safety, or used to provide tax cuts, will be the main fight of the legislative session that starts in January.

Brownback and the state income tax

On the tax front, Brownback supporters hit the highway on a bus tour campaigning for abolishment of the state income tax.

“The only way to spur economic growth is to eliminate the income tax,” said Ashley McMillan, president of Kansans for No Income Tax.

The Kansas group, partially funded by a Missouri billionaire and using a bus with an Alabama license tag, started its tour outside the Statehouse and planned stops in Leavenworth, Pittsburg and Wichita.

Brownback, a Republican, did not appear at the Topeka event, but his chief of staff, David Kensinger, did. Kensinger said he showed up because he was promised hot chocolate.

Brownback has said he wants to reduce the state income tax and his administration is working behind closed doors to propose a major tax overhaul for the 2012 legislative session.

Brownback, and Kansans for No Income Tax, say getting rid of the levy will spur economic growth, similar to Texas, which doesn’t have a state income tax.

Cuts to schools felt as enrollment increases

But Democrats and some Republicans say eliminating the state income tax will force increases in other taxes, cuts in services, or both. They also say Kansas shouldn’t follow Texas’ tax policy since Texas lags behind Kansas in many quality of life areas, such as education, roads and social services.

The issue is likely to be one of the most contentious of the upcoming session. Eliminating the state income tax would take a huge chunk out of state revenue.

In the last fiscal year, Kansas brought in about $5.9 billion in tax revenue. Of that amount, about $3 billion came from state income taxes — about $2.7 billion from individual income taxes and the rest from corporate income taxes.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Department of Education released a report showing that state budget cuts to public schools have resulted in fewer teachers and more-crowded classrooms.

The total number of teacher positions statewide in the current school year is 34,075.

That is a drop of 256 from last year and 1,363 since the 2008-09 school year total of 35,438.

Meanwhile, student enrollment has increased from 473,097 in 2008-09 to 482,798 in the current school year. That is an increase of 9,701 students. During that time, the Lawrence school district grew from 11,007 students to 11,613 students, an increase of 606 students.

The elimination of teacher positions coincides with cuts to school funding.

In the 2008-09 school year, base state aid to public schools was $4,400 per pupil. That figure is now $3,780 per pupil following several rounds of cuts, including the latest one of $232 per pupil approved by Brownback.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, said he hoped the increased revenue figures would persuade Brownback to help schools.

“It is encouraging to see that the Kansas economy is on the uptick. Earlier this year Gov. Brownback made the largest cut to Kansas schools in state history. I hope he will see this as an opportunity to renew our commitment to public education so that our children will have a competitive advantage in the 21st century economy,” Davis said.

Tax-cutting group has out-of-state ties

But Kansans for No Income Tax focused on cutting the budget.

Outside the Statehouse visit, about 35 people gathered, mostly Republicans and Republican staff members.

Reps. Richard Carlson, R-St. Marys, who is chairman of the House Tax Committee, and Joe Patton, R-Topeka, spoke, as did Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Public Policy Institute, and representatives from FairTaxKC.

It was reported in recent days that Missouri anti-tax billionaire Rex Sinquefield has contributed to Kansans for No Income Tax. Sinquefield and McMillan have refused to say how much he contributed.

“We enjoy support from folks in Kansas and like-minded folks throughout the United States, and we are very pleased with that,” McMillan said.

When asked why the Kansans for Income Tax bus has an Alabama tag, McMillan said, “That’s the bus that was available to us.”

During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Brownback was criticized by some for leasing a campaign bus from an Alabama company for use on his campaign.

Comments

patgilbey1 3 years, 1 month ago

education is right behind a balanced budget. Kudos to Brownback and staff for making difficult financial decisions. Now focus on education. I am sure it is more cost effective to pay for good education than remedy bad habits of crime and deliquency.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

All state administrations must have balanced budgets, it's in the constitution.

The question, of course, is how one does that.

I'm almost completely certain that any extra revenue will not be made available for education/social services/the arts.

Assuming, of course, that the decision about what to do with that money is Brownback's.

patgilbey1 3 years, 1 month ago

Great, now contact your legislators and let them know Education is vital to our state's success. I do.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

The Lawrence legislators know it (with the exception of the nutty Anthony Brown.) It's the governor and the ALEC fanboys who need to get the message. We want all public schools to be good public schools and don't want them to be destroyed boy fake school choice movements and corporate interests.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Great.

The legislature has repeatedly failed to fund education at the levels they themselves determined, and were ordered to maintain by the KS SC.

Now there's a movement to remove the ability of schools to hold the legislature available for that lack of funding.

If you think that legislators in KS care about education, and funding the system adequately, I think you're very mistaken (with a couple of exceptions, of course, like Lawrence representatives).

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

"accountable" not "available"

My bad.

mloburgio 3 years, 1 month ago

Privatizing Public Education, Higher Ed Policy, and Teachers Increasing Profits for School Companies, Undermining Teachers, and Promoting "Conservatives" on Campus This page reveals how ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher's unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds. Through ALEC, corporations have both a VOICE and a VOTE on specific state laws to change the American education system. Do you? ALEC Exposed http://alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers

patgilbey1 3 years, 1 month ago

do u live in the lawrence community? what does the acronym "alec" stand for? r there specific legislators in kansas that u can name that belong to this?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

That information is easily available on the internet.

And, in case you wondered, I live in Lawrence.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

ALEC has even got a poster here on the forums. Dave Trabert is president of the Koch-funded Kansas Policy Institute, which also runs the astroturf "Why Not Kansas" school privatization movement, and he's a member of ALEC and serves on a committee. It's like a threefer of ways to destroy public education in this state. He strategically posts bad news about public education whenever a Lawrence school is reported to do well and gloat whenever they do poorly. He also likes to talk down KPERS, teacher's unions, state income tax, and other things the Kochs coincidentally don't like.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

Not really, although both of them do get their income from conservative business owners. One is paid for factual reporting, and the other is Dave Trabert.

tortise 3 years, 1 month ago

Ignoring the inequities in the Kansas property taxes as they move forward on a new school finance formula will kill our rual communities, especially the very ones who got the ROZ designations last session -Rural Opportunity Zones. Older folks on fixed incomes cannot afford to stay in these communities and one of the few economic opportunities - services for our elderly will dry up and the youth will have no market to encourage their moves to these ROZ communities. A house is something that unlike crop land doesn't produce income and won't grow in value in these communities. Don't raise more money from property taxes, just move it around and make it more fair. Kansas Farm Bureau - do you really care about rural economic development????

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 1 month ago

The only place where half of all economists think there will be a double dip recession is a room where Steve Anderson considers himself an economist and is having a conversation with an actual economist.

Only politicians are still making this claim.

Dan Eyler 3 years, 1 month ago

Schools need radical change that fits the 21st century economy. Preparing students to enroll in psychology and sociology to name a few, is a path to failure and joblessness. Teachers who want to use the unions to fight their battles for higher pay at the same time they fight competition is no longer a workable solution. The taxpayer can no longer be seen as the source of a teachers paycheck. We must have at least a 50/50 mix of both private and public sources of money. I want teachers and union members to hear this single taxpayer. I will not vote for you to have any more of my tax dollars unless you make dramatic changes. I will not vote for any more bond issues, nothing that will increase the old style of the this 19th century method of funding, paying and teaching our students. I know there are many educators who agree with me on this. But we know also that the old guard and union reps see these tax dollars as another entitlement for the profession. It isn't the legislature or taxpayers like me who are causing funding issues in schools and low pay for teachers, its the unwillingness of teacher organizations who are afraid to compete. When the taxpayer has always been your only source of income for everything in your lives, it's tough and scary to break that bond and enter the real world.

Getaroom 3 years, 1 month ago

Alright kansasfaithful, get on that "NO State of Kansas Income Tax" bus and you show those no good mooching teachers and their mooching unions who's boss. What you really mean is you are old and or got yours already, and do not want to share the cost of educating our youth and you thumb your nose at higher education in the process. All Universities offer programs that do not lead directly to employment and the fact is, not all HS graduates should be in College anyway. It appears you may also actually believe that taxing the rich will stunt job opportunities. It will not - just in case you hadn't noticed over the past 30 years as the rug was being pulled out from under you! You want to throw open the doors of education funding to "free market" Corporations who have thrown all of us under the bus and you want to empower them to fund education with "private monies". In other words you want a full blown charter school system that caters to the children of the wealthy and leaves everyone else out in the cold. Great plan if you are a dictator, or simply wanna be one vicariously. Well, you got your Rev Gov Brownbackward so keep voting for him, you deserve what you get.

WilburNether 3 years, 1 month ago

Pathetic political rant that completely fails to address the main issue of how the K-12 industry functions in Kansas, and how it spends the roughly half of the SGF funding it receives. But then, that's so typical of the educrat mob.

Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

A rather pathetic political rant against reality. So typical of the know-nothing and damned proud of it mob.

Jonathan Fox 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree, and no one seems to want to understand what you are proposing (including some replyers below). The fear that teachers will suddenly not be able to have a union for themselves is false, there is no need to be taxpayer funded to have a teachers union. The assumption that less than wealthy students will be left behind is also false. I like Kansasfaithful's idea of "at least a 50/50 mix of both private and public sources of money" which I can see being public money going toward those students that can't afford the full price of education and needs the public money support. There are some really simple and doable solutions to problems that people are so afraid of.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

The fear that charter movements are used for union busting is based on evidence. Most, if not all, states that have adopted voucher systems to fund charters have also allowed the charters to sidestep any collective bargaining or due process rights that teacher's unions would have given them.

We've already got this system in place where public money is used for students who can't or don't want to afford private schools, and anyone who can afford it is free to attend the private school of their choice. Some private schools even offer scholarships for low income students.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

It could very well be that teacher's unions, being comprised of teachers, don't want charter schools because there's no evidence that they work at all. How weird of teacher's unions to be looking out for both the welfare of the education system AND the teachers. It's almost like they collectively bargain based on the desires of the teachers they represent.

As a taxpayer, I don't want schemes to socialize corporate risks by taking my taxpayer money and paying it to non government entities that are more likely to fail students than they are to improve their expected outcomes. If a school is truly better than the public system, they'll find plenty of business without taking my tax money to fund it. Let THEM actually compete in the free market.

PS, Finland, which kicks our butts on the PISA test, has teachers that are almost all members of the teacher's union.

question4u 3 years, 1 month ago

30% of Texans think that human beings lived at the same time as dinosaurs, and another 29% don't know one way or the other. (http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/texans-dinosaurs-humans-walked-the-earth-at-same/)

Texas made plans to lay off 100,000 teachers but at the same time to provide $25 million in subsidies to Formula One racing. (http://www.theroot.com/buzz/texas-layoff-100000-teachers-while-pumping-millions-formula-one)

The Science and Engineering Readiness Index (which "reflects how well states perform and allow opportunities for success in physics and math education and teacher qualification") ranks Kansas at 16 and Texas at 31. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/state-education-rankings-_n_894528.html

Texas has been able to support better universities than Kansas because of the Permanent University Fund, which directs millions each year to Texas universities from gas, oil, sulfur and water royalties and grazing leases on state lands. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanen...) Texas universities can get by without revenue income taxes, but Kansas universities do not have the benefit of a Permanent University Fund.

Ashley Macmillan, Rex Sinquefield and Sam Brownback are pushing to make Kansas K-12 education as poor as it is in Texas. They would be perfectly happy to see the quality of higher education in Kansas ( which does not have any universities in the national top 100) continue to decline.

You don't get something for nothing. If there's anyone who thinks that eliminating the state income tax wouldn't have a devastating impact on public education, Texas has some beautiful swampland to sell you.

parrothead8 3 years, 1 month ago

If a free cup of hot chocolate gets the Governor's chief of staff to show up at your rally, can you imagine what he'd do for millions of Koch dollars?

KEITHMILES05 3 years, 1 month ago

Free hot chocolate? What a shameful, iditiotic, and stupid thing to say even if true. Nothing like our tax dollars paying the chief of staff for Ks. governor to attend an event only for hot chocolate. This is exactly what citizens in this country are so angry about is the outright abuse and high mindedness of those in the political process. You should be ashamed of yourself sir!

keith manies 3 years, 1 month ago

Has Governor Sam Brownbackwards and his radical right wing supporters in the legislature lost their minds?! Do they sincerely believe that eliminating the state income tax during these hard economic times will somehow lead Kansas to prosperity?! With support from the Koch Brothers funded ALEC and outside the state billionaires, obviously the answer is YES. This is voodoo economics at its WORST and will lead our fair state down an unpaved and rocky road to RUIN! Imagine Kansas 10 years from now if this comes to fruition; a Kansas with horrible public schools & state universities, little or no state support for the developementally disabled, arts & culture, tourism, and a hundred other important programs. It will be a Kansas few will want to live in and a major laughing stock of the country. A Kansas that has been destroyed by politicians who do NOT serve the people, but serves corporate and billionaires' interests.

verity 3 years, 1 month ago

"Do they sincerely believe that eliminating the state income tax during these hard economic times will somehow lead Kansas to prosperity?!"

Sincerely being the operative word here. They only care about the prosperity of those that will benefit from eliminating the state income tax. And that ain't most of us.

Or maybe they are just stupid. Take your pick. Either way we lose.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Get ready, folks.

This has a great chance of happening, because right now, Brownback has the power of a dictator in this state.

The legislature is in his thrall, as are apparently a majority of the people of Kansas.

Eliminating the income tax is a bad idea. Why do we want to be more like Texas, which lags in nearly every quality of life indicator? Plus, they have a huge advantage with population and natural resources.

Wake up, lower and middle income Kansans. No income tax will be bad for you and nearly every other Kansan.

This isn't about abortion or guns or god or gays. This is about your economic futures.

vuduchyld 3 years, 1 month ago

Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's where Kansas used to be Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's our new theocracy! Brownback and Koch call all the shots, we're governed by the rich The wealthy all get wealthier and the rest can all eat #$%#

Dave Trabert 3 years, 1 month ago

Here are some facts that are missing from the article. Teacher employment is still growing faster than enrollment since 2005...+4.6% vs. 3.1% enrollment statewide through 2011. All other district employment is up 8.6%. We...Kansas Policy Institute...have the data posted at www.KansasOpenGov.org under school district

tolawdjk 3 years, 1 month ago

Good Lord, is this true? Why I bet people would be astounded if they only knew the numbers of teachers this state has wasted money on since 1900!

The realities of 2005 are long long gone.

The only thing I can see of the Kansas Policy Institute is that they don't like educated children.

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

I think the increase in the number of teachers compared to the number of students is something to be proud of! Money spent on classroom teachers is money well-spent.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

Ah yes, here's Dave Trabert, spokesperson for the 1% to come and spam his website.

Dave Trabert is president of the Koch-funded Kansas Policy Institute, which also runs the astroturf "Why Not Kansas" school privatization movement, and he's a member of ALEC and serves on a committee that may or may not have directly written bombshell legislation Brownback will introduce to further erode public education, social services, and middle and lower income interests in this state.

Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

“The real issue is we still have so much uncertainty,” Anderson said.

No, the real issue is that we lack demand. Econ 101, Day 2.

Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

“The only way to spur economic growth is to eliminate the income tax,” said Ashley McMillan, president of Kansans for No Income Tax.

Mr. Rothschild: did Ms. McMillan giggle after making this asinine claim?

Is this the same Ashley McMillan whose experience is not as an economist (or even businesswoman) but as Pat Roberts' election adviser?

No one with more intelligence than Herb Cain would claim that you can "spur economic growth" by cutting taxes on the wealthy (even more) and shifting that burden to the poor and middle class.

Ms. McMillan is welcome to her religious faith in anti-tax mumbo jumbo but her expertise in the realities of macroeconomics, budgeting, taxation, etc. would be precisely Zero. (Was there not an elephant at the zoo that was available for quotation on this topic?)

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Corporations and banks are sitting on record amounts of cash, and yet no jobs are being created.

Why would giving them more money change anything?

Jobs are an "expense" to a business. They will only spend money on jobs if they know there will be a demand for their product.

The problem with our economy is lack of demand, lack of spending, lack of buying, because people have no money. Businesses will not start creating jobs until the demand returns.

Therefore, stimulus on the demand side is required, in the form of tax reductions or spending on infrastructure.

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

ksrush, I don't see anything "foolish" or "uninformed." Mostly, posters call names when logic and evidence fail them.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

"They will only spend money on jobs if they know there will be a demand for their product". Duh.

That sentence alone has to be the most ironic statement I've ever seen. Not because it's untrue. Just the opposite. It's so obviously true that I can't imagine anyone would doubt the truth of the statement. Yet, "yourworstnightmare" has made the statement as if it shouldn't be true. Tell me the statement was made in jest, please. Tell me I didn't "get it". Otherwise it has to be the dumbest statement in this forum in.... forever. (And there have been some pretty dumb statements made here).

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, he's sincere.

And, there are many on the right who seem to miss that exact point, talking about tax cuts/regulations/trickle down economics.

Some have even posted that demand/spending aren't what drive the economy, but rather business investment.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

I know he's sincere. That's what is so sad. The very reason business exists is to make a profit. If you want services that don't make money, like schools, social services, etc., that what government is for. But for the writer to suggest that businesses should be providing jobs without the expectation of profit is absurd.

Katara 3 years, 1 month ago

Businesses won't make a profit without providing jobs. Who do they think buy their products?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Chicken and egg? If I open a one person operation, I do so with the expectation of profit. I do so with or without the expectation that I might hire either now or in the future. If I expect that by hiring workers, I can expand my profits, I will do so. If I don't expect higher profits, or if I believe the hiring itself is more trouble than it's worth, then I won't hire. But I will never, ever, ever, hire more workers without the expectation of higher profits. I'm running a business, not a social service agency. If I run my business like a social service agency, I won't be in business very long.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, actually, you could break even, paying all of your expenses, and yourself and employees, without having extra left over (profit) and stay in business.

That's what non-profit businesses do.

But, either way, if enough businesses don't hire, there won't be people with money to spend, and thus low customer demand, which stops businesses from hiring, etc.

That's the downward cycle we're in right now.

The only way out is for money to be spent by somebody - scared consumers, or scared businesses, or the government.

Otherwise, it'll just keep getting worse.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

What kind of non-profit business produces anything. There are non-profits that provide services; clinics, shelters, food banks, etc. I'm unaware of a sustainable business model that involves investing capital, putting it at risk and then having a break even as a best case scenario. Does a company like that exist? What could they possibly be producing? Would you invest in a company that would guarantee no return on your investment?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't know.

If I wanted to start my own business, because I didn't want to be an employee any more, I'd be glad to invest my own money and time, and make enough to cover expenses, salaries, etc. and break even.

For example, I've always thought it might be fun to run a coffee shop - if I had money to invest, and wanted to do that, I'd be glad to make enough to pay expenses and live on, without making a profit on top of that.

But, I'm a bit unusual in that regard.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

"make enough to pay expenses and live on" - Another word for "live on" is profit.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, I suppose it's a little semantic.

But, in non-profit businesses, all of the people who work there make a salary.

So, in your own business, you could pay yourself a salary.

Then, profit would be anything above and beyond all expenses, including your salary.

But, I get your point.

Katara 3 years, 1 month ago

Many corporations are making record profits now so I guess there is a disincentive to hire because it could cut into those profits but when demand drops for their products due to the inability of people being able to afford the products, they will see a bigger drop in those profits.

But then again the corporate world is not known for their long-term thinking.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

If I hire a lawyer, is it his responsibility to make sure justice is served, or is it his job to serve my best interests?
If I invest my hard earned money in a publicly traded company, is it the company's responsibility to serve the best interests of society (hiring workers with a loss of bottom line profits) or is their responsibility to maximize profits for their investors? In both of the above cases we may not like the system we have. But it is the system we have. And changing the system will have significant consequences beyond any individual situation. Justice may be served in a particular case, but if the cost is the destruction of the lawyer/client relationship, maybe the cost is too high. If a company is required to behave in ways that give investors a disincentive to invest, American companies will be put at a significant disadvantage vs. their foreign competitors.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, a lawyer is an "officer of the court", so they have some responsibilities in that regard as well as their role as advocate.

You are right that there is a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits, which is a large part of the problem we see.

I think, as with many of our problems, greed is the issue. If investors are happy with a slightly lower return, they'd be fine with keeping people employed rather than laying them off.

And jesse's point is a good one as well - we seem to have become overly focused on short-term, rather than long-term results, and the loss of stability is a result of that.

Also, again, if people don't spend money, these businesses will fail - a good and smart businessperson knows that.

So putting lots of people out of work is bad for business.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

He didn't suggest anything of the sort.

He simply pointed out that if they're sitting on a bunch of money now, giving them more money in the form of tax breaks won't get them to create jobs, if the reason they're not doing so is due to lack of customer demand/spending.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

You completely ignore the conclusion of his post--

"Therefore, stimulus on the demand side is required, in the form of tax reductions or spending on infrastructure."

His point was pretty clearly made, but let me see if I can say it somewhat differently.

There is plenty of cash on hand for businesses to create jobs and put people back to work, but those businesses don't believe that there enough cash out there to buy that which is produced. Hence, the need to get cash into people's hands (stimulus) in order to prime the economic pump of supply and demand.

Got it?

sciencegeek 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, what it shows is the general contempt that individual has for Kansans in general. He is getting a certain Johnson County business, to which he has ties, state contracts all over the place, for which he will prosper, and get his jollies by laughing at the poor Kansas suckers at the same time. He's extremely proud that Pat Roberts calls him the "Machiavelli of Kansas politics"; it's on his website. Sadly, he reflects the attitude of the whole Brownback administration. We're super-screwed.

Centerville 3 years, 1 month ago

6 states are in good shape, financially. Some have an income tax, some have a sales tax. None have both.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 1 month ago

This is false information. There are no fewer than 15 states operating with a budget surplus.

Meanwhile, states like Texas and Tennessee, with no income tax, face huge budget deficits.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

We'd be much better off if we cancelled sales taxes on food and clothing, and substantially reduced property taxes on the housing of retired folks living on a fixed/limited income. Replace those revenues with an increase in the income tax-- a modest increase on incomes over $30,000 (individual) and a significant increase on incomes over $100,000.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

But that would be fair, logical, and productive. We can't have that when we could hand our rich buddies tax breaks at the expense of the poor in spite of all evidence showing that it doesn't stimulate the economy. Cat food for everyone!

Dan Eyler 3 years, 1 month ago

Will someone please raise my taxes at least 25% so that I can take care of all these people. Would someone also go ahead and tell me what would be a fare tax for each of us to pay. After all the rich use to be above $250,000 according to our president. But that number has since dropped to $200,000 and that only took 3 years to go from 250,000 t0 200,000. So if I was lucky enough to make $200,000 a year would someone tell me what a fare tax would be. If I make $40,000 a year and my wife makes $40,000 a year what would be a fare tax? I mean already nearly 50% of everyone who has blogged here is pay no federal income tax. I don't think that is fare at all. Why do you get to keep all of your money and take advantage of most of the government assistance at the same time?

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

It was always 200k for a single earner or 250k for a household, which corresponds to a portion of the Bush era tax cuts he wanted to allow to expire.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

jhawkinsf,

You are seeing things in my post that are not there. You accuse me of lamenting the fact that businesses will only create jobs if they are assured they will make money.

You are assuming I feel this way, but let me assure you it is not the case. The purpose of a business is to make money.

What is foolish is to expect that by giving businesses more money that they will automatically create jobs. They will not, nor should they.

The way to stimulate the economy and to get businesses to spend money on jobs is to increase demand for their products. This means more money in consumers' pockets. This can be done by reducing taxes on consumers or by stimulus spending.

Giving the wealthy and corporations more money in the form of tax breaks will not create jobs, as they would be foolish to spend money on jobs in the absence of demand.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

"Giving the wealthy and corporations more money in the form of tax breaks" There's another way of saying that. Taking less of the money they've earned. It all depends on your perspective. Having owned businesses that has made profits and employed people, I have never wanted the government to give me tax breaks. I just wanted them to take less of the money I earned.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Fair enough, but the net result is the same, and the semantics don't change the fact that giving more or taking less money from corporations will automatically create jobs.

chootspa 3 years, 1 month ago

You didn't earn it by yourself. You had public roads, an educated workforce, and police protections among other things. Go start a business in Somalia if you want to keep everything you earn, because if you earn it there, you really have earned it by yourself.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Well said. This is another fact often forgotten or ignored by anti-tax folks, that a civil society supported by tax dollars made their wealth possible.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Read my post more closely and you'll see that I said I wanted to keep more of what I earned, not everything. I know I must pay for road, police, etc. Those things make doing business possible and I'm willing to pay for them. I'm also willing to pay for my share of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan simply because our leaders make decisions that I'm obligated to live with, whether or not I agree with them. What irks me is that there is some (not a huge amount, but some) redistribution from those that earn it to those that don't (and won't). Also, generally speaking, government does things less efficiently than the private sector. I hate having part of my tax dollars going to the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.

William Weissbeck 3 years, 1 month ago

You guys and gals on the right want a taste of reality (as opposed to your flat earth world of unicorns)? Check out MSNBC's story and pictures today of schools housed in buses coming to the poor of India. Last I knew, India was both capitalist and a democracy. What it lacks is a social contract that says there are certain fundamental services like a free public education that are the cornerstone to equalized opportunity in a society. Because you on the right do not accept that, I cannot trust that you would not let the US fall to the level of India.

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