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Letters to the Editor

Tax concerns

November 5, 2011

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To the editor:

I too have concerns about our governor’s effort to implement a new taxing structure for Kansas and possibly greatly reduce or eliminate income tax, a vital source of revenue for our state. The governor is taking advice from a small group with only one economic philosophy. This group represents the interest of those economically well off in our state.

Our economic system, the free market system, by its nature, encourages selfishness. As Charles Mathewes concludes in “The Republic of Grace,” “When life becomes nothing but getting and spending — or worse, seeking to obstruct another’s getting and spending — all joy disappears.  Secondly, anything becomes legitimate to get one’s way.  The collapse of all into politics means, inevitably, the collapse of any sense of higher moral order, which would serve to hold our more ruthless tendencies in check.”

The idea being presented to our governor by his advisers — lower taxes always creates economic growth — has never been proved. “They (Republicans) claim, without evidence, that taxes and regulations are killing job creation, though many countries with much higher taxes and stiffer corporate regulations have much higher employment rates than the U.S.” (Time, Oct. 10, 2011)

I would encourage our governor to remember the story of the rich fool, (Luke 12:13–21) who, when he became richer, built more barns to store his increasing wealth, only to discover he was dying. When considering the public welfare, we must often be encouraged to “love your crooked neighbor with your crooked heart.”

Comments

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 5 months ago

"Capitalism encourages work. The more people work and produce, the wealthier we all are."

And I have some snake oil for you that will cure anything. Give me a break. More of that old time religion, apple pie, and Chevorlet. LOL

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

TABOR sighting! Everybody has to chug whatever drink they are holding!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 months ago

RINO's are very good at putting names on their job killing ideas that sound like it's a good thing and will help all of us. Tax Payers Bill of Rights is one such monster however these concepts consistently kill economies and put millions out of work.

For example:

"For businesses to be successful you need roads and you need higher education, both of which have gotten worse under TABOR and will continue to get worse," Tom Clark of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce told the Washington Monthly. "I'm a Republican," Clark said, "but I made the decision not to give any money to the state party." Likewise, Colorado Governor Bill Owens is having trouble garnering support from his own party's legislators, most of whom know their constituents no longer believe TABOR is a good thing.

The anti-TABOR movement, meanwhile, continues to gain momentum, as the story of Colorado's misery begins to spread nationally.

Funded by the Right TABOR is a mutation of the Tax and Expenditure Limits (TELs) instituted in 28 states around the country over the past quarter-century, beginning with Proposition 4 in California in 1979. TABOR is like a conventional TEL on steroids:

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

Sam Brownback and his beltway cronies are initiating TABOR as we speak. The Koch brothers put Brownback into congress then brought him back to screw Kansas. Both the Koch people and Brownback are admirers of Grover Norquist.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 months ago

Back in the early 1980's the republican party was covertly overthrown by the radical right wing RINO party. It has been downhill ever since.

In 1986 Grover Norquist designed a RINO tax pledge that kills economies and kills jobs. RINO's are stuck in that position.

Republicans as opposed to RINO's understand that how you spend tax dollars is what makes taxes work efficiently and productively.

The question is why does Brownback and the RINO party want to kill the economy and put the more than 300,000 businesses that depend in whole or in part on government contracts out of business?

Do these supporters of a 1986 Grover Norquist pledge have any idea what they are doing? Supporters = candidates and all others being led around by the folks who have no idea what their actions will lead to.

These 300,000 plus businesses probably keep as many as 200,000 - 300,000 other businesses in business which is millions more people employed.

All others being led around by the folks who have no idea what their actions will lead to. Such as killing their sources of income and sending Wall Street down the tubes again and again.

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tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

Debates about taxes on this blog are as predictable as the sun rise. The comments break down between the expected groups; those who think government is good and the sovereign master who deserves our obedience and has rightful claim to our labor, and those who know the principals our country was built on and understand economics on a basic level. Clearly a subject tailor-made for endless back and forth; full of displays of intellect and wit and rank, partisan ignorance. Good fun to read to be sure. What I’m waiting for though is a “spending” blog post because there are many shades of gray in the tax debate, where the facts surrounding the subject of federal spending are in stark contrast. The numbers are so shocking even the most hardened partisan moonbat will be forced acknowledge their dire meaning. Now THAT is fun to watch.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

If Bush actually rasied taxes then why are the Republicans so dead set against allowing them to expire?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

Incentives are said to matter. But that only applies to the captains of industry and finance. They'll go on strike if they can't get 7-figure bonuses on an annual basis.

Now you're average teacher or factory worker. If they won't do their jobs for whatever pittance is offered up, it's because they're lazy slackers who read too much Marx.

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Jan Rolls 2 years, 5 months ago

What is it 11 years of bush tax breaks and we have so many unemployed. I wonder why none of the so called experts don't say that when others blame it on the president or when the right wing says no to taxes on the rich. Someone needs to remind them of the definition for insanity.

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verity 2 years, 5 months ago

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/unemployment-mortgage-crisis-_b_1072430.html?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=110311&utm_medium=email&utm_content=FeatureTitle&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

There will probably be a lot of huffing and puffing because of who wrote this article, but I think she makes some very good points.

". . . made Volcker think of a phrase that he knew Summers sometimes used -- a couple of people had told him -- 'that the important thing is just to be caught trying.'"

Too many (most?) people in politics on both sides of the aisle want to seem to be trying to fix the problems we have, but apparently don't really want to. I wonder why?

"I think our politicians underestimate the anger of the American people." They think they are protected from it. Perhaps they are---at least until the working/middle class has descended so low that they have nothing more to lose. Then ___ (your choice of deity or other entity here) help us all.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree that we are in a conundrum, but I believe it could be managed if the politicians would quit playing politics with our money.

Politicians cannot manage anything.

Think of the guy that Kareem Abdul Jabbar hired to manage his millions only to end in bankruptcy. That is what Americans have been doing by listening to political rhetoric and not complaining about the poor quality of our politicians.

The Republicans think they can get away with all the crap they pulled under Bush and Cheney and the tax cut nonsense that is the central theme of their rediculous political games.

The Democrats have shown they are willing to compromise.

Sure, we have a lot of unqualified Democrats and Republicans in office today but falling into their endlessly looping rhetorical arguments is just about more than the American people can stand anymore.

I think our politicians underestimate the anger of the American people.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

I'd chime in, but certain posters might send me whiny PM's if I did.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

In the current political environment, you have to choose between relative good and evil. Even though both political parties are tainted, in my view, the Republican Party stands alone as the most dangerous party in America and their agenda is the most damaging to the average American.

There is no honest debate within the Republican Party and they operate much like a cult where they are repeating the same scripts over and over again and where any deviation, such as having a real independent thought and position, is punished with the threat of political ostracism and isolation.

It is interesting how a man is scurrilous as Dick Cheney can still be held in high regard by Republicans.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/about_hal/chronology.html

I think every American has a responsibility to distrust political groups, politicians and commentators because this nation is a product of people who wanted to escape the history of totalitarianism that they suffered under throughout history. Unfortunately, we don't seem to remember why this country came into existence because we are losing our jobs, our opportunities and our freedoms once again to the rich and powerful.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 months ago

In my view our economic system is the most successful when it encourages entrepreneurism and promotes the values of honesty, cooperation and excellence.

The problems arise when we have monopolism of resources and distribution and corporate socialism sponsored by politicians who work as literal "employees" of these same corporations.

Entities such as those sponsored by the Koch Brothers and others have become very sophisticated in how they use misinformation and carefully constructed propaganda to promote their agendas. They have learned that it is actually possible to "brainwash" a large percentage of a population even in a free society.

Of course, our founding Fathers knew this was possible and they tried to design a government that would protect freedom and individual liberties.

It is ironic but predictable that the Republican Party would promote themselves as the protectior of the constitution while at the same time promoting the interests of the upper 1% of this country at the expense of the rest of us.

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its_just_math 2 years, 5 months ago

Years ago, I knew a guy who went down the wrong path----an x-Marine---who got addicted to meth and lost his job---lost everything. He now, about 7 years later is clean and has built up a very successful, albeit, small landscaping operation. He has been able to buy new equipment and stays very busy and now employs 6-8 people. That's capitalism---that's not selfishness. I suppose if this man starts making somewhere in the comfortable six-figures in a few years, lefist confiscators would want some more of his money, right?

Obama is directly responsible for the Fleabaggers, the intensification of the notion of class warfare and also for demonization of wealth in general. One more reason to intensely dislike this disaster of a president---who BTW is a multi-millionaire---him and his social engineer wife.

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skinny 2 years, 5 months ago

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." Dr. Adrian Rogers

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commuter 2 years, 5 months ago

Liberty - don't you get it. Merrill thinks paying more taxes is good only if he doesn't have to pay more and they taxes go to his pet projects. Come on everybody knows this....

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 months ago

"Confiscation of wealth through taxation discourages work, discourages production and therefore decreases the total wealth of society.

Says who?

I would say that outsourcing USA jobs and industry discourages work, discourages production and therefore decreases the total wealth of society.

If tax breaks were the answer to unemployment why on earth are 20 million seeking full time jobs? Reaganomics tax breaks and two repub home loan frauds on the USA have done little to improve the employment situation. There must be a more applicable solution because the RINO experiment is one large economic disaster.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 5 months ago

"Our economic system, the free market system, by its nature, encourages selfishness."

Incorrect. Capitalism encourages work. The more people work and produce, the wealthier we all are. This is because none of us produce everything for ourselves. We rely upon others to produce some of the things we need, and the more of these things there are, the more we all can have. Confiscation of wealth through taxation discourages work, discourages production and therefore decreases the total wealth of society. In your rush to share the wealth, you would create conditions where there is less and less wealth to be shared, making society poorer.

"When life becomes nothing but getting and spending — or worse, seeking to obstruct another’s getting and spending "

This is taxation--seeking to obstruct another's getting and spending. Your quote says the opposite of what you want it to say.

"The collapse of all into politics means, inevitably, the collapse of any sense of higher moral order, which would serve to hold our more ruthless tendencies in check."

Quite true. When we ignore the primary question of whether income taxation is moral at all in the first place, the ruthlessness comes out. The state confiscating a portion of your income is akin to slavery. After all, the main purpose of slavery was for the master to confiscate the production of the slaves. Income taxation is immoral because it presumes that your labor belongs to the state and the state gets to determine how much you get to keep.

“They (Republicans) claim, without evidence, that taxes and regulations are killing job creation, though many countries with much higher taxes and stiffer corporate regulations have much higher employment rates than the U.S."

False. Just look at the world economic freedom index. In general the freer an economy is, the more prosperous the country. Look at the least free country on the list: North Korea. The people are starving to death.

"the story of the rich fool..."

Here's the problem with your parable: giving more money to the government is not the same and giving charitably. This is a sick and disgusting notion that those of us who don't want our money to go to the state are some sort of greedy misers. How would you like it if you were forced to "donate" your income to some organization you found highly immoral and destructive of society?

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