Advertisement

Archive for Friday, January 13, 2012

Battle forming over Brownback’s plan to scrap earned income tax credit

Gov. Sam Bronwback said "that the State of our State is strong — and getting stronger," as he gave the State of the State address on Wed., January 11, 2012, in Topeka.

Gov. Sam Bronwback said "that the State of our State is strong — and getting stronger," as he gave the State of the State address on Wed., January 11, 2012, in Topeka.

January 13, 2012

Advertisement

— Democrats and advocates for low-income families on Friday blasted Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed tax plan because it would junk tax credits aimed at helping poor and elderly Kansans.

And they distributed runs from the Kansas Department of Revenue on how Brownback’s plan would affect different types of taxpayers.

Currently, a single head of household with one child, with a Kansas adjusted gross income of $20,000 per year and using standard deductions would receive a $382 state income tax refund. Under Brownback’s plan, that taxpayer would owe $60 in taxes because of the loss of tax credits. That amounts to a tax increase of $442.

Meanwhile, under the current tax schedule, a married couple with a Kansas adjusted gross income of $64,930, filing jointly with one child and using standard deductions, would pay $2,412 in state income taxes. Under Brownback’s plan, they would pay $1,987, for a tax cut of $425.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said Brownback’s proposal shifted the burden of taxes onto poor people while giving businesses and wealthier Kansans a tax cut.

Fight over Earned Income Tax Credit

An example of this, he and Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said was Brownback’s desire to eliminate the state version of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Getting rid of the EITC would take $90 million out of the pockets of working poor families and put 4,000 more Kansas children under the poverty line, according to Kansas Action for Children.

“Elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit would have a devastating impact on Kansas children and families,” said Shannon Cotsoradis, president of KAC.

But the Brownback administration has said there is widespread fraud in the EITC.

Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson said, “We have no way of making sure, for example, that a single mother is spending that on needs for her children.”

That brought a sharp retort from Davis.

“The worst thing that people in government can do is make judgments about how people are spending their money. I don’t think it’s the place of the budget director to be making judgments about how they spend money.”

Hensley said the EITC “is a tried and true credit and anti-poverty type program.” At the news conference, Hensley handed out a paper with a quote from former President Ronald Reagan who signed into law the federal EITC. Reagan said, “The Earned Income Tax Credit is the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”

Advocates estimated that more than 90 percent of Kansas’ EITC dollars go to families with children, and the average credit is about $360.

But Brownback officials have said two thirds of the money the state would recover from eliminating the EITC would be used to lure more federal dollars and then be plowed back into programs designed to help low-income families. The other third of the captured EITC will be used to double the standard deduction, under Brownback’s plan.

Lowering rates, eliminating credits

Brownback’s tax overhaul, which he says is needed to spur the economy, would collapse the three current individual income tax rates into two.

Kansas’ current tax rates for married couples filing jointly are 3.5 percent on the first $30,000 of income, 6.25 percent on income between $30,000 and $60,000, and 6.45 percent on the portion above $60,000.

Brownback’s plan would tax 3 percent of the first $30,000 and 4.9 percent on the portion above that. It would also eliminate individual state income tax on most small businesses.

Brownback said his plan would unleash the Kansas economy by making state tax policy more competitive with other states.

“I firmly believe these reforms will set the stage for strong economic growth in Kansas and will put more money into the pockets of Kansas families and businesses,” he said.

The plan would also eliminate many personal deductions and credits. Some of the larger ones are for charitable contributions, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, state and local taxes, the EITC, food sales rebate credits, and child and dependent care.

Comments

Jan Rolls 2 years, 11 months ago

Sam the sham and his idiotic buddies are dirty rotten scum that could care less about people. This nut thinks he was elected king.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

Read "The Family" - the book about C Street of which Sam was a member. And read the Rolling Stone article God's Senator in which he describes setting fire to his resume in the middle of the night. He thinks God chose him, apparently to hurt the poor and coddle the rich.

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 11 months ago

“We have no way of making sure, for example, that a single mother is spending that on needs for her children.”

Yes, we don't make poor people show the State a detailed expense report, proving they're spending their EITC on their children. Just end the EITC so we don't have to worry about where poor people spend their money, because they won't have any. It makes perfect sense.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, Gandalf, you must have missed the news: Sam doesn't accept subsidies from the feds because there are "too many strings attached". :0

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

In the Brownback world of "smaller government" are not included the words "less intrusive government". It is incomprehensible to me that this man actually thinks that the excuse, "We have no way of making sure, for example........" is an actual reason and justification for taking from the neediest of taxpayers the very safety net that so many need in order to live without more aid from the state. Good God, Mr. Brownback, do you not have an ounce of humanity in your soul? Under what conditions do you justify taking food, shelter and clothing from families? Are you truly convinced that this is the right thing to do or are you so cloistered with the business interests of the state that you are unable to do the right thing, time after time after time? There is nothing, I mean, nothing, that justifies this move, and, if you had a heart, you'd admit that this is wrong. But, then, I guess the Koch Brothers haven't told you to say that, so, "Tough bananas, Kansas!" is your motto. You should be, but will not be, ashamed.

sourpuss 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, Sam does NOT believe in smaller government. He believes in a government that makes sure that you are 1) spending your money on your kids, 2) that you are having as many children as God gives you (so, count the number of times you've had sex, please), 3) I take the last one back... count the number of times you've had "real" sex, not that dirty homosexual sinful sex. He has cut money to helping children in poverty, he is cutting education funding, he tuned away federal money to help children get health care... the LAST thing Brownback cares about is children or letting individuals make their own decisions.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

I am assuming that, by your quote, you mean that we are the agents of change come next Kansas gubernatorial election, when Sam Brownback will no longer be governor of the newly awakened, aware and empowered State of Kansas. Thanks for the reminder, and I'LL see you, and several hundred who did not vote last time, at the polls.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

As well you should, to protect your rights under the Constitution. I am grateful that we have the ability to do something other than voice opinions about powerful issues, and I will be happy that your vote and mine cancelled each other out. I will also be very happy that the many millions who disagree with your vote will outnumber the millions who undoubtedly will vote for the less disagreeable of whichever Republican candidates makes it to the ballot.

And we can continue to be good friends who agree to disagree, and life will go on.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad you mentioned that. As you will know as a Constitutional student and supporter, recess appointments are made when the Senate is in recess, but must be confirmed by the end of the session ensuing the recess. No Constitutional issue here, just trying to help the government continue working. The Affordable Health Care Act was approved by the very body you feel was bypassed in the recess appointments, and is under review by the courts, as per the system of checks and balances set forth in the Constitution, a system with which you are conversant. Libya was nothing but an extension of the powers utilized by Clinton and Bush to wage war against interests against human welfare and is justifiable by the Constitution. And, yes, I will be happy to review the results of the Democratic Presidential election this November.

Have a great evening.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

So who is going to step up and run against Brownback? Holland again? Brownback will be governor again unless he faces a strong opponnent and I don't see any on the horizon. Do you?

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, I do not. On the other hand, Brownback's continual beating down of the rights and opportunities of the middle class in Kansas will make it easier for the Democrats or Libertarians or whoever to fragment the Republican vote and perhaps give Sam pause to think, and, maybe, the Democrats a possibility of running a moderate, or even a crossover Republican, in opposition to him. There are many qualified people in this state who could do the job of governor, which is, after all, mainly pormoting the state to outsiders, carrying out the duties of Commander in chief of the National Guard, being a figurehead for the party in power, and foremost, being an agent of reason and compromise among the various factions of political parties and citizen interests. The Governor (through monied self-interest groups) should not be the one and only policy maker in the government, but should be the moderator of the various viewpoints.

Moreover, it is becoming apparent that Brownback's power base and public admiration is eroding on a weekly basis. He may win reelection but will have a much more difficult time dictating his brand of "protect business and wealth at the expense of the public welfare." And I don't mean "welfare" as the public dole, but the welfare and well-being of every individual residing in the state, for which Sam Brownback is definitely not known.

verity 2 years, 11 months ago

Thebigspoon, I take it from your post that you didn't vote in the last election (maybe I am misunderstanding your comment). If you in fact didn't vote, I am wondering why---I would like to know more about why people don't vote and how they can be encouraged to do so.

sad_lawrencian 2 years, 11 months ago

This is unconscionable. Raising taxes on Kansas' poorest and most vulnerable citizens. And how dare they suggest single mothers don't spend on the needs of their children! Impeach Brownback!

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

It's not what the 1% have or don't have. It is the preferential treatment that sucks.

The 1% cannot pay the bills, fill the military needs nor provide the health care this country demands. Nor do they pay taxes such that the rest of the 99% do.

If any group should receive preferential treatment it is the 99 % that do pay the bills, fill the military needs and spend tons and tons of money that which keeps the USA in what jobs are left. The 99% are the primary stakeholders of the USA!

When it comes to funding Social Service needs in this country it is the 99% that does so. Why does the 1% bitch about the 99% using what they pay for?

newmedia 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually it's the 50% who pay for the other 50% but what's 49%, give or take among friends.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

Everyone pays taxes. Sales taxes. Payroll taxes. If you're paying payroll taxes, you're paying into Social Security.

pace 2 years, 11 months ago

Shame, Sam is putting his foot down, down on the necks of children, again.

Katara 2 years, 11 months ago

"Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson said, “We have no way of making sure, for example, that a single mother is spending that on needs for her children.”

Well, yes. Flighty creatures that women are, you know, lacking any form of common sense, need a man to make sure that money is spent on her children's needs and that she is taken care of without a worry to trouble her pretty head. That is why Brownback is encouraging marriage and wishes to make it difficult for one to get out of one. Women need a man to tell them what to do. My goodness, think of the poor children!

sourpuss 2 years, 11 months ago

Ugh, you're right. Well, he is a very conservative Catholic and the deferral of a wife to her husband is part of the Church's interpretation of Scripture. No divorce, no birth control.

63BC 2 years, 11 months ago

Currently, a single head of household with one child, with a Kansas adjusted gross income of $20,000 per year and using standard deductions would receive a $382 state income tax refund. Under Brownback’s plan, that taxpayer would owe $60 in taxes because of the loss of tax credits. That amounts to a tax increase of $442.

So to be clear, the household in this example would pay a total of $60 in state income tax.

Sixty bucks. A year.

Twenty cents a day.

Truly heartless.

GardenMomma 2 years, 11 months ago

If you make $20,000 a year with kids, $60 due can really be a hardship. That could be food for a week or a water bill or electricity.

I guess they better start saving nickles and dimes now.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, that's like 15 lattes a year they will be deprived of.

sci4all 2 years, 11 months ago

That family already paid $382 in state income tax during the year.

Larry Bauerle 2 years, 11 months ago

No they haven't. EIC is not a "refund" of money paid in.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

That's technically correct.

But, the family that would have gotten $382 now has to pay $60 - for them that's a loss of $442 annually, not just $60.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 11 months ago

What part of "would receive a $382 state income tax refund" is so hard to understand?

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

Without the government transfer payment, EITC, this taxpayer would have paid $263 in Kansas income tax, under this plan they pay $60.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

The tax before any credit is currently $263, under this proposal. lower tax rate and increased standard deduction, the tax before any credit is $60. Do the math.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 11 months ago

No. This taxpayer would owe an ADDITIONAL $60 - not just $60 period. That's what you're missing.

Under this revised system, they would have state taxes withheld from their paychecks, not get any of those withheld dollars back, and have to pay an additional $60.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

No, that's incorrect. The $60 is the tax liability under this proposal, under current law the liability is $263, and after the EITC credit, they will get a refund of about $120.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 11 months ago

That's rather interesting because I actually did the tax forms to see what the current Kansas system provides for.

$20,000 - $4,500 (2 exemptions) = $15,500 $15,500 - $4,500 (standard deduction) = $11,000 State income tax liability on $11,000 = $384 Total Earned Income Tax Credit = $2,470 * 18% = $444.60 as State tax credit

So...the taxpayer's EITC is $445, while the taxpayer's state income tax liability is $384. The taxpayer would get the entire $445, meaning they'd get their entire withholding back (which would likely be more than $384) plus the difference between the EITC and the taxes withheld.

Now...eliminate the EITC for state taxes, reduce the income tax rate from 3.5% to 3%, and double the standard deduction...which I believe are the proposals...and here's what happens:

$20,000 - $4,500 (2 exemptions) = $15,500 $15,500 - $9,000 (standard deduction) = $6,500 $6,500 * 3% = $195 state income tax lability

It sure looks to me like that taxpayer has gone from getting all of their state income taxes refunded...I repeat, refunded...to getting none of them refunded, plus not getting any additional EITC money either so, instead of getting $445 (most of which is a refund on the taxes they've already had withheld), they're now permanently out $195. That's a turnaround of $640, or over $50 a month.

Looking at this in a vacuum, as in "their taxes are now only $195 instead of $384...therefore that's a better thing for them...ignore that $445 behind the curtain", makes zero sense to me.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

You need to recalculate. A head of household taxpayer receives an addional personal exemption deduction just for being H/H. So their tax liability under current law will be $306 vs. $128 under the proposed. A 58% decrease in their tax liability isn't enough?

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 11 months ago

No...let's be REALLY clear. This household would actually pay a total of $442 in state income tax. The no-longer-refunded $382 plus the additional $60.

Of course, you'll probably still make fun of it's only being $1.21 a day.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

They will pay $60, or $2.31 per pay check. They lose the government subsidy payment. And in return they may qualify for additional medicaid. What is worth more to this taxpayer, a $382 EITC annual check, or government provided health care for them and their child?

deec 2 years, 11 months ago

Medicaid is based on income. There wouldn't be additional medicaid. EIC does not count as income under federal rules.

tolawdjk 2 years, 11 months ago

Ronny Raygun is not a Conservative. Up is Down, Black is White.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

I bet you oppose minimum wage laws and would scoff at the idea of a living wage. Yet you'll condemn the people who do those low-wage jobs as lazy schmucks who deserve to be punished for their lack of success.

Jean Robart 2 years, 11 months ago

And what about the disabled and elderly who can't work? I suppose you would also argue against them having an EITC deductions?

GardenMomma 2 years, 11 months ago

"Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson said, 'We have no way of making sure, for example, that a single mother is spending that on needs for her children.'"

"But Brownback officials have said two thirds of the money the state would recover from eliminating the EITC would be used to lure more federal dollars and then be plowed back into programs designed to help low-income families..."

We have no way of making sure, for example, that the federal dollars "lured" is spent on needs and programs designed to help low-income families. If you don't trust your constituents to spend their own money on their needs, why should we trust you to spend it for us?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 11 months ago

Les, I bet you get your paycheck on Friday, go up and down your street knocking on your neighbors doors asking them if they want some of it. If you don't, then why the heck do you vote for people you don't even know that will do it for you?

Earned income credit is a bunch of BS. It, in itself, is redistribution of wealth. If you dont have something and you want it, real Americans go out and work for it.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

What about all the real Americans who work very hard at low-paying jobs? The number of jobs that pay over, say, $60,000 in this country is pretty limited. Instead, an awful lot of very hard-working and very real Americans make considerably less than that, performing jobs that the rest of us rely on. Like teachers and firefighters and all of those evil state employees who deal with all the mundane tasks that have to be done for roads to be built and repaired and for 911 to be answered, etc.

It's not like there is some magic fountain spewing out high or even above-average paying jobs that people could just get to if they worked harder. Not to mention that those "unreal Americans" stuck working at minimum wage or other low-paying jobs are being priced out of attending college, which would be a big help toward getting a job that pays a little bit more.

I am so, so sick of mean-spirited people like you who go through life with the ridiculously naive view that if you aren't rolling in dough, it's your own fault because you just aren't working hard enough.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 11 months ago

You don't get it. I am not rolling in dough. I get out of bed everyday and go to work. I do not seek a life of substance abuse, go to church, and am part of the main stream. It is not hard to make it on 30K a year if you have your priorities straight.

I am not at all mean spirited. I am just freeking tired of people on the government teat demanding more from those of us who have our own families to feed. This includes your library, your empT, and all the other services provided at the taxpayers expense that are none of the governments business.

cummingshawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Remember this is only a proposal, so far. I'm sure after approval some reason can be found to avoid luring/fishing/begging for federal money to roll into the Kansas treasury.

mloburgio 2 years, 11 months ago

Kansas poverty report reveals bleak data The poverty rate for Kansas children rose from 18 percent to nearly 24 percent between 2009 and 2010, and 20,000 more Kansans fell into poverty during the same time frame.

“It’s at least honest,” said Jesyca Rodenberg, spokeswoman for KACAP, about the 2012 Kansas Poverty Report. “We have problems with our infrastructure.” http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/dec...

Kansas ranks 50th in progress on insuring children

While the nation as a whole made progress in reducing the number of uninsured children from 2008 to 2010, the number in Kansas without this benefit increased by 7,850 over those three years.

the rate of uninsured Kansas children was 8.2 percent in 2010, up from 7.4 percent in 2008.

Nationally, the rate was reduced from 9 percent in 2008 to 8 percent in 2010. Thirty-three states cut their rates. The bottom line: Kansas tied with Minnesota for 50th in terms of futility on this pressing issue.

http://cjonline.com/blog-post/tim-carpenter/2011-12-05/kansas-ranks-50th-progress-insuring-children

If you want a ks. republican to care about you, remain a fetus!

moxibustion 2 years, 11 months ago

Brownback has no compassion for the needs of others. $60 a week can buy a family groceries, pay a utility bill or buy new clothes. Oh, that's right, single parent families don't deserve healthy food, a warm home, or new clothes. Because they are lower class citizens in the eyes of Brownback.

Can we impeach this idiot and elect someone who is in touch with reality and the needs of the people in Kansas as opposed to the Koch Brothers?

sassykansan 2 years, 11 months ago

So glad to know Governor Brownback's worried about whether or not us single mothers are spending our money appropriately. This is one of the most ignorant arguments I've ever heard.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

It occurred to me that the Brownback administration is on the right track and we should use their EIC approach as the model for other issues. For example, we all know that some people abuse prescription drugs so we shouuld ban all prescription drugs to eliminate the abuse.

No doubt some people speed while driving so lets ban all driving.

It is so simple you wonder why no one thought of this before.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

The single head of household taxpayer that is losing their $382 Kansas EITC, will still get their federal EITC witch equals about $2,122.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

And all the high income earners are will be getting not only the state income reduction, but also the Bush tax cuts. Republicans, gotta love their reverse Robin Hood agenda.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

I think his plan also eliminates itemized deductions. I wonder what income groups get hit by this elimination?

angie497 2 years, 11 months ago

Which does nothing to change the fact that the single mother (or father, for that matter) trying to support her child on $20K a year would see a tax increase of $442 dollars ($382 refund not received plus the $60 additional taxes owed), while a family making over $60K would see a $425 tax decrease.

Why is it that so many conservatives are OK with the concept of income redistribution when it's taking away from the people who have the least, but think it's a terrible thing when asked of the people who will miss it the least?

2 years, 11 months ago

that's a good point that last year brownback rejects federal dollars but then today says he wants to lure federal dollars, yes which is it? what does ALEC want you to do today?

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

So you are pleased that he has changed his mind. Whats more valuable, a $382 once a year check, or knowing if you child is sick your doctor or hospital visit is covered?

deec 2 years, 11 months ago

There is no connection. Medicaid is based on income. EIC does not count as income under federal rules.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

I have heard the plan is to take the EITC expenditures and shift them to medicaid, which will turn $60 million into about $90 million in total medicaid for low income Kansans. Seems like a better way to spend the money.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

A single parent with an adjusted gross income of $20,000 who qualifies for earned income credit will probably have to use the refund to catch up on utility bills or rent, so they won't become homeless. What does Brownback think they are spending it on? I'd be more worried that the person on welfare is spending their money on drugs and alcohol. They have more time on their hands, than someone who is working hard to support their family. It sounds like it would be easier to just quit and go on welfare. Of course, then he could claim that he opened up some jobs.

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

They can do all that with just $382? They still get their federal EITC of $2,122.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 11 months ago

Why do you keep going on about the federal EITC? A loss of $382 is still a loss of $382, and the federal EITC does not make up for it.

Keith 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't you get dizzy from all your spinning?

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

No spin. I don't believe in any special credits or deductions regardless of income. What is being proposed is a broad tax base with progessive tax rate. I think the argument should be about the rates. Personally, I would have a lower bottom rate and a higher top rate.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, at least we agree on the lower bottom rate and a higher top rate :-)

progressive_thinker 2 years, 11 months ago

It is sad that our state is looking at cutting the earned income tax credit. This credit is designed to encourage and reward work for those who are employed at the lowest of wages. Remember, this is an incentive to a working class person for sticking with what is likely a tough, underpaid job.

It is interesting that there was no outcry among the right wing extremists over the 47 million in corporate welfare offered up to AMC to move to Leawood last fall. From my perspective, this demonstrates the hypocrisy that has engulfed our elected state leaders. I can presume that we will see more of this to come.

sciencegeek 2 years, 11 months ago

tennesseerader illustrates a tenet of the conservative attitude: that poverty is caused by laziness. To them, the 1% should get breaks because they earned it, while everyone else just has to work harder. This also justifies their superior attitude toward their financial (and moral) inferiors.

They don't understand "working poor" because they've never lived it. They don't care about health care costs because they've always been able to have afford premiums, let alone been bankrupted by a serious illness. Public education isn't that important because their kids go to church school or are home-schooled by mothers who don't have to work to pay the bills.

The irony is that they don't understand how their attitude is condemned by their favorite prop: the Bible.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

The bible should not be used by politicians when creating legislation. Keep your religious beliefs private and not legislated upon others.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

So what if Sam is religious - why would you criticize him about not following the bible? Would you want him to apply his Christian beliefs to decisions regarding the budget, abortion, etc.? You say it was sarcasm, but I'm not seeing the irony in your statement.

I see it simply as an attack on him for not applying religion to this decision and what I find ironic is if he did, he would be criticized for doing it.

deec 2 years, 11 months ago

I think the point is that many politicians purport to be hard-core religious, then make policies and advocate positions that are diametrically opposed to the teachings they claim to follow.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

I understand the point, but isn't that exactly what we expect from our political leaders?

Sam is Catholic and thus, is opposed to abortion. Do pro-choice readers here support and applaud him for following his religious teachiings? Or do they say religion has no place in state law?

A leader will set aside their religious beliefs and legislate based on the US and state constitutions. And it is hypocritical to criticize a politician when they set their religous beliefs aside and then to criticize them when they don't. You can't have it both ways.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

Fred, I would agree with your base statement, but do not think that Sam's political tenets are Bible-based. They seem to me to be based on exact opposite standards: protect the wealthy/privileged and put the burden on the lesser earners. Yes, I have to respect Sam's religion, but I wold respecrt the man if he actually put religion into his politics, and he does not.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

I disagree I do not want any politician to put religion into politics. Stick to the Constitution but keep "your" religion out of my life.

Compassion is not solely a religious tenet. And, you can substitute common sense for compassion and still help the poor.

Case in point. We are a society and like it or not we are all connected. Like a house, no matter how pretty it is, if you let the foundation or base to decay the house is going to crumble.

We cannot compete economically if the majority of our citizens are poor, uneducated and unskilled. Compassion aside, it makes sense to fund programs that reduce poverty, especially childhood poverty and creates an environement in which children can learn.

And, no matter how rich or powerful you are, you will not be secure when the majority of citizens are hungry and feel oppressed. Ask the dictators who recently have been toppled.

So compassion is great, but even common sense will tell you what is right even if for a different reason.

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

We're saying the same thing, and I defer to your much better wording. Thanks you.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

And he should not be using the bible in either case. Or do you think applying Christian beliefs is okay sometimes?

deec 2 years, 11 months ago

He should not use his religion to make public policy. Nor should he use it as a market brand in order to get elected. It is the hypocrisy of "religious" politicians to which I object, as well as their attempts to convert the nation into a theocracy. Brownie and his ilk are conveniently Christian when it comes to hot-button distraction social issues, but ignore their purported faith's core teachings when it comes to everything else. In particular, they ignore Jesus' clear teachings about wealth and poverty. Jesus did not like the rich folk, and Sam's own church has a clear history of advocating, at least theoretically, for social and economic justice.

Jimo 2 years, 11 months ago

So the GOP continues to cement it's "brand" as tax increasers on the lower classes?

Is Brownback aware that such a form of negative income tax was originally championed by none other than that saint of the GOP Radicals, Milton Friedman? (Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, page 192-94 in my edition.)

blindrabbit 2 years, 11 months ago

If I'm not mistaken isn't that Speaker O'Neal of the left side of the story photograph, now serving as the Kansas jester and clown-in-charge

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

Is O'Neal smiling in the picture because he likes what Brownback is saying or did he just get a joke email? No doubt what Morris is thinking in that pic - "no good sona*thinks he's going to get rid of me....I'll show him"

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

Jesus would tax noone, as he was not and vigorously denied being a part of the government. What he advocated was giving to the government what was owed (fairly) and to God what was owed (also fairly. Remember the money changers?). The analogy is easy to cite, but has no application to the current talk.

voevoda 2 years, 11 months ago

Romans 13:6-7: "That is also why you pay taxes. The authorities are in God's service and it is to this they devote their energies. Discharge your obligations to everyone; pay tax and levy, reverence and respect, to those to whom they are due.”

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

I have never understood why Kansas imposes a sales tax on food. It's the only state I've ever lived in that doesn't exempt food and it's a really noticeable difference.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 11 months ago

To quote my husband, "Gee, I didn't think Republicans got rid of tax credits."

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 11 months ago

Why doesn't Brownback make judgements about how businesses will spend their money? They certainly aren't using tax subsidies to create jobs. Boeing is the quinticential example. Kansas has been subsidizing them for decades but that didn't generate any loyalty to Kansas. I guess Brownback feels that poor people have poor judgement, hence they are poor whereas the wealthy have good judgment, hence they are rich. The problem is that type of "every man for himself" thinking is what caused the economic crisis we've been in bush 2 was president.

Jon Jambor 2 years, 11 months ago

Why do Scott's articles keep showing up in the news section? They need to go into the opinion and editorial section!

Be that as it may, this statement really sums up the mentality of the entitlement statist: "Getting rid of the EITC would take $90 million out of the pockets of working poor families..." Excuse me? That $90 million is not their money. That money is taken out of the pockets of the taxpayers and TRANSFERED to the so called"working poor".

Furthermore, Mr. Davis is either being ironic or moronic when he asserts that people in government shouldn't make judgements about how people are spending their money. WHAT? That's all they do. Instead of letting us spend our money the way we best see fit, they are quite happy telling us to spend it on bigger government and transfer payments.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 11 months ago

Does this remind anyone else of King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham? we need modern day Robin Hood and a modern version of the Magna Carta.

deec 2 years, 11 months ago

That's what the Occupy movement has been saying. The politicians and big business are in cahoots to rob everyone else of every penny.

Tanya Spacek 2 years, 11 months ago

@ktgman: "so called 'working poor?'" You don't think they exist? Do you get out much?

Kontum1972 2 years, 11 months ago

you can be sure he did not buy that suit.....

Lana Christie-Hayes 2 years, 11 months ago

"The plan would also eliminate many personal deductions and credits. Some of the larger ones are for charitable contributions, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, state and local taxes, the EITC, food sales rebate credits, and child and dependent care." .. Sam Blows A Lot!!

thebigspoon 2 years, 11 months ago

First, I am a Kansas resident and I believe myself to be intelligent. I also did not vote for Brownback and will do what I can to see that he is not chosen again. That being said, I don't believe that most people knew what to expect when they voted, not for him, but against a Democrat representing what they saw as a representative of the ills facing the state and the nation ( man who, by the way, represents that which is good in Kansas politics, in that he did not promise Valhala but admitted it was going to be a tough row to hoe). He lied about a great many things that have transpired since his election, and continues to use prevarication and sidestepping to the eventual ruin of the Kansas political system. And it still remains to be seen that the Democrats can convince anyone with ethics to run against the well-monied Brownback/Koch machine. That makes me very sad.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

Can't disagree with what you wrote, but of course I can add to it :)

You're right that Brownback the governor is not the same as Brownback the candidate. This is truly unfortunate as he has a real opportunity to lead. A true leader is not a bully and invites an open dialogue on issues. He excludes the opposition and this wrong, not only because it excludes, but because it results in poor decisions that he has to reverse.

He has surrounded himself with staff that do not understand the issues and constantly make mistakes. A leader can be tough, but should never be mean.

At the very least dems should persuade someone to run against him in the primary to at least force a discussion of the issues.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

I think you're probably right, but how on earth did anybody not know this is what he would do?

It was abundantly clear to me, and without much effort on my part.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

Two things to consider. One Holland was very very weak as a candidate and two, it was as much a vote against Obama as it was for Brownback.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

I disagree completely with your take. Brownback's election had nothing (or at most VERY little) to do with Obama. It was a generally accepted idea for a long time before Nov 2010 that Brownback would be the next governor. That this was such a widely-accepted given is why the Dems couldn't come up with a strong candidate and did next to no campaigning on his behalf. Also, the fact that the Dems couldn't identify a strong potential candidate in advance of the 2010 election further fed into the perception that Brownback would be the governor no matter what...

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

You may disagree, but it doesn't mean you're right. Look at this video and listen to what Sen. Roberts says around 5:15. This is after Brownback was declared the winner. If it wasn't about Obama why is Obama mentioned throughout the video?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

Should have added and my disagreeing doesn't make me right either.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

Your evidence is the speech of a Republican Senator on election day to a room full of GOP faithfuls?? That's not evidence at all. Every election night speech to party faithful will include either similar disapproval of the sitting president if he is of the other party or praise for the president of the same party.

The people in that room applauding Sen. Roberts for dissing Obama were going to vote for the Republican candidate for governor no matter what.

Republicans in this state have carried most state-wide elections for decades, with the odd election thrown in. For years, going back probably to 2006, we in Kansas had been hearing that Brownback would run for governor in 2010. Since at least 2008, the word I heard in Topeka was that it was a foregone conclusion that Brownback would be the next governor. His election was simply not a reaction to Obama.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

First, I at least provide some evidence to support my position. Where is your's? Further, the Republican Clean Sweep focused very much on Obama and was the mantra of the Republican party. The very first slide of the Clean Sweep presentation showed Obama.

Was the anti-Obama sentiment needed for Brownback to win? No, but it helped and it was in part responsible not only for his election but the fact that Republicans won every statewide election including the AG where you had a pretty likeable and competent AG incumbent.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

You didn't provide evidence; you provided a partisan, election night speech. I'm sorry I don't have evidence for the hundreds of conversations I had dating back to 2006 that spoke of Brownback as the guy who would almost inevitably be governor in 2010.

I would disagree that Steve Six was a likeable AG. I'm as hardcore a Dem as they come and I wouldn't vote for him. And he didn't get there by winning an election, either. It was hardly a surprise at all that Schmidt beat him.

But the bottom line is that anti-Obama sentiment is not at all why Brownback won. He was going to win anyway. Your original claim was that the vote for Brownback was as much a vote against Obama and I think that is a preposterous claim completely ignoring the long-standing history of this state as a red one and the long-standing acceptance of most people in the know that Brownback would be the governor come Nov 2010.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

I understand now. You really believe in Obama and reject any idea that suggests that he might be in part responsible for the election of republicans.

You are right, Brownback most likely would have won without the Obama factor, but the anti-Obama sentiment did contribute to organizing the base and solidifying the candiates to work together to have a clean sweep of all the state wide offices.

Can either of us prove or disprove the other? Nope so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Jock Navels 2 years, 11 months ago

the eitc is a form of welfare...for businesses. it's a wage subsidy. if you earn nothing, your eitc is nothing. you have to be an unsuccessful hard working person to receive it. so, brownie, how about matching the elimination of the eitc with a raise in the state minimum wage. have the direct recipients of the fruits of the labor of others pay for that fruit.
i predict in 14 years a huge crime wave of victorian era petty crimes committed by the thousands of born but uncared for children of kansas. then a round of republican fear mongering and more cops, loss of civil rights and more prisons to 'solve' the problem. you watch.

Loki 2 years, 11 months ago

Someone should not get a tax break for choosing to have children. You already get an education frm the tax payers and many choose not to participate in their work medical plans letting the tax payers pick up that burden also, but they can afford cable and eating out and going to movies, etc. Taxpayers pay enough for your choice, no more tax credits for children so you can buy a new TV or video game system.

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

Although the blurb below is about the Federal EITC, the Kansas EITC is really no different. Tax income.....do not tax work: http://www.taxkimk.com

"American economists on both the right and the left have long advocated subsidizing low-wage work as a means of social inclusion—offering an economic compact with everyone who embraces work, no matter their level of skill. The Earned Income Tax Credit, begun in 1975 and expanded several times since then, does just that, and has been the country’s best anti-poverty program. Yet by and large, the EITC helps only families with children. In 2008, it provided a maximum credit of nearly $5,000 to families with two children, with the credit slowly phasing out for incomes above $15,740 and disappearing altogether at $38,646. The maximum credit for workers without children (or without custody of children) was only $438. We should at least moderately increase both the level of support offered to families by the EITC and the maximum income to which it applies. Perhaps more important, we should offer much fuller support for workers without custody of children. That’s a matter of basic fairness. But it’s also a measure that would directly target some of the biggest budding social problems in the United States today. A stronger reward for work would encourage young, less skilled workers—men in particular—to develop solid, early connections to the workforce, improving their prospects. And better financial footing for young, less-skilled workers would increase their marriageability."

http://financialdarwinism.com/PDF/pdf_08.pdf

Mary Sucha 2 years, 11 months ago

Kansas has had the EITC since 1998, and

"The poverty rate for Kansas children rose from 18 percent to nearly 24 percent between 2009 and 2010, and 20,000 more Kansans fell into poverty during the same time frame."

"While the nation as a whole made progress in reducing the number of uninsured children from 2008 to 2010, the number in Kansas without this benefit increased by 7,850 over those three years."

Credits to business to hire don't work and the EITC doesn't work. I think instead of shoveling money into a program that obviously doesn't work, let's try something else.

ebyrdstarr 2 years, 11 months ago

post hoc ergo propter hoc? Surely you are aware of the logical fallacy of your argument.

If you want to make the argument that the EITC doesn't work, you need to come up with something better than showing that poverty rates have increased since the economic meltdown and subsequent recession.

usnsnp 2 years, 11 months ago

If he wants to elimate tax breaks that would lower over all tax rates, why does he not propose the elimination of the tax breaks for Federal retirement, State retirement, Railroad retirement and military retirement payments. O he will not do that because he knows that the people that receive theis payments vote.

angie497 2 years, 11 months ago

Will I get a 'tax break' on my state retirement? Yes. Then again, Kansas taxes employee contributions made into the KPERS & KP&F systems, so I've already been taxed on that money. And given that my income at retirement will be considerably less than what it was while working, it means that I paid taxes at a higher rate on those contributions than I would have if I was taxed on it when the pension is paid. In the long run, public employees in Kansas aren't getting so much of a break.

verity 2 years, 11 months ago

Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this article proves that Sam is truly trying to carry out his push for marriage agenda to get people (women and children) out of poverty.

voevoda 2 years, 11 months ago

The Brownback tax plan: Take from the wretch and give to the peer. Who wins under his plan? Wealthy business owners who don't have children or a mortgage and who don't give to charity. Who loses? Modestly-compensated employees who have children and a mortgage, and who give to charity.
Kansas doesn't need a tax plan that rewards selfishness.

guess_again 2 years, 11 months ago

Isn't this the same Brownback that believes a non-extension of the so-called "Bush tax cuts" in DC is a tax increase?

How is that different than his state budget recommendation FOR an extension of the temporary state sales tax increase adopted only two years ago which was scheduled to be eliminated under current law.

Brownback, by his, and fomer fellow republican senators/reps own definition, is advocating for an increase in state taxes, no matter whose income tax he argues he is reducing.

raiderssb 2 years, 11 months ago

As a "former" KANSAN - he is an embarrassment to the State. He is a fake Christian, and nothing but destruction for the working class. I'm proud to say I'm from Douglas County, one of the three sane counties who vote Democratic over, and over. Yes, we're liberal, Democrats, and we really do care!!

Eileen Jones 2 years, 11 months ago

His plan is regressive and it is a shameful attack on the poor.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

The earned income tax credit make the tax code into a welfare "payout" program. If you owe no taxes you should simply not "pay" we should not be issuing welfare type checks as a supposed method of income redistribution or fairness. Brownback is showing that he understands business and government here by trying to make our tax system less cumbersome and less expensive to administer.

coloradoan 2 years, 11 months ago

If welfare is good enough for Sam and his family to take every year for "farming" (yeah, right, when was the last time - if ever - that Sam actually farmed?) then working moms (or dads) qualify also. See the link in my post above. It lists his and his family's take from the Feds for their farms. Those are for the years 1995 to 2010, when Sam was in D.C. And he wants to begrudge a working mom $442 per year?

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

And, yet, it's not at all "welfare" since it applies to working people.

The idea is to encourage more folks to work, even at low paying jobs, rather than get welfare or unemployment.

We'll see whether or not these changes make the system less expensive to administer or not.

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

"American economists on both the right and the left have long advocated subsidizing low-wage work as a means of social inclusion—offering an economic compact with everyone who embraces work, no matter their level of skill."

Morganna 2 years, 11 months ago

OMG - I am of the working class - am not stupid - am underpaid and get earned income. My EIC - all of it, state and federal, goes into a savings account and is used when my paycheck does not cover all expenses. My EIC puts tires on my car so I can go to work 5 days a week, fixes plumbing problems, pays for clothes and shoes for my child, school trips, school lunches, class fees, school pictures, graduation, doctor appointments and medication, the list goes on and on. Is the state EIC large - not compared to federal - it does pay to get my child enrolled into school and put money towards school lunches. Am I wasting that money?

Katara 2 years, 11 months ago

This is your answer, courtesy of the Brownback administration.

"Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson said, “We have no way of making sure, for example, that a single mother is spending that on needs for her children.”

They cannot make sure, you know, because you have no man to keep you in line. Judging from the list you have above, you are not devoting enough of your time to finding a husband. That will solve all your problems!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.