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Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Robin Hood in reverse:’ Brownback’s plan would raise taxes paid by poorest Kansans

January 17, 2012, 11:07 a.m. Updated January 17, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

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— More criticism emerged Tuesday over Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan as figures showed the poorest of Kansans would face a huge increase in their tax liability.

A non-partisan policy group said Brownback’s proposal would benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said its analysis found “that the bottom 80 percent of the state’s income distribution would collectively see a tax hike under the Brownback plan, while the best off 20 percent of Kansans would see substantial tax cuts.”

The Washington, D.C., research group, which advocates for progressive taxes, added, “For most middle- and low-income Kansans, the tax break from the income tax rate cuts would be completely offset by the loss of income tax credits and itemized deductions, as well as a higher sales tax rate.”

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka called Brownback’s proposal “Robin Hood in reverse.”

Hensley said of Brownback, “He is stealing from the poor and giving to the rich.”

Brownback says plan is pro-growth

Brownback, a Republican, has proposed decreasing state income tax rates, eliminating the state income tax for thousands of businesses, doing away with numerous tax credits and deductions, and keeping the state sales tax at 6.3 cents per dollar, which under current law is supposed to drop to 5.7 cents per dollar in 2013.

Brownback has said his proposal will lure businesses to Kansas and spur economic development. He said his intent is to eventually phase out the state income tax.

“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,” Brownback said in his State of the State address.

“Growth that will allow us to further reduce tax rates and increase our competitiveness. Growth that will see people move to Kansas instead of leaving our state,” he said.

More numbers emerging

As a group, low-income families would see an astronomical tax increase, according to Kansas Department of Revenue figures released by legislators.

The amount of individual income tax revenue would decrease by 12 percent overall, but it would affect different groups of taxpayers differently.

Those Revenue Department figures show there were 564,328 Kansas tax filers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less in the 2009 tax year. Currently, that group receives a total refund of $1.7 million. Under Brownback’s plan, that group would have a total tax liability of $86.5 million. That is more than a 5,000 percent increase in tax liability and averages $156 more per filer.

Meanwhile, there are 21,158 Kansas tax filers with adjusted gross incomes of $250,000 or more. Under Brownback’s plan, they would pay an average of $5,239 less in taxes, and as a group $110.8 million less than now, which is a 18.5 percent tax cut.

Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon, who also served as the state’s chief tax official for eight years, said Brownback has picked banks and wealthy corporations over people.

“This isn’t even remotely fair, and it drains funding from education,” Wagnon said.

Under Brownback’s plan, individual Kansans will lose $180 million in tax credits, while banks and wealthy corporations would retain nearly all of their credits, said Wagnon, who served as secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue from 2003 until 2011.

Brownback’s plan would get rid of the home mortgage interest deduction, the charitable contribution deduction, child care and dependent care deductions, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the tax credit for families who adopt children, and the sales tax on food rebate program.

Removing the rebate on sales taxes paid on food will take money from more than 365,000 Kansans, while ending the state portion of the EITC would hurt more than 227,000 working Kansans, Wagnon said.

Brownback has said he planned to take funds saved from junking the EITC and plow them into programs to help the poor.

Hensley said this runs counter to Republican rhetoric “to reward work and not reward welfare.”

Comments

JHOK32 2 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who voted for this "Christian" idiot & who makes less than $250,000 per year, it's time to bend over!

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Stuart Sweeney 2 years, 3 months ago

Did anyone really think King Sam would have wanted it any other way!?!

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ProfessorSeamus 2 years, 3 months ago

Serious question I would like to see an answer to, because I am having trouble with something. The logic is we need to decrease the state income tax to increase job production. But wages are deductions from business tax returns. If I decide to hire someone for $25,000 a year, I reduce my taxable income by $25,000. It does not seem to me that the reduction of state income tax will be relevant because I am already not paying taxes on this money. How is the reduction of state income tax going to spur business to hire more workers?

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lawslady 2 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who can do simple math can figure out that a "flat tax" will always have a more negative impact upon someone who earns less money.

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Gregory Newman 2 years, 3 months ago

get em republicans hahahaha they will still blame President Obama. The repugs got the EB-5 Visa to finish you off with Chinese Nationals. You don't have a job because of G.H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton with that NAFTA/GATT. Get em repugs tax them buns they will still blame Obama.

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xm75 2 years, 3 months ago

Nice to see so many, that you wouldn't think would, start to indicate that taxes are stealing. Before it was all calls for higher taxes from them, but maybe they just meant higher taxes for someone else.

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Richard Payton 2 years, 3 months ago

Appears Brownback wants the poor to move to another state. It would be interesting to see a mass exodus in Kansas. That would put the burden back on the rich since they couldn't raise millions from the poor. Then if people making under 25K are ready to move away from Brownbackistan rich Sammy would have to dig from his own pocket.

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livinlife 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope the "people" who were stupid enough to elect this IDIOT for a governor have come the realization that he's a joke!!!

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Les Blevins 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think this governor has his head on straight! I sent him a letter saying I have a plan I can offer that will create jobs and spur the economic recovery in Kansas but he failed to or refused to answer my letter. I wanted to offer to partner with Kansas to commercialize a new and advanced alternative energy technology. A factory that manufactures the most advanced biomass and waste conversion furnaces, gasifiers and pyrolysis reactors, with unlimited clean heating and fuels production, can create hundreds of jobs and serve as collateral on an SBA backed loan. It would help Kansas help resolve the global clean energy problem. This novel, unique, new concept technology will eventually double both wind and solar output. Contact LBlevins@aaecorp.com for a copy of my letter and more info!

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bootlegger 2 years, 3 months ago

Beginning to look like a national revolution uprising............coming soon..............

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lunacydetector 2 years, 3 months ago

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy - a group funded by George Soros! perhaps the writer of the article should divulge this kind of information.

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Satirical 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't like this bill for several reasons, but are people getting up in arms because those making less then $25k a year have to pay taxes? Seriously? $156 per year is .6% of $25k. Just because the poor must actually start paying taxes doesn't mean we still don't have a highly progressive tax system.

I would wager that if the tax rate for those over $250k was 75% of their income, and Brownback wanted to lower it to 74%, and raise taxes on those making less than $25k to $1 per year, you will still hear the same grumbling by many of the same people.

Is this really about fairness?

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

"The rich will actually be more impacted by elimination of tax credits and deductions..." Ummm just what "tax credits and deductions" are being eliminated for the top 20%? Oh yeah, that's right. None.

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straightforward 2 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone actually believe that a "non-partisan" group that"advocates for progressive taxes" is really non-partisan? Everyone knows liberals favor progressive tax rates because it means one of their main constituencies pays almost nothing taxes.

Look folks - Thea rich will always pay much much more. This just shifts the balance to ensure everyone contributes a more fair share. The rich will actually be more impacted by elimination of tax credits and deductions so this is hardly "giving to the rich". They generally have larger homes, thus larger mortgages and larger mortgage interest deductions. Many will also lose the charitable contribution deduction, which many used (at least partially) to reduce their tax liability. I'd love to see a study on what percentages of different income level groups are taking the standard deduction versus itemizing?

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mloburgio 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownbacks tax cuts = Class Warfare To compensate for these reductions in income taxes, the Governor’s plan eliminates itemized deductions (including home mortgage interest and charitable contributions). It eliminates incentives for 529 education savings programs and long-term care insurance premiums. It eliminates the refund for sales tax on food for low-income Kansans. I also understand it eliminates part of the Homestead property tax refund.

The plan also eliminates tax credits for: * Adoption * Alternative fuel tax * Assistive technology contribution * Child and dependent care * Child day care assistance * Community service contribution * Disabled access * Earned income (EITC) * Environmental compliance * Historic preservation * Individual development account * National Guard employer health insurance * Small employer health benefit plan * Temporary assistance to families contribution * and more.

It appears that this plan moves the tax burden from the richest Kansans to the middle class and poorest Kansans. For example, sales tax is the most regressive tax we have. Making the 1% sales tax increase permanent not only reneges on our promise to remove the sales tax increase, it puts a disproportionate burden on low-income families. Removing the refund for sales tax on food and the Earned Income Tax Credit is a double whammy for the poorest working Kansans. In fact, President Ronald Reagan once said the Earned Income Tax Credit was “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”

Eliminating the deduction for home mortgage discourages home purchases for the middle class. Cutting the upper marginal income tax rate benefits the richest Kansans the most. Low-income Kansans can buy a Big Mac with their income tax cut while the folks at the top can buy a yacht with theirs. Not only that, when the income tax is eliminated altogether, there will only be sales and property taxes left to pay the bills.

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mloburgio 2 years, 3 months ago

Ks teaparty House member secretly tapes Moderate Gop Senator http://CJOnline.com: http://bit.ly/x3gsO6 #teapartycannibalism

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mloburgio 2 years, 3 months ago

Ks teaparty House member secretly tapes Moderate Gop Senator http://CJOnline.com: http://bit.ly/x3gsO6 #teapartycannibalism

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

A bit of irony here for Sam's minions to contemplate: TABOR failed in Colorado and is an even worse idea for Kansas. This is driving some of Muscular Sam's long-term agenda:

DENVER -- Douglas Bruce, the infamous anti-tax crusader and author of Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, was found guilty of tax evasion Wednesday for failing to pay income tax from 2005 through 2007. Throughout his trial, prosecutors argued that Bruce evaded his tax responsibilities by funneling his income through a non-profit that he created in 2001 called Active Citizens Together, and failing to report that income to the Department of Revenue. Bruce, who represented himself at trial, faces up to 6 years in prison -- taxpayers, ironically, will foot the bill -- and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced on Feb. 13, 2012. http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-doug-bruce-tabor-author-convicted-of-tax-evasion-20111221,0,6898457.story

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pavlovs_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

WOOF! Yes Master! Your doggie #heblosalottajobs hears your voice!

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Dave Trabert 2 years, 3 months ago

It's wrong to provide tax relief to some and raise taxes on others. It's also wrong to raise taxes on some and not raise taxes on others. Tax policy should be applied uniformly.

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parrothead8 2 years, 3 months ago

A riot is the language of the unheard, and Brownback ain't listening.

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tange 2 years, 3 months ago

Ya know, whenever I've gotten an earful of characterization of the poor by those who are not poor, it always brings home just how limited some individuals' spheres of consciousness are... so constraining, if fact, that they should come with a warning label: This sphere is not a toy.

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uglyrumor 2 years, 3 months ago

republican politics as usual: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

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tukee 2 years, 3 months ago

Wouldn't it be a good idea to dis-incentive being unproductive,i.e. poor? The government has considerable experience in incentivizing what it considers to be good behavior. Isn't being a productive citizen good behavior? May the politicians within government simply do not want to stigmatize their important unproductive constituency.

The productive should pay less than the unproductive as they clearly are better custodians of capital than are the drags on our great capitalism-based society. If only they'd realize working for a living and using your head won't kill you....

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 3 months ago

The mere fact this would even be placed on the table shows what Brownback is all about. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. 2014 won't come quickly enough. Brownback is a heartless bastard. There is no other explanation.

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Tony Kisner 2 years, 3 months ago

Seems pretty clear to me that I need to make over $250,000 per year. It's a lot easier when they spell it out for you like this.

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

"Brownback has said he planned to take funds saved from junking the EITC and plow them into programs to help the poor."

Gov Brownback, I would like more particulars on that. Exactly how would you do that?

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niles 2 years, 3 months ago

This is actually proven to be the best productivity strategy for a free market economy. If we can dis-incentive-ize laziness then people would be more productive. The socialist christians have long preached otherwise under the facade that by giving to the church you provide to the poor, but only after the molester priests skim off a large percentage of the tides.

Good job Brownback, maybe they'll finally get to work.

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abcd123 2 years, 3 months ago

This article highlights two things to me: first, that this is exactly why people should vote! Look at the extent to which low-income Kansans outnumber wealthy Kansans, and just think of the political clout they would have if they could be counted on to vote. And second, how poorly Kansas has done under Republican leadership, past and present. I mean--look at the extent to which low-income Kansans outnumber wealthy Kansans! Nearly 20% of Kansas taxpayers make less than $25,000 a year. That's not because people are lazy. It's because jobs that pay decent wages are not easy to come by.

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deathpenaltyliberal 2 years, 3 months ago

"jimincountry (anonymous) says… addendum: or democrats or liberals."

Says someone sitting on the couch in his mom's basement.

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tange 2 years, 3 months ago

It's hard to respect a Gpvernpr who wears his tights backwards.

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skinny 2 years, 3 months ago

You know I see people that I know who have come here to the United States with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They came here, learned to speak English, an education, then a job making hundred thousand or more a year. Then I see people that have been here all their lives, don’t work, and just complain about everything or how bad they have it. I just shake my head and think they could have anything they want if they just applied themselves. Everyone needs to pay taxes. Just because you're too lazy to get an education and a job is no excuse not pay taxes. So pay up everybody!!!!

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Haiku_Cuckoo 2 years, 3 months ago

What percentage of people in the low income category currently pay zero federal income tax? Maybe the money they're saving there can be used for Brownie's Reverse Robin Hood Fund.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, it's not "Robin Hood in reverse". Brownback is another King John; with all of the same arrogance and hubris and with the same idea that he rules by "divine right".

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its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

Funny, no progressive leftist has ever called Obama a Robin Hood in fast forward.

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jimincountry 2 years, 3 months ago

addendum: or democrats or liberals.

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jimincountry 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty sure Brownback does not intend to tax the poor citizens of Kansas because he hates poor people. Maybe the Governor just sees the benefit of every person who earns money needs to share some of the cost of governing. Only ignorant people or idiots or criminals think they are enitled to get something for nothing.

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fearthetaliban 2 years, 3 months ago

Life's not too hard when one has that Stauffer heritage.

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toe 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like a good incentive to get out of poverty.

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08Champs 2 years, 3 months ago

Someone explain to me what the reasoning is for this:

"... they no longer would pay individual income taxes on the earnings from their partnerships and sole proprietorships."

So anyone that is self-employed becomes exempt from income taxes??? Why??? Many already have enough deductions to show a loss on their income taxes with the current tax code. Who's going to pay for the roads? Schools? Oh, right. People who get a W2.

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malehrman 2 years, 3 months ago

Here is a story from Steve Jobs about turning in Coke bottles for the nickel deposit to buy food and walking seven miles to a Hindu temple for his one good meal each week, then starting a company in a garage.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

Here is a description of Sam Walton's youth:

Maybe "job creators" do come from all tax brackets?

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madcow 2 years, 3 months ago

This story is lacking.

Yes the tax changes are evil and stupid, but just telling the changes for those at the bottom and top of the pay scales is not helpful for most.

What about those in the middle of the road. Just curious how much I will own Brownbackistan next year.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

All those praising the Brownback tax cuts best grab your wallets.

Ole Facist Sam Brownback is shadily arranging a tax hike for you. He is pushing 24/7 for local tax increases to support his ill conceived tax cut. This is not a new concept for the RINO dominated party members. IT's just most people think a cut means a tax cut without thinking of the repercussions.

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kawrivercrow 2 years, 3 months ago

Hogwash. This is merely scaling back on the backdoor welfare plan otherwise known as the Earned Income Tax Credit*, which is where low-income filers with deductions get more tax refund than they ever paid in to begin with. For those of us who actually do pay real income tax, this is the first grubby little mitt in the pot, taking our money right back out as it rolls in to the coffers.

Furthermore, the plan, not explained in this article, is that we will shift this money into the Medicaid coffers and THEN the feds will match it dollar for dollar. This way, we get twice as much for our buck, the poor still get their handout and rather than it be wasted on liquor, junk food and smart phones, it is applied directly to healthcare, etc.

*Per a recent NPR program on state politics.

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Gandalf 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's a scripture that has been pre-approved for use by teapubs. It really should apply to EviLsam!

Psalm 109:8

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ksjayhawk74 2 years, 3 months ago

Why isn't the EITC being ended in Kansas, even mentioned in the article? A person who was receiving the EITC would actually have a tax increase of $425.

From the article last week about this subject....

"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.”"

The rationale here is that there is no way for these poor people to prove they $382 a year on each one of their children, so lets not give them any more money so we don't have to worry about it.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately Gov. Brownback's plan is necessary because of the failed economic policies of the Obama administration. And, as America burns, President Dumbo goes back to see his friends at Disney World.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/os-obama-disney-visit-20120117,0,4346027.story

I wonder how many "poor" people can vacation at Disney during this Obama recession?

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

and I thought all men were created equal. Now the so called poor have to pay the same membership fee as others and that's not fair? Why don't the "poor" renounce their citizenship and pay what the tresspassers pay. Get all the benies without any "skin in the game".

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Shelley Bock 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm so proud of Governor Sam that he's out there on the front lines of Class Warfare. He'll next be announcing a "body count".

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Alceste 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, the "blogger" Moderate will certainly be quite joyous over the fact that now the poorest folks in the state shall, as he likes to opine, "....have some skin in the game.....". That'll teach 'em that their poverty is their fault and their responsibility because they don't know how to manipulate the tax code; didn't work hard enough in school or in life; and are, as was said in the film "The Rainmaker": "...stupid stupid stupid."

Meanwhile "blogger" Moderate clips coupons in that $400,000.00 valued house in Douglas County and cries in his collective beer that he's not wealthy. He's going to be paying less in state income taxes. shrug

"Blogger" Moderate's collective tax obligation shall decrease as well it should as he "earned it". Such is life in Kansas.......excellent.....in this best of all possible worlds.....

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fan4kufootball 2 years, 3 months ago

Most of what the article is calling a tax hike is in reality a reduction of the social progrom call Earned Income Credit (EIC). For those who do not know - EIC is getting a refund of taxes not paid by that taxpaer but taxes paid by another taxpayer.

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somedude20 2 years, 3 months ago

No doy! If you have to tell people what you are, chances are you are not! Christian, ha! Don't think so bud

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chootspa 2 years, 3 months ago

Taxing the poor is the new "fair tax" according to the conservo extremists.

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Orwell 2 years, 3 months ago

Of course we have to tax the poor more heavily. How else can our elected officials benefit the big donors to their campaigns?

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Bob Forer 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownback is a christian in name only. Taking from the poor, who are struggling to feed their families, and giving to the rich, who already have much more than they need. The guy is a utterly despicable person, and his proposed tax plan reveals all we need to know about the guy. Those Kansas who continue to support Brownback are absolute pigs.

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