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Archive for Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brownback administration seeks to contain political fallout on taxes

January 18, 2012

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— Gov. Sam Brownback's administration worked Wednesday to contain the potential political damage from the release of internal figures showing that his sweeping plan to overhaul individual income taxes would increase the collective tax burden for the state's poorest households.

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan told a state Senate committee that any increase in the total burden for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less would be wiped out by a larger commitment to social services in Brownback's budget proposals. Also, Jordan said the group of taxpayers in question — 41 percent of all individual income tax filers — includes affluent and middle-class teenagers with part-time jobs.

Brownback's plan cuts individual income tax rates and exempts 191,000 operators of partnerships, sole proprietorships and other small businesses from any income taxes on their business earnings. To offset the potential loss of revenue to the state, the plan would eliminate tax credits and deductions and keep the state's sales tax at 6.3 percent instead of dropping it to 5.7 percent in July 2013 as scheduled.

According to the Department of Revenue's own figures, the only class of taxpayers that would see an increase in its aggregate tax burden would be the one with people whose incomes are $25,000 or less, while the largest percentage cut would go to the group with incomes exceeding $250,000. As a group, the lowest-income taxpayers actually get a net payment from the state, so the tax change they face is calculated as an increase of more than 5,100 percent.

But Jordan told the budget-writing Senate Ways and Means Committee that plans to boost spending on temporary cash assistance and state health insurance coverage to needy families ultimately will provide more help to struggling Kansans than the one-time annual check many of them receive through a tax credit designed for poor, working families.

"It's inaccurate to say that this is hurting low-income people," Jordan said after the committee's meeting.

Some legislators already were wary of Brownback's plan because lawmakers promised the 6.3 percent rate would be temporary when they raised the sales tax in 2010 to help balance the budget. But the release of figures Tuesday about the average effects of Brownback's plan on broad groups of taxpayers led critics to call it "Robin Hood in reverse."

Brownback's fellow conservatives, who control the House, appeared to be sticking by his plan as a way to make the tax system simpler and stimulate economic growth. But Democrats stepped up their criticism, and moderate Republicans who control the Senate distanced themselves from the plan.

"It's a significant problem in the eyes of many legislators because it appears to be increasing taxes for the poor and decreasing taxes for the rich," said Sen. John Vratil, a moderate Leawood Republican.

Comments

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, keep the sales tax high, so you can lower taxes for the rich and businesses.

A higher sales tax unfairly burdens the poor and middle class because those groups spend a much higher percentage of their income on retail purchases, than affluent people.

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tolawdjk 2 years, 8 months ago

"I'll put the money back into social services. Trust me."

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

DIng ding ding!

I had the same exact thought.

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Phillbert 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback's Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan on new government programs, rather than tax credits for working: “We’re helping them. We think that it will be more helpful to them than getting a check.”

The Republican Party has told us over and over people know how to spend money better than government. They just never told us they thought that doesn't extend to poor people.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 8 months ago

It was implied, though, Phillbert. They've always operated under the assumption that if poor people knew anything and weren't lazy bums, they wouldn't be poor.

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Beth Ennis 2 years, 8 months ago

and isn't that exactly what the republican's say they don't want, social programs? I thought the repubs were all about getting rid of social services, so where is this coming from. I hope the republicans wearing blinders will start seeing what the current republicans are really doing. My eyes were opened after the first 4 years of GW. I'm appalled at how far the republican's have fallen into trying to please the extreme conservatives.

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Shane Garrett 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownbacker is a great public servant. sic. "It's a significant problem in the eyes of many legislators because it appears to be increasing taxes for the poor and decreasing taxes for the rich," said Sen. John Vratil. Well I guess seeing is believing.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan told a state Senate committee that any increase in the total burden for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less would be wiped out by a larger commitment to social services in Brownback's budget proposals. Also, Jordan said the group of taxpayers in question — 41 percent of all individual income tax filers — includes affluent and middle-class teenagers with part-time jobs.

What a crock. Larger commitment to social services??? Now that's a laugh.

And sure, there are some middle class and affluent kids out there that have a part-time job, but probably not enough to incur much, if any, state tax liability. And I am sure those kids make up but a small portion of the 41 percent mentioned.

The Brownback administration is either exceedingly arrogant, or stupid, or both. How many chances does Brownback get to drop a huge turd on the people of Kansas and then circle the wagons by spewing nonsense and empty excuses when the people take a whiff and immediately realize what's been thrown on them.

The guy is simply unfit to lead this State. enough is enough. Talk is cheap, people. its time to get organized and throw this clown and his cronies out of office before he destroys our wonderful state.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, I think he hasn't done anything that qualifies as grounds for recall.

Arrogance, stupidity, etc. aren't enough for that.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 8 months ago

Kansas can not recall the Governor. Unfortunately.

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Armored_One 2 years, 8 months ago

Wrong. There are provisions in the state Constitution that allows for the removal of a sitting governor.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Sure.

But he hasn't done anything that rises to that level yet.

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thebigspoon 2 years, 8 months ago

I support the ideal to which you speak: the guy needs to go. Unfortunately, we'd be playing right into his hands by making him hire an out of state firm to represent him, spending tons of Kansas taxpayers' dollars just to win the case. There is probably no firm basis on which to base recall, but there is certainly a moral justification for firing him.

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Graczyk 2 years, 8 months ago

So a Republican is trying to create a welfare state? How ironic.

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08Champs 2 years, 8 months ago

I've asked before - if anyone has an answer I'd love to hear it. WHY would it be fair to eliminate personal income tax for sole proprietorships or partnerships? Why shouldn't they pay income tax like a W2'd employee has to?

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DanR 2 years, 8 months ago

It wouldn't be fair. They (the self employed, including I) do pay the usual income taxes like W2'd employees do (PLUS another 10.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare) for "self employment" for 2011.

What's your question? Why wouldn't it be fair to eliminate it? Because employers are required to pay it for the non-self-employed as part of their compensation. It's right there on your W2. Move on.

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DanR 2 years, 8 months ago

Meh...sorry 08Champs. You're right, and the federal tax code also has it right. I re-read the article. It's a stupid plan by Brownback... I can't believe this is part of his overhaul. It's idiotic... Winning the race to the bottom.

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08Champs 2 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts too - stupid and Brownback seem to go together.

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deec 2 years, 8 months ago

Medicaid, food assistance, and TANF are means-tested. They are based on income and percentage of the Federal poverty line. Unless they raise the percentage of the Federal poverty line and open up eligibility to more people, they will not provide more help. What they can, and undoubtedly will, do is raise the amount of money they pay to out of state insurance companies to manage Medicaid and the other programs, thus increasing profit to the corporations.. Income Eligibility for medical assistance as of August, 2010 http://www.kdheks.gov/hcf/healthwave/download/Medical_Coverage_for_children8_2010.pdf

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

"It's inaccurate to say that this is hurting low-income people," Jordan said after the committee's meeting.

It either hurts them, helps them, or is content neutral. So Jordan is of the opinion that by increasing the taxes of less fortunate Kansans by as much as 5,100 per cent, they are not being hurt. That means that increasing their taxes is either content neutral, or is actually helping them????? Yeah, and monkeys will fly out of my butt if I bend over.

I might have a little tiny teeny bit of respect for Brownback and his ilk if they were intellectually honest and simply admitted and acknowledged their philosophy and beliefs--that the wealthy pay too much in tax and the poor not enough, and that their plan simply reflects that philosophy.

But instead, they come up with the most outrageously ridiculous and absurd rationalizations, lies, and excuses, and think we are too dense and stupid to immediately recognize utter BS for what it is.

Haven't we had enough of Brownback? His continued lies are annoying and exceedingly insulting to our collective intelligence. But if we continue to sit on our hands and do nothing, pretty soon a lot of real live people, including family, friends and neighbors, are going to be hurting a lot worse financially than they currently are.

So what are we going to do, people? Tell a hungry kid to "f____ off" and deal with it, or stand up as good and decent Kansans, and do the right thing?

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

And, that's why I can't vote Republican.

Despite the fact that Democrats have plenty of flaws.

I don't want to create a society in which hungry children are told to "deal with it", rather than helped.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Did I tell you how to vote?

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gudpoynt 2 years, 8 months ago

exactly. You "choose" to be an a hole.

Nearly everybody else with more than half a heart and/or brain "chooses" to call you out on it.

And you "choose" to ignore the peristent pleas for you to stop being a complete a hole.

So goes freedom. Peace be with you, a hole.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

even with the expletive deleted, your take on the matter remains exceedingly vulgar.

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ThePilgrim 2 years, 8 months ago

"if they were intellectually honest and simply admitted and acknowledged their philosophy and beliefs--that the wealthy pay too much in tax and the poor not enough, and that their plan simply reflects that philosophy. "

I agree!!

But, of course, Brownback and crew believe that this philosophy is "common sense". And they don't like running a government under the eye of scrutiny. And this is what makes them as dangerous as the "left wing socialists" that they rail against - they truly believe that they know better than we do - on morals, on gov't, on everything.

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peartree 2 years, 8 months ago

"... teenagers with part-time jobs" would include already broke-as-heck college students. I have more than a few friends who survived on their own in college. It's rough. Those kids won't be getting any of those "temporary social services."

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lgreen17 2 years, 8 months ago

"Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan told a state Senate committee that any increase in the total burden for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less would be wiped out by a larger commitment to social services in Brownback's budget proposals. Also, Jordan said the group of taxpayers in question — 41 percent of all individual income tax filers — includes affluent and middle-class teenagers with part-time jobs"

I don't know anyone making $20K that qualifies for social services. Yeah, let's tax teenagers (and the poor) and let the people making over $250K keep five grand of their taxes. What world does this make sense in?

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

Laura, it makes sense in a world where people quit caring about each other, do nothing, and let those with money and power take from us, our family, our neighbors, and friends, whatever their greedy hearts desire.

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SilenceDogood 2 years, 8 months ago

Love him or hate him, you have to give Brownback some credit. He campaigned on a platform of eliminating government services; reducing taxes for the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle-class; reducing funding for social services and education; and fighting universal healthcare for everyone. And, unlike most politicians he has done EXACTLY what he said he would. As Kansans we got what we... uhm... the Koch brothers paid for.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, he campaigned on a promise to "protect" both education and social services, a promise he almost immediately broke once elected.

And, a number of people who voted for him say they wouldn't do so again - they must feel that they were misled somehow, although I don't understand it.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback has no business being Governor of Kansas. He's been a disaster from day one. Look at the damage he has attempted to cause in one year and look at his absolute arrogance in ealing with his massive list of growing failures. Brownback needs to be recalled. At this point he is an ineffectual leader. Kansas basically has no Governor at this point.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

Give her a break. She forgot to take her ritalin. :)

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gudpoynt 2 years, 8 months ago

A man made entirely of feces once vomited a gallon of chewed up boogers onto a pile of rotting junk mail -- and it was still valued at 1,000 times more than all of Math's opinions combined.

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Come on.

Why bring the conversation down to that level?

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fearthetaliban 2 years, 8 months ago

1) Kansas Arts Commission eliminated 2) SE KS Republican comments "just shoot the Hispanic immigrants from airplanes like we do wild hogs" 3) O'Neal wants the President to die

How far have we fallen? How have we allowed such fear/hate to be tolerated?

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Bob Forer 2 years, 8 months ago

As leader of both Kansas and the Republican Party, Brownie had a obligation to voice his displeasure over those incidents. Instead, he chose to look the other way. The guy is utterly lacking in both leadership skills and principle.

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William Weissbeck 2 years, 8 months ago

Careful with the false comparisons. At most we hoped Bush would get a brain and Cheney a heart. You are in denial if you equate this to the level of hate that is being expressed toward the president and "the government." Do you remember the "black listing" of the Dixie Chicks and the outrage at Whoopie Goldberg for their comments? What about the worker that was fired for wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt to a Bush rally? Or the husband and wife pulled out of a Bush speech in Colorado by the Secret Service based on a anti war bumper sticker on their car in the parking lot? There is a world of difference between calling someone incompetent and someone anti-American or worse.

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question4u 2 years, 8 months ago

"Jordan said the group of taxpayers in question — 41 percent of all individual income tax filers — includes affluent and middle-class teenagers with part-time jobs."

Eliminating the earned income tax credit and food sales tax rebates WILL NOT affect "affluent and middle-class teenagers with part-time jobs." Those proposals are aimed directly at the poorest Kansans.

The attempt to justify injustice with deceit is doubly despicable, but this administration doesn't seem in the least bothered by the growing stench of its own rotten moral fiber.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback maybe is starting to realize that when he says, so let it be written, so let it be done... That he is not the king or God's messenger after-all.

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Stain 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback is one of the moneychangers in the temple, not a follower of Jesus.

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Kim Murphree 2 years, 8 months ago

That is exactly what I think, too. Nothing about Jesus Christ in anything he does...absolutely NOTHING

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tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

I guess he'll have to put it back into social services, since more low income people will need it now.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 8 months ago

What I find fascinating is the over 60% of voting Kansans elected him. Why were these voters so dumb?

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realisticvoter 2 years, 8 months ago

As usual. you seem to have problems dealing with reality and simple facts. Kansans are the laughing stock of rest of world. Ever wonder why your rants might contribute to this perception?

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chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Parkinson wasn't running, genius.

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friendlyjhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback back peddles again. He opens his mouth and damage control is necessary. The 60% of voters who elected him must be soooooooooooooooooo proud.

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Armored_One 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, at least now we see which end of hte spectrum you fall... facepalm

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

So, do I understand this correctly---I've worked, saved and invested and planned for my retirement by putting money where I would have to pay less income taxes when I retired. I have done this so I could take care of myself. Now Brownback wants me to pay more taxes and then will give me social services to make up for it? I thought he (and all you rightwing capitalists) wanted me to take care of myself---as I had planned to do.

And for you blathering, blithering idiots who constantly complain that liberals don't work and want others to support them---I say bite me.

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pace 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand how taking money from the poorest and returning it through social services will work. I think it would be better to take more money from the richest and the corporations and put that in social services, education and infrastructure. Tax cuts to the richest and corporations should be justified in a provable way. No one really believes in the trickle down theory anymore. Increasing sales tax and increasing other tax burdens on the poor seems to only benefit, to compensate for the rich not paying a fair share of the tax burden.

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TinmanKC 2 years, 8 months ago

"Nick Jordan told a state Senate committee that any increase in the total burden for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less would be wiped out by a larger commitment to social services in Brownback's budget proposals. "

Wait... I thought Brownback and the GOP alwaysa said "it's your money... YOU decide how to spend it. But Nick Jordan is saying the state will make up for it in more social services.... isn't that just the opposits of what they always say in elections?

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

That's the way I saw it.

Of course, we all know that the social services bit is a lie and just an excuse (damage control). Maybe he expects the "faith-based" organizations to fill in the gap for social services, but they will have less money since charitable donations will no longer be deductible.

I've written both my state senator and representative to tell them what I think of the plan.

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geoismeo 2 years, 8 months ago

I have never been so disgusted with a governor in my 58 years in Kansas. I will never vote Republican again.

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thebigspoon 2 years, 8 months ago

See, I think, though I well understand your point, that the situation in Kansas right now is a result of too many people voting party rather than issue, the man/woman instead of what's right. If, indeed, you never vote Republican again, let it be because you find the candidate lacking rather than the party.

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

". . . the federal income tax responsibility on Kansans will be substantial if the governor's plan is accepted. Currently, Kansas taxpayers can itemize on their federal return and state income taxes can be written off. With the reduction in state income taxes, Kansans will have less they can write off on their federal return which will then result in a total increase of $76 million being paid on federal income tax returns by Kansans."

from Kansans United in Voice & Spirit

Anybody know if this is correct?

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

I've done more research, and, yes, it does work that way.

Which begs the question: Did Brownback and his advisor(s) realize this or did it just fly right by them?

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ignatius_j_reilly 2 years, 8 months ago

"Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan told a state Senate committee that any increase in the total burden for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less would be wiped out by a larger commitment to social services in Brownback's budget proposals."

Brownback trying to create welfare dependents, the exact people Republicans vilify on a regular basis. Pathetic.

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dabbindan 2 years, 8 months ago

what do low income people need more of to "lift themselves out of poverty"?

social services? i don't think so. what's needed most is INCOME!

the brownback administration is pathetic.

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mloburgio 2 years, 8 months ago

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."

Sam Brownback's own administration acknowledges that under his tax plan, those who make $25K or less will experience a 5102% tax INCREASE, while those making $250K or more will enjoy an 18.5% tax cut. Does that sound fair to you?

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jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

And yet, he's uniformly praised by conservatives.

Why wouldn't they listen to his view of this?

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pavlovs_dog 2 years, 8 months ago

If the recall laws in Kansas were the same as in Wisconsin, Brownie could be packing his bags for a permanent move to Florida right now.

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chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Pity they changed them just before he got into office, so "incompetence" is no longer a reason to remove him. As if they knew this was coming.

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btsflk 2 years, 8 months ago

If hundreds of thousands of people can quickly unite and cause the status quo to reconsider SOPA, why cannot something similar happen in this instance?

However, I'm afraid the attitude may be different in W.Ks, in part because their media coverage is - shall we say - different there.

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

Anybody who reads a newspaper can see what enacting Brownback's new tax policies would mean.

Write your state legislators and let them know how you feel. Google is back up today, so you can find their websites or email addresses online. Flood them and the governor with messages. We have to let them know that Koch's money will not save them in the next election.

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littlexav 2 years, 8 months ago

I think people with adjusted gross incomes of less than $25-30k should get sales tax exemption cards for grocery stores and gas stations.

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verity 2 years, 8 months ago

If you don't know who your state legislators are:

http://www.kansas.gov/government/elec...

Click on "Kansas Legislators" then "Find Your Legislator (by map)" on the upper left. The "FInd Your Legislator" button lower down will only help you if you know who they are.

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somedude20 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback stinks worse than the new Van Halen song "Tattoo"

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Linda Endicott 2 years, 8 months ago

Brownback seeks to contain political fallout from his plan???

Roflmao...too late...kind of like trying to close the barn door after the horse is already gone...

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Orwell 2 years, 8 months ago

Or, in this case, lying dead in the barn.

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dwarren9 2 years, 8 months ago

Middle class and affluent teenagers who have to pay higher income taxes under Brownie's plan will have less money to spend on their education, while the state (again,under Brownie's budget) spends less. Now that's a whip-saw, if I have ever seen one.

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Steve Hicks 2 years, 8 months ago

There are two other stories on the "state news" LJW page:

a video of the Governor's 13 December press-briefing in Lawrence, where he said his plans for the 2012 budget were to "grow the economy;"

and yesterday's story that the Governor's $75,000 economic-consultant was part of a big-dollar Ponzi scheme.

These three stories give a good summary of all Republican economic policy: increase taxes on the poor, "grow the economy" by making the wealthy richer, and get a crook to figure out how to do it.

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somedude20 2 years, 8 months ago

If Brownback was less of an idiot (and funny) he could be Gov. William J. Le Petomane and this Laffer cat seems sneaky like Hedley Lamarr. Kobach would be Taggert (trying to pull the old number 6 on us) All of the morons that voted for these slimballs are the slaves left to die in the quicksand but the (smart) ones who did not, well, we are The Waco Kid.

Your time is going to come........

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somedude20 2 years, 8 months ago

I like it! "Give the governor a harrumph"

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JHOK32 2 years, 8 months ago

What we are seeing is the true ugly face of the Republican Party......I have never understood why anyone ever falls for this crap..........they go to church on Sunday & then they screw thy neighbor on Monday. "Oh look at me I'm a "Christian" & then he takes food out of the mouths of the poor. He takes the wheelchair away from the crippled, & medicine away from children. All so the millionaires can have another vacation home.The word is Hypocrite. Plain & simple. W. Bush screwed this country up so bad it's going to take 10 years to dig ourselves out while the Republicans say it's all Obama's fault! What planet do these people live on? Do they not get newspapers or TV service where they live? Bush also went to church on Sunday & then he murdered 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians all because he had "a source in Africa" who told him Saddam had "Weapons of Mass Destruction." These people lie!

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