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Letters to the Editor

Unfair tax plan

January 21, 2012

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To the editor:

Gov. Brownback’s proposed tax plan will hurt middle- and lower-income Kansans while rewarding those in the top 20 percent income bracket. Kansans making a million dollars per year would have a tax cut of over $16,000 annually while a working single mother with one child earning $9.60 per hour ($20,000 per year) would have an annual state tax increase of $442.

The Institute on Tax and Economic Policy has shown that, for most Kansans, the proposed tax break from cuts would be offset by the loss of income tax credits and itemized deductions and a higher sales tax rate. Furthermore, the proposed plan ignores the need for increased investment in education, transportation, public safety and other areas crucial to making the state attractive for families and businesses.

Research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows those few states without income taxes have high property and sales taxes or other sources of income. Texas has oil and shipping. Florida captures foreign tourist dollars with its sales tax, Wyoming has coal, and Washington state has Microsoft and Boeing.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

There is no evidence that candidates from the business community make the best politicians. They are much too eager to give our tax dollars away to the corporate community without solid foundation as to why. Speculation is not a solid foundation.

There is no solid evidence that tax cuts produce tons of jobs. If tax cuts/tax incentives produced tons of jobs the USA and Kansas would be standing in the sea of job surplus. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

If business people make the best candidates why did the USA and Lawrence become a “boom town economy? Boom town economies always crash this is not new economics. There are way too many “free lunch programs” . http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

More republican thinkers anywhere in government is a recipe for economic disaster. Remember Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney home loan frauds plus Sam Brownback was nearby.

Millions of jobs were lost during the home loan scandal and during the global economy push under Reagan-Bush. Yes republicans gave outsourcing a wide open door as they began waving good bye to the best paying USA jobs.

Then Bush/Quale came along.

Then free trade and Clinton’s NAFTA came along.

Bush/Cheney lost 2 million in their first admin and 9 million during the second admin when the SECOND home/loan scandal surfaced.

The USA is down about 20 million jobs. No new industry has been been developed to bring those jobs and their pay scales back = loss of national wealth. No country,state or city can afford companies that send jobs abroad. It’s called Wreckanomics.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 11 months ago

"There is no evidence that candidates from the business community make the best politicians."

In fact, business people are usually not slick politicians, which is precisely why we should elect more of them to public office.

kochmoney 2 years, 11 months ago

I had a dream I went to post on this board and all I saw was blathering from new avatars you'd kept creating every time an old one got banned, and wait... that wasn't a dream, was it?

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

The Reagan/Bush and Bush people have been very busy screwing up the nations economy at every opportunity for the past 31 years.

Therefore "Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney" over and over and over" is an appropriate title.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

Since the current regime took office, the percentage of Americans with jobs declined to the lowest point since detailed records have been kept. The number of Americans on Food Stamps has never been higher than it is today. We need to make sure the failed policies of the Mope come to a sudden end in January 2013.

Ragingbear 2 years, 11 months ago

You know, with the "Fox News" avatar and finishing out with a quote calling Obama by his full name, you only serve to be part of the propaganda machine. Next thing you know you will be demanding his birth certificate and claiming that SOPA is good for the populace.

If you are going to just be an Obama masher, at least add some subtleness to it.

ScottyMac 2 years, 11 months ago

More false baloney.

FactCheck.Org: Food Stamp Program "Has So Far Grown By 444,574 Fewer Recipients During Obama's Time In Office Than During Bush's." In a "fact check" of what it called "Newt's Faulty Food-Stamp Claim," FactCheck.org stated that "Gingrich strains the facts when he accuses Obama of being responsible," writing: "Newt Gingrich claims that 'more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.' He's wrong. More were added under Bush than under Obama, according to the most recent figures." http://mediamatters.org/research/201201190015

ScottyMac 2 years, 10 months ago

Facts, it turns out, are also a liberal operation.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

I think the 1% need to start creating those jobs which they are suppose to be famous for. The last 3 decades have been nothing but trying to work with skeleton crews or shipping the jobs overseas where wage slaves are the norm. All so they can increase profits. Not make a nice living kind of profit, but increase profits by more than the rate of inflation. The new model of a successful business is no longer that it makes a nice profit, provides a living for several families and has a quality reputation. It is now, double digit profit growth, cut as much from employees as possible, ship whatever, the customer will still buy it, who cares as long as I get my big bonus.
Since the '80's there have been lots of tax cuts and regulations were not inforced. Supposedly a neoconservatives dream. But then we reached the tipping point, especially when businesses tried to downsize their workforce. The buying public had less money to spend on the poor quality stuff. They still bought crap, but they did it on credit. Stupid reality shows made people think they should live like the 1%, so home builders started building houses beyond what was reasonable. Car manufacturers convinced people it was better to not interact with their children, so they made huge vehicles and put TV's in them. Yes, the people were stupid to buy into this stuff, but many of them are starting to wake up and realize they've been duped. Of course, the others have just joined the Tea Party.

Kirk Larson 2 years, 11 months ago

Of course there are more people on food stamps now than ever. Two reasons: 1) there was no food stamp program during the Great Depression and 2) there were more people added to the program during the Bush/Cheney years than in any other presidency!

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/01/newts-faulty-food-stamp-claim/

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 11 months ago

What is more unfair is that only half the people actually pay taxes. It would be more fair if everyone paid income taxes. Lets add to this, pay for their own transportation, medical, dental, books and the list goes on.

How come everyone with their hand out screams the loudest when it is time to pay taxes. Seems these people are the ones wanting to soak those who actually already pay taxes. I would be ashamed to be a leech on society.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 11 months ago

Pull your head out. The playing field is level. Investments are purchased with after tax dollars, thus the 15% is an additional tax on money that has already been taxed at Romney's tax bracket at the time the income was earned.

You see, you that have nothing there is a real good reason why. Might it be that you know nothing?

Get your facts straight. Let me help you with another. Unemployment is not part of your wages. It is paid by your employer into a fund in addition to your wages.

And liberals think they are educated. Jez.... now quit trolling me or I will file a complaint

ScottyMac 2 years, 11 months ago

Cant_have_it_both_ways (anonymous) says… "only half the people actually pay taxes."

Which, of course, is baloney. Nearly everyone pays taxes: payroll taxes, property taxes, utility taxes, gasoline taxes, etc. And, when figured as a total percentage of income, the poorest of the poor often pay a higher percentage of their income to the government than do the richest of the rich. But you prefer to believe false nonsense, pretending to hold the moral high ground.

voevoda 2 years, 11 months ago

Almost everybody pays taxes. They pay sales tax. They pay property tax, either directly or as part of their rent. They pay gasoline taxes, either at the pump or as part of bus fare. But some people make too little money to be required to pay income tax. Why, Cant_have_it_both_ways, would you resent someone too poor to pay income tax? Why would you resent someone too poor to pay for their own necessary medical care or to pay for insurance? If you want someone to resent, try the people who make plenty of money but find all sorts of ways to avoid paying taxes. Or people who can afford health insurance, but would rather stick the public with the cost of their medical care in the case of catastrophic illness. Or the wealthy people who get legislators to vote them a reduction in taxes while increasing the burden on the middle class and working poor.

lunacydetector 2 years, 11 months ago

will the partisan league of women voters be working the poll come election day again?.....will my vote count if i vote conservative?

lunacydetector 2 years, 11 months ago

the league wasn't posted at polling places, they were actually checking people's names and handing out ballots.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 11 months ago

All those other states have something special to help boost them, but remember we have our own special ingredient to boost our state: Brownback and a Republican legislature. Just make sure you collect enough sales tax from selling your pencils on the corner or the state will be after you.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Many things are taxed twice - any income that is spent after taxes is taxed again, both as income to others, and as sales. If I buy a gold coin, and make a profit on it, I can pay up to 28% on that transaction, as well as paying sales tax on it when I purchase it.

Also, not all investments are made with after-tax dollars.

There's really no good reason for capital gains to be taxed at a lower rate than other income, or other investments like coins.

It does clearly favor those who have a lot of investments, which is clearly those that have a lot of disposable income.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

Just because many things are taxed twice doesn't mean it is right.

A reason to tax capital gains at a lower rate is to encourage investors to take a risk, see a return on their investment and give people an opportunity to increase their wealth without the government taking a large chunk of your profit if you're lucky enough to make a profit.

Also, it helps people keep more of their retirement when it is invested in stocks that yield capital gains.

I just don't see a problem with it favorijng tose that have a lot of investments. Good for them. Their wealth and good fortune is what we should all strive for. Making them less wealthy doesn't make me more wealthy.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

So, then you think we should eliminate sales taxes, and stop money spent at businesses from being taxed as income to those businesses, since it's already been taxed as income to me?

I said no "good" reason - encouraging people to invest isn't a "good" reason to me.

I don't think that tax policy should be structured so as to reward those with lots of money.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

Why try and put words and ideas into my mouth. I said nothing about sales tax and income earned from operating a business. You seem to try to defend your positions by trying to tie someone's argument to something else that is much more heinous or absurd.

If I were to respond as you did, I'd say something like okay so we should tax everyone 90% of what they earn - is that what you believe? But I won't do that because it is a stupid response.

We're each entitled to our opinions and I think the reasons I outlined are good reasons. Allowing people to keep more of their retirement investments is a good reason for me.

Tax policy shouldn't be structured to favor one group, but regardless but the lower rate for capital gains favors anyone that has investments. Not everyone who pays capital gains tax is rich. Changing the tax rate affects not only the rich, but the small investor or person investing for their retirement.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

"Just because many things are taxed twice doesn't make it right"

Sales taxes and business income taxes are both examples of things being taxed twice - I spend my after-tax income at a business, where it is taxed as both sales and income to that business.

If you believe that taxing things twice isn't right, then why would you support those taxes?

You're entitled to your opinion, of course - I merely state mine. In my view, tax policy shouldn't be used to encourage/discourage behavior, but simply to collect tax revenue as needed.

The guy who works for a living isn't contributing any less to society than the guy who makes a living off of investments (maybe more, since investments are "unearned" income), the single person isn't any less valuable than a married one, a homeowner isn't more valuable than a renter, etc.

Tax rates affect those with large incomes from investments much more than those with small ones, as far as I can tell.

And, what of those without any investments at all? Many people don't make enough money to invest any at the bottom end of the income scale.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

It is not black and white....some double taxing is acceptable and some is onerous. Money that was earned and taxed and then spent at a business and taxed again isn't a problem for me. Taxing inheritances is a problem for me. So it depends on the tax and the situation.

How can you generalize and say that a guy who works for a living is contributing as much or more than a guy who makes a living off investments?

I do get your point. I just don't agree with it 100 percent.

I could live in a world where taxes where not used to encourage or discourage behavior. Get rid of all the sin taxes. Get rid of the recent payroll tax reduction because it was done to stimulate the economy. Yes, I agree get rid of all taxes that are used to manimpulate behavior.

See we finally found common ground.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

What's your criteria for determining which is ok, and which isn't ok?

Because, in my view, all of these types of judgements are subjective, and one can argue many different ways about who's contributing more or less - I come down that all of us contribute in different ways, and that there's not a good objective way to say one person contributes more than another.

Does a guy running a hedge fund contribute more to society than a teacher?

Whew - it's nice to finally agree on something :-)

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

"I just don't see a problem with it favoring those that have a lot of investments"

"Tax policy shouldn't be structured to favor one group"

Seems to me there's a little conflict between those two statements.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

See your point. I was thinking in terms of a group being defined by wealth. The Brownback proposal favors the rich over the poor and that is wrong.

Now, if we create a fair system and some take advantage of it and it ends up favoring them because they use it more then I really don't have a problem with it.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

If we created a truly "fair" system, then it wouldn't be possible for some to take advantage of it, would it?

The problem, of course, is that defining "fair" in this context is virtually impossible - the real reason that governments levy taxes is because they need the revenue.

Why is it ok to tax my purchases as sales and income to the business, when the money being spent has already been taxed as income to me?

Fred Mertz 2 years, 11 months ago

If you never taxed money that was previously taxed then you'd find very few dollars that could be taxed.

Taking advantage of something is not necessary a bad thing.

Some people will take advantage of the new library. Others won't but all will pay taxes. Is that fair? Sure it is.

Some take advantage of the state programs for saving for college. Others don't and won't even go to college. Is that fair? It does encourage behavior so lets get rid of it right?

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Then why is it a problem to tax capital gains, even though it's been previously taxed? I thought you were against double taxation.

I actually am pretty serious about the idea that tax policy shouldn't be used to encourage/discourage behavior.

As far as I'm concerned, taxes should be very simple, all forms of income should be taxed equally, and what people do with their lives is their business.

I guess it's just semantic, if you mean "take advantage" of the way I would use the word "use" - a library that any can use but only some choose to use is a truly "public" library.

If we taxed capital gains at the same rate as other income, and only some of us had capital gains, and thus paid those taxes, I think that would be fair enough for me.

JohnBrown 2 years, 11 months ago

SNAP: "Since the current regime took office, the percentage of Americans with jobs declined to the lowest point since detailed records have been kept. "

Gee, I wonder if the previous president had anything to do with that. But wait!!! With the tax rate for the so-called 'job creators' being so low FOR TEN YEARS, why didn't the economy take off when those taxes were lowered? (Answer: because it doubled the national debt).

Gee SNAP, OF COURSE the economy's in the tank, because of the failed Republican policies of the previous 8 years.

And for MATH: ""Whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation." --Barack Hussein Obama"

Since you're so good at math, go check out the Census Bureau's data on the religious make-up of the country. O'Bama spoke the facts.

"As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam."--Barack Hussein Obama.

Here, I have to agree. There are no well known 'Islamic' philosophers, but there sure were a lot of Arab ones before Islam. We can thank the Arabs for 'algebra', for one.

""In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world."--Barack Hussein Obama"

Let's see, the Magna Carta, Gutenberg Bible, Tesla, Fermi, Einstein, Lafayette, Galileo, Darwin, William Penn, etc., etc., etc.

Oh, and by the way, math is more than just "just".

voevoda 2 years, 11 months ago

Of course there are well-known Islamic philosophers. Avicenna and Averroes had a major impact on the development of Western European thought in the Middle Ages.
Odd how Its_just_math manages to condemn Obama for supposedly being "pro-Islam" and implicitly anti-European/Christian, and also for being pro-European/Christian.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

And don't forget the Arabs saved a lot of ancient writings that would have been destroyed after the fall of Rome.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

You're plugging eugenics, grannie? How totally master race of you!

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

The first one-and-done President of the 21st Century sounds cold and aloof when he tries to sing.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

And now, a few words from those running dog lackies of the right-wing fat cats: "...USDA data released this week shows that the number of Americans receiving food aid from the Supplemental Nutrional Assistance Program (SNAP) hit another all-time high in August. 45.8 million people -- almost 15% of the country -- were enrolled in the program, which replaced Food Stamps in 2008. This is only a slight increase from July, when 45.3 million Americans were receiving SNAP help -- but a massive 31% jump since June 2009, when the National Bureau of Economic Research declared the most recent recession over.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/03/number-of-americans-on-snap_n_1074344.html They do a fair amount of spinning, but take a look at the chart.

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