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Letters to the Editor

Tax plan logic?

January 24, 2012

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To the editor:

In The Associated Press article on the governor’s tax plan, Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan is quoted as telling “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.”

I fail to understand how this makes government smaller, is more efficient or keeps the government from messing with our private lives. Rather than take money away from people so that you can “give” them more social services that they might not need if they had the money, why not just let them keep the money in the first place.

Instead of the governor’s plan, I would suggest reducing taxes on those with lower incomes. This can be accomplished by dropping the sales tax on food as they do in the state of Washington. You can then increase the sales tax on other items to make up the difference. Simplify income tax by not taxing the first $20,000 and having a flat tax rate on the amount above that. No deductions or loopholes.

Comments

mloburgio 2 years, 8 months ago

5,102 percent increase on taxes of people with incomes of $25,000 or less. sounds fair if your a POK [party of koch] member.

Under figures provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue, the group of Kansans with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less currently receive a total tax refund of $1.7 million. Under Brownback’s plan, they would have to pay $86.5 million in taxes, which has been calculated as a 5,102 percent increase. All other income groups would see a tax cut with the largest percentage cut being 18.5 percent for people making $250,000 or more per year.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

I find a need to concur with a New York Times tax dollar journalist named David Cay Johnston who arrived at the conclusion that most government officials understand very little about taxes.

Not only that does anyone believe this:

“ 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.”

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Kendall Simmons 2 years, 8 months ago

I read that Nick Jordan comment multiple times, going "huh???" How is the financial burden a taxpayer faces wiped out by taking money away from them...and then giving it to someone else???

One could argue that Jordan's thinking, illogical as it is, goes something like "well, we take $500 from each low income taxpayer but then they can get it back by going to ECKAN and getting $500 to pay their overdue gas bill". (You know, the gas bill that wouldn't be overdue had they had the $500 in the first place. The overdue gas bill that includes overdue fees and interest...obviously a much better way of handling tax dollars because those fees put more money in the hands of the gas company, which certainly knows how to handle money better than poor people.)

Except one can't argue that...because we're now learned that this money taken from poor WORKING people will go into the State's Medicaid program. Except that those WORKING taxpayers won't get any of their money back from Medicaid. Rather, it would go to getting people with disabilities off the waiting list for in-home care (as opposed to the far more expensive nursing home care Medicaid currently pays for).

So...no. The burden will NOT be wiped out. Poor people will simply pay for Kansas to save money on other poor people...while the rest of us - well, kinda hard to say how many of the rest of us will fare when we trade our itemized deductions for an extra $4,500 standard deduction.

(And, as an aside, why on earth do folks like Brownback and Jordan still persist in believing that businesses hire new employees because their corporate taxes are lowered????? How on earth many business owners have to tell them it makes zero difference before they listen? The more people with money to spend...the more money they spend...and more consumer demand leads to businesses needing ADDITIONAL workers. It's not a hard concept. And makes far more practical sense than the imaginary world of the "Laugher" Curve. Too bad politicians don't ask business owners about how and why they price things, either.)

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Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 8 months ago

Remember, this "plan" was the brain-trust of Laffer and Brownie Inc., to rid Kansas of the scourge of income taxes. Fail

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