Letters to the Editor

‘Fixing’ Kansas

January 26, 2012


To the editor:

What’s the matter with Kansas? Gov. Brownback apparently knows the answer: There is nothing wrong with Kansas that can’t be fixed by an unqualified out-of-state “expert.” First, an inexperienced import from Florida “fixed” our social services system. Now, Arthur Laffer, a discredited Reaganomics retread from Nashville, has pocketed $75,000 for “fixing” our tax structure — so that the less one earns, the less one keeps!

Mr. Laffer assures us that a whopping tax increase for the very poorest Kansans will pay for itself by being “plowed back” into government programs to “help” these same people. But doesn’t this make low-income families more, rather than less, dependent on government? And isn’t that strategy merely a liberal ploy to subjugate individuals to the welfare state?

Mr. Laffer’s public defense of his proposals is laughably false:

l “Reducing taxes on high-earning individuals will create jobs.” No. Jobs are created by prosperous businesses, not individuals; individuals usually invest by acquiring existing wealth rather than creating new opportunities.

l “Taxing earned income is a disincentive for people to work.” No. How many of us plan on quitting our jobs to avoid paying income tax? In fact, the real economic disincentive is the regressive sales tax Mr. Laffer prefers.

But all these problems are just the tip of an iceberg. If there is no taxation without representation, how do out-of-state “consultants” and secret “advisory” committees represent the taxpayers of Kansas? Maybe there is something the matter with Kansas — and maybe we should send it back to Nashville!


Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 12 months ago

"individuals usually invest by acquiring existing wealth"

That is a very interesting concept.

So that means that an individual does not usually invest by buying stocks, bonds, real estate, revenue producing businesses, or anything like that.

Definition of: invest, a verb:

1) Expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or...: "getting workers to invest in private pension funds"; "the company is to invest $12 million in its new manufacturing site"

2) Devote (one's time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.

3) (New as of January 2012): acquiring existing wealth

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago

Stocks, bonds, etc. don't create jobs, do they?

Buying an existing business, unless one expands it and hires more people doesn't either, as far as I can tell.

Much of the way in which rich individuals make more money doesn't do much to create jobs - I think that's his point.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

Let me give you a hypothetical. A person owns a business with ten employees. However, he's nearing retirement age, or for some other reason wants to get out of the business. If someone buys the business, he's likely to retain the ten employees. He may expand, as he might come in with new ideas. Or he may contract to eight employees as he tries to cut costs and recoup his investment. However, suppose the seller cannot find a buyer. He may hold on to the business for a while, hoping to land a buyer. But if that doesn't happen, then the business goes under and all ten employees are out of work. Since none of us has a crystal ball, no one can say for certain that the buying of an existing business has a certain effect on the workforce. So Jafs, your second sentence is something I'm not sure about, one way or the other. But if I were a gambling man, I'd say buying an existing business is a good thing since it's a better bet that there will be job retention at a minimum and possible creation in the future.

jafs 5 years, 11 months ago


What if the new buyer buys the business and then lays off a few employees? What if the existing owner would have retained them?

I think the basic point is correct - much of the way in which rich people make money doesn't create jobs.

But I appreciate your hypothetical - it's a good one to help me think about the issue in more detail.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 11 months ago

jafs, you're way off the point. Buying businesses or stocks is an investment. Refer to definition # 1) of the word "invest".

The writer claimed that is done with money that was magically acquired somehow, he didn't understand what the word "invest" meant either.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 12 months ago

"“Reducing taxes on high-earning individuals will create jobs.”"

Repubs have been saying this for at least 31 years. What's missing is the hard evidence.

How much have tax breaks for the wealthier cost taxpayers?

Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts aka The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

In the end big debt were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

Starting in 2003, George W. Bush destroyed the world economy by encouraging U.S. banks to make loans to those who could not afford them, through schemes such as the "American Dream Downpayment Initiative".

Also through the destruction of oversight, such as lawsuits to prevent state securities laws from being enforced on Bush's watch.

Once Bush's policies led to their inevitable result of economic collapse, the United States found itself in a situation where it had to take on debt in order to restore the economy.


jhawkinsf 5 years, 11 months ago

If, as you state, tax breaks for the wealthy has not produced jobs, then I must assume that it is also true that giving to the poor has not ended poverty.
Or maybe there is some truth in both statements, but not as much as we'd hoped for.

akuna 5 years, 11 months ago

Giving to the poor might not end poverty, but it certainly does alleviate many of the day to day struggles.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Same old tripe, merrill. Have you posted that 1000 times yet?

mloburgio 5 years, 11 months ago

The Koch brothers…fund the Tea Party, make billions, lay off workers.

As Tea Party Koch Brothers Earned An Extra $11 Billion In Recent Years, They Laid Off Thousands


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