Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Cuts needed

June 8, 2012

Advertisement

To the editor:

I recently traveled to Wichita to participate in a forum on economic development. The leading theme was that high taxes are prompting jobs and people to leave. As someone who examines tax policy around the country, I certainly agree.

Tax reform that broadened the tax base while cutting tax rates would have been best, but Kansas’ tax policy relative to other states does improve with the bill Gov. Brownback signed. As noted in your reporting (May 31), we have concerns about a few aspects of the bill, but that should not be taken as opposition to Kansas’ tax reform efforts.

Because the cuts reduce revenue, Kansas must now make decisions about how to cut spending. This does not necessarily mean taking a hatchet to the state budget; a recent independent analysis suggests the state can allow for spending growth in the future after a one-time statewide efficiency effort.

This would not be easy, but it is now necessary for the state to prosper. After all, Kansas government is no different than any business operating today; it must become more efficient and save money.

Comments

DrQuack 1 year, 10 months ago

I say eliminate ALL state taxes. Our local property taxes, of course, will sky rocket to make up the difference; but that little glitch should have no effect on the goal to make Lawrence a retirement destination. Why wouldn't older people jump at the chance to pay higher taxes?

0

George Lippencott 1 year, 10 months ago

Jimo: Baloney

  1. For most poor and downtrodden taxes will be cut. For a few who have benefited from special deductions they just may have to pay for some of what they get.
  2. Federal Income taxes are lower as a % of GDP because the incomes of the vast majority of tax payers (the half (upper half of the middle class) that pay have declined. The top 10% have seen double digit % increases.
  3. Local and state taxes have increased
  4. Mandated social policy provisions have increased the costs of most of what we buy.

Is there anything you publish that is truly accurate???

0

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 10 months ago

Fair share means just that fair share. It does not mean the rich pay 75% and the poor pay nothing.

0

ivalueamerica 1 year, 10 months ago

I do not buy the concept that giving money to the rich makes them produce more for the economy and taking money away from the poor makes them produce more from the economy.

0

Jimo 1 year, 10 months ago

"Because the cuts reduce revenue"

Remember the good old days when Republicans pretended that tax cuts increased revenue? I remember the trolls of these pages insisting up and down -- as recently as 2010 -- that tax cuts DID TOO(!) raise revenues.

At least we now have the unvarnished Ayn Rand vision expressed yesterday by the Mormon reincarnation of Herbert Hoover : "I want to fire firefighters (and policemen and teachers)."

Let's be clear: taxes have not been cut by Brownback on the poor and middle class. Instead, they've been increased so that our governor can put his fat-cat masters on even further welfare. It is a massive redistribution of wealth. One might call it Right Wing Social Engineering.

"High taxes are prompting jobs and people to leave" may well be the most bald-faced lie ever to printed in the LJW. It is a fact that tax revenue share of the economy hasn't been as low as it is now since George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was published.

0

camper 1 year, 10 months ago

The layman (like me) has no idea what a group like this is.....legislators probably know them well. This is not right.

I don't like the idea of bogus PAC groups or some dude who calls himself Vice President of State Projects, Tax Foundation, having undue influence over tax policy. It should be indepent and not be influenced by corporations or people with deep pockets. Only in this way can they provice meaningful data.

.

0

tbaker 1 year, 10 months ago

People who oppose the tax cuts and the resulting reduction in revenue proceed on the assumption that "all" of the current government spending is utterly essential; that some terrible injury to society will occur if it is reduced. This line of thought concludes that the perpetual state of government must therefore be one of constant growth. They are wrong of course, and should be happy to see government restrained, if for no other reason than just the sake of it.

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of the public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America." - James Madison, in a speech opposing the Cape Cod fishery subsidy bill before Congress, 1789

"This will forever settle the meaning of the phrase ['promote the general welfare'] which, by a mere grammatical quibble, has countenanced the general government in a universal claim of power." - Thomas Jefferson, on Congress' rejection of the Cape Cod fishery subsidy bill, 1789

0

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 10 months ago

I think what you mean Liberty is that when your ideology takes over we will have a system like the old Europe when rights and privileges were reserved for the very wealthy, those who served them and the right families who will control whatever has value.

0

FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 10 months ago

The Leader of the 'Choom Gang' said private businesses are "doing fine".

So Browny is way off base here.

0

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 10 months ago

In Kansas we have a front row seat and i believe over time we will be shocked by how inefficient the governing process will become and appalled by their poor decision making. That will be in large part because these people love power but hate the responsibilities required to be a true public servant. They have demonstrated that they do not believe in good governing but rather in the dismantling of the all government services.

0

George Lippencott 1 year, 10 months ago

I love the give and take - liar, thief, stupid, etc.

Kansas has been under Republican control for longer than most of us can remember. The legislature has worked tireless to keep our government lean and efficient. We are not at all generous.

It therefore puzzles me that our new government leadership feels we need to cut even more. There is a basic level of government services that are essential. Perhaps our leaders would like to identify those that we currently have that are not as opposed to generating undirected cuts in revenue.

A very important aspect of taxation is a belief on the part of the taxpayer that the program is “fair”. Kansas already has a very regressive tax program. We should be asking more of our wealthy not less.

IMHO it does make sense to reduce taxes on business. The tax is simply passed on and it makes our business less competitive with businesses elsewhere – we lose jobs. The tax we need to raise is the progressivity of our income tax as applied to individual income (that includes taxing capital gains as regular income (inflation indexed).

0

Liberty_One 1 year, 10 months ago

"Kansas government is no different than any business operating today"

No, businesses have to earn your dollar. The state just steals it.

0

verity 1 year, 10 months ago

In other news, Kobach thinks we're too stupid to figure out which district we live in.

0

verity 1 year, 10 months ago

The website of the Tax Foundation states that journalists should describe it as a nonpartisan research group.

It was founded at the University Club in New York in 1937. Founding members included: Alfred P. Sloan, General Motors Corporation, chairman Donaldson Brown, General Motors Corporation financial vice president William S. Farish, Standard Oil Company, President Lewis H. Brown, President of the Johns-Manville Corporation

Current Board of Directors: Wayne E. Gable, Chairman. He was the previous director (1999-2008) and a former Managing Director of Federal Affairs at Koch Industries, and Director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, Americans for Prosperity James W. Lintott (Treasurer), Sterling Foundation Management LLC The Honorable Bill Archer, PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP Dr. R. Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School David P. Lewis, Eli Lilly and Company

While they admit to being 33% funded by "corporate" on their website, when I tried to find out what those corporations were, I just got sent in circles. I did find that some of their funding comes from ExxonMobil and Koch Family Foundations, among other corporations and rightwing organizations.

The Tax Foundation's President, Scott A. Hodge, participated in the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting.

Kansas is featured on their home page. However, this from the Wichita Eagle: "The Washington-based Tax Foundation, which conservatives regularly cite, isn’t impressed with Kansas’ new law eliminating income taxes on many businesses. “The small-business exemption creates an incentive for businesses to structure themselves as pass-through entities for tax reasons, even though it might otherwise be unwise for them to do so,” said Tax Foundation economist Mark Robyn. “Furthermore, promoting pass-through entities will not necessarily create net new jobs. Favoring those businesses over traditional C-corporations may lead to an increase in people employed by pass-through entities, but many of these ‘new’ pass-through entity jobs may simply be reclassified C-corporation jobs.”

http://blogs.reuters.com/taxbreak/2012/05/30/tax-foundation-kansas-tax-cut-plays-favorites/

From this article: "The Tax Foundation, a Washington-based research firm that favors lower taxes, highlighted a potentially unintended consequence in its May 29 analysis of the new law [in Kansas]: its changes to the way pass-through businesses are taxed, possibly encouraging businesses to adopt this structure."

All the relevant material is too much to quote here.

So which is it, Mr Henchman?

0

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 10 months ago

ALEC is something that we have not seen before which is a very complex organization that has nearly taken control of our political process in the United States.

This is not the type of representative government that our founding fathers had in mind, but it is the kind of organization they warned us about. This kind of massive government lobbying for special interests will test the strength of our style of government and our system of checks and balances.

ALEC has had great success packing legislatures with their candidates and has certainly targeted the judicial branch as well. In Kansas they have taken over the executive branch and the legislative branch of government.

0

verity 1 year, 10 months ago

I worked my butt off for my money, but everyone else is a moocher and deserves nothing.

0

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 10 months ago

The people who put the least into the system tend to demand the most from it.

It has to stop.

0

Flap Doodle 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey, the Mope has declared that the private sector is doing fine! Don't worry, be happy.

0

Carol Bowen 1 year, 10 months ago

Change affects people one of four ways- crave change, like change, can be convinced, and the cannot accept change group. Right now, I disagree with everything Henchmen wrote, but at least the letter is cool, calm, and unemotional. I really do not like reading banter and ridicule.

I do not want to be in the "cannot accept change group". The tax proposal is in place. We are in a unique position to see what will or will not work. (I'm betting that the new tax structure will not work.) Let's monitor this from the macroeconomics level. Will the revenue be there to fund our needs, whether it is roads or SRS?

0

Richard Payton 1 year, 10 months ago

Muslim Barry Soetoro aka Christian Barack Obama has many confused over his policies.

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 10 months ago

The more tax cuts = more unemployed state workers = more unemployed just about everywhere

Meanwhile remember: Sam is a big spender!

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at www.GoodJobsFirst.org.

>

AMC Entertainment has since been sold to Dalian Wanda Group of China.

When this tax deal was cut AMC and Cordish Co. of Baltimore were partners. As of 5/25/12 this partnership is becoming history.

As with many buyouts/mergers people lose jobs sooner of later due to the expense of purchase. Is all of the above legal as far as the $47 million tax dollar give away is concerned?

Where is the $47 million tax dollars?

0

woodscolt 1 year, 10 months ago

rich get richer and poor get poorer. Of course thats a good solid right wing republican policy.

0

Alyosha 1 year, 10 months ago

This quote demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of government: "Kansas government is no different than any business operating today" — Government is absolutely different than any business. Nor is a government like a family economy.

Businesses exist only for the ultimate creation of profit; in some instances, businesses exist for the benefit only of shareholders. Government is tasked with promoting the general welfare and good, not specific private profit.

Government has a far greater scope and responsibility than private profit businesses, and to expect government to act like a business is to hobble government. Perhaps that is the point.

0

Fearmon 1 year, 10 months ago

Rising GOP stars all across America who are demonstrating true fiscal responsibility through tough decisions should alarm all Democrats, especially the ones in Washington. Gov. Walker has a big future for example.

0

CWGOKU 1 year, 10 months ago

Whose money is the Government spending? Ours, they got it from us, so yes, I would like to see the Government run like a good business.

0

jafs 1 year, 10 months ago

Government can and should be run as a good non-profit company, providing essential services but also balancing the budget.

0

camper 1 year, 10 months ago

It seems that when things get cut, they cut the most cost nuetral things like education. State money spent toward education is defecit neutral (in my opinion) because it keeps teachers and support staff working and contributing to the economy.

0

camper 1 year, 10 months ago

What kind of group is this guy in. Sounds kind of phony. Vice President of State Projects, Tax Foundation.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Here's a look at the real state of the economy (and unemployment.) Unfortunately, there is no improvement in sight, either under Obama or under Romney, who would almost certainly cause a substantial increase in unemployment over what a second Obama administration would bring. But on the bright side-- things look great for the 0.1% either way.

Recovery? What Recovery? Behind the New Jobs Numbers, Dull Statistics Tell a Terrifying Story

by Ted Rall

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/08-0

0

preebo 1 year, 10 months ago

"After all, Kansas government is no different than any business operating today; it must become more efficient and save money."

This is a fallacy of the first order, and the running line from Conservative "Think Tanks" across the country. Effective Gov't can not be run like a business nor should it. First of all, businesses are concerned with the bottom line (i.e. profits/capital) Gov't on the other hand is concerned with providing services which are the very life blood to many of the most vulnerable citizens. Not to mention, burdened with many of the societal costs of such items as road construction/maintenance, public health, clean water/air/soil, child protective services, emergency response/management to name a few. There is no profit in these areas only a shared societal value. Under many business models these efforts would lose a company money, however these efforts are essential to a healthy, functioning society.

This is not to say that Gov't can not be more efficient, but efficiency as the author here describes is to cut further into these very services that the citizens expect. This is nothing more than a thinly veiled effort to further shrink Gov't in order to slash its effectiveness in regulatory efforts and oversight in order to leave business less incumbered with compliance. Similarly, efficiency in the name of effectiveness would be foolhardy. Businesses are in the business for making money and only save money in order to bolster the bottom line, they have no obligation to the economy as a whole, but rather to their shareholders. Gov't, conversely, is beholden to the citizens from which its power is derived and if we are to expect our Gov't to reflect our values and principles, it should be evident in the effectiveness of the services.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

"Because the cuts reduce revenue, Kansas must now make decisions about how to cut spending. This does not necessarily mean taking a hatchet to the state budget;"

Liar.

0

cowboy 1 year, 10 months ago

Another troll bought and paid for by the Koch's

0

Bruce Bertsch 1 year, 10 months ago

This policy has worked so well that we were mired in a recession, second only to the great depression. In other news, the tooth fairy is real.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.