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Letters to the Editor

Cuts needed

June 8, 2012

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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

Bruce Bertsch 2 years, 6 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.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 6 months ago

Cut spending to pay for tax cuts for the rich including the Koch Bros.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

As they say, you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 6 months ago

"Fly clothes"? DJ Jazzy Lateralis in da hizzouse yawwwwlllll!

Linda Endicott 2 years, 6 months ago

Would you feel better if they were wearing burlap bags, had no shoes, and had to use corn cobs for toilet paper?

Maybe you think all of the poor people should just be rounded up and put on an island with nothing, and wait to starve to death...after all, it's not like they should be treated like human beings, is it?

Would you rather all those children in poor families would go out and rob convenience stores for entertainment?

Tell me...what is your solution?

Linda Endicott 2 years, 6 months ago

I was speaking to Lateralis...and the problem that requires a solution is poverty, and how to care for the poor...

When you reply to a particular post anymore, it rarely puts your comment right under theirs...

cowboy 2 years, 6 months ago

Another troll bought and paid for by the Koch's

rtwngr 2 years, 6 months ago

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

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 6 months ago

Says the incorrectly-born-the-first-time Christian in Name Only ~ or was that Christian First, American Second ~ or was that American in Name Only? Shouldn't you be down in Seneca supporting your crony in his war of violence against homosexuality? I''m sorry you find it confusing when your own party members have little common ground with you. I guess the card-carrying Republican questionnaire didn't get around to us all. Maybe the Republican party isn't for you, as you have such a narrow view of what that entails. At any rate, I'd venture dollars to donuts that if provided with a list of your positions you'd find lots of us disagree with you, and will fail to join your goose-stepping agenda of Christian Domination. At this rate your tent is getting smaller and smaller ~ all by your own design. You couldn't be a better advocate for the Democrat party.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

The Tax Foundation is funded by the Kochs and has ties to ALEC. What a coincidence that their meeting was in Wichita.

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 6 months ago

Are you really that friggin' clueless? Let's look at G.W. Bush Co's top political contributors from the 2004 election, shall we?

Morgan Stanley $603,480 Merrill Lynch $586,254 Price-waterhouse-Coopers $514,250 UBS AG $474,325 Goldman Sachs $394,600 Lehman Brothers $361,525 MBNA Corp $350,350 Credit Suisse Group $326,040 Citigroup Inc $320,820 Bear Stearns $313,150

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres04/contrib.php?cid=N00008072

Do you think I'm lying when I repeat over and over again that both the republicrats and the democans are bought and paid for? I might as well be talking to the wall! Goobers abound! The USA deserves everything we are about to receive. You cannot let the citizenry's intelligence degrade down to stupidity and expect a country to survive. We truly have become an idiocracy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 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.

preebo 2 years, 6 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.

SnakeFist 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree. The notion that government should be run like a business, or that government budgetting is no different than family budgetting, is ridiculous. Government has very different responsibilities that can't simply be shrugged away.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Government has very different responsibilities that can't simply be shrugged away."

But that's nearly the entire basis for current conservative (and libertarian) ideology, and certainly of all of the Koch-fueled think-tankers, such as the writer of this superficial bit of gibberish.

FieldTested 2 years, 6 months ago

No, the budget is structured like a budget - money in, money out. Any organization that uses resources has a budget - that doesn't make it a business. As pointed out so clearly by preebo, the basic goals of a business and a government are not the same.

Patricia Davis 2 years, 6 months ago

Absolutely agree with everything you have said. And unless we fight back, Brownbackistan will become a waste land except for the 1%.

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, preebo, you're correct. Government is a socialist endeavor through and through. It works for the good of society in general and not for profit. Police and fire departments are socialists. Government workers are socialists...these people work for the good of society--profit is not the motive. It amazing to me that number of functional idiots our country has in it today who buy into the lies pushed by the capitalist politicians who're bought and paid for by big business...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 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

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Please read the article, and then get back with us about where you specifically disagree with what it says, with some amount of rational support (not bald assertion) as to why you disagree. (OK, I know that would require actual thought on your part-- but give it try, mmmkay?)

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

LOL, yeah, we are going to read Ted Rall (a leftist mouthpiece) on "commondereams.com (yet another leftist mouthpiece). You might as well be linking to rushlimbaugh.com. Different words, same garbage.

camper 2 years, 6 months ago

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

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

The Tax Foundation was a legit think tank that the Kochs basically bought in 1989, and the neutrality and quality of their analysis went downhill rapidly. The group now has ties to both Koch and ALEC and tends not to say a thing that disagrees with them. Dave Trabert cites them all the time.

tomatogrower 2 years, 6 months ago

That's why they are thrilled with the new Kansas tax law. Koch's are going to have more money, so maybe they'll get a raise. Doubt it, but maybe.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh, they like the idea of tax cuts, but even the Tax Foundation has problems with the way this new law goes about it.

camper 2 years, 6 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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

In conservative-think, once money goes into the government to be spent on government programs, it disappears from the economy never to be seen again.

camper 2 years, 6 months ago

Hear that all the time. Some programs are not as costly as it may seem because it increases commerce in some sectors.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

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

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

I disagree, especially with regards to the Federal Government. Running large deficits for long periods of time is a bad thing, but some amount of debt is absolutely essential for the government to be able to do what businesses and individuals can't.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Put a number on that, then. If you were in charge of the federal government and had to put a cap on the deficit, what number would that be?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Here's a very good book on that very topic.

http://www.amazon.com/White-House-Burning-Founding-National/dp/0307906965

It recounts the history of US Govt. debt, and the debts/deficit spending of other governments throughout the last several hundred years, as well as taxation policies.

It's a very detailed book on what is driving our current debt, and how that can be addressed-- not just ideally, but under the current political climate.

But to answer your question, they say that in good times, the overall debt shouldn't exceed 50% of GDP, while in times of economic stress, such as now, that debt could reach 100% of GDP. That'a very Keynsian view, but a moderated one. But it certainly doesn't accept the current conservative line of thinking that all government is evil, and must be drowned in the bathtub.

I think they make very good arguments. I suggest you give it a read.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Those numbers sound way too high to me, and hardly "moderated".

With debt that high, it's hard to dig out from under that load.

And, before we start talking about mortgage debt, remember that debt is tied to an asset, and there are a number of safeguards in place to ensure that if you can't make the payment, the asset can be sold to cover the debt.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

You're still trying to look at the government's budget as somehow analogous to that of a family or a business-- and it's not-- not even close.

Running really large deficits for a long period of time runs the risk of fueling inflation. But moderate inflation is much preferable to the downward spiral we've been experiencing for the last five years, and that spiral will accelerate without sensibly focused stimulus (AKA deficit) spending.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

There are other downsides to running large deficits over large periods of time - we're increasingly dependent on those who lend us money, for one thing.

And, we've been doing that.

Our current debt is something like 400xGDP, so it's way over the numbers you mention anyway.

tomatogrower 2 years, 6 months ago

"There are other downsides to running large deficits over large periods of time - we're increasingly dependent on those who lend us money, for one thing."

But most of our debt is owed to our own citizens. Yes, China and japan hold large amounts of our debt, but it's a small amount compared to what we owe to our own citizens.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

No, current debt is about 102% of GDP, and about a third of that is intergovernmental debt (i.e., debt that the government owes itself.)

In good economic times, I agree that that's too high. But these are not good economic times, and spending all our capital to eliminate that debt would just accelerate the downward spiral, as there are only two ways to do that-- either increase taxes or decrease spending.

So if that's what you want, should we increase the top tax rate back to 90%. Eliminate Medicare and SS? Eliminate the Defense Department?

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, I was thinking of GDP growth rates.

See below for my ideas.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Put a number on that, then. If you were in charge of the federal government and had to put a cap on the deficit, what number would that be?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Cut war spending by 50% or more, increase the top rate on taxes back to 40%, truly reform healthcare so that we spend something close to what every other developed, industrial country spends, and institute a carbon tax that would allow us to develop alternative energy systems and improve mass transit, and the deficit could be brought down to below 50% within ten years. After that an ongoing deficit of ranging from 30-60% would be perfectly acceptable to all except those who are obsessively fixated on deficits for purely ideological reasons (ideology not based at all on reason.)

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Ongoing deficits of 30-60% aren't acceptable to me, and I'm not in that group.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Why is it not acceptable? At that rate, even if interest rates go up, payments on interest on the debt is only about 2% of overall govt. spending. How high should taxes go up to pay the debt down to whatever level you find acceptable? And whose taxes should be raised? Or should we eliminate Medicare and SS to accomplish that?

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

It's not acceptable because it's too much debt to run on an ongoing basis.

One can play with numbers to justify anything - your comment just shows that government spending is immense.

I would prefer no debt at all. But, if we're going to have debt, it should be decreasing debt that we're paying down each year, not stable or increasing debt.

Taxes need to be raised, and spending decreased - it's the only reasonable solution.

Why do you always go to extremes? Medicare and SS can be changed so as to be more sustainable without being eliminated, there's plenty of waste to get rid of in the government's budget, military spending can be decreased, etc.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"It's not acceptable because it's too much debt to run on an ongoing basis."

Only if interest rates see a dramatic increase. Right now they are extremely low, so the cost of borrowing money (money our government printed in the first place) makes up a relatively small percentage of the overall federal budget. The only way that those interest rates will increase significantly is if US Treasury bond cease to be seen throughout the world as the most secure investment available, and there is no indication that that will happen anytime soon. Debt as percentage of GDP would have to go well over 200% for that to happen.

"Why do you always go to extremes?"

Cutting spending and/or raising taxes enough to eliminate the deficits/debt will have to be extreme by one definition or another. Choose your poison.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Percentages of a huge federal budget are essentially meaningless to me - even a small percentage of a very large number is a large number.

If you're right about the extremity either way, then we're screwed, and it shows that we've been way too lax about running deficits and increasing the national debt for way too long.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Why?

If tax revenue is equal to or greater than spending, then the budget is balanced.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

So how does that happen? Do we raise taxes back to pre-Reagan rates? Do we essentially eliminate SS and Medicare?

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

You said it was necessary to go into debt, and I asked why.

What's your answer?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

To pay for all of those things that are necessary to have a functioning and compassionate society, and to stimulate the economy when business is sitting on $trillion because no one is buying, or they think no one is buying-- when no one is buying, businesses aren't hiring, and the vicious cycle continues. Deficit spending ends that vicious cycle-- or it can, if done properly. TARP was an example of how not to do it.

If you prefer that vicious cycle over an abstract number on a page, I guess you're part of a current majority who believe in a self-fulfilling prophesy that will drown us all.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

What's "necessary" is a matter of opinion, not fact. Do you think that all government spending is currently necessary?

We're spending immense amounts of money - trillions of dollars a year - can that all really be necessary?

If deficit spending is necessary in a down economy, it's not always necessary - so "some amount of debt" isn't "absolutely essential".

If we only ran a debt when absolutely necessary, and then paid off the debt when times were good, it would be a lot better than the way we're doing it now.

But, in my view, it would be even better to run surpluses in the good times, which could then be used during the bad times, to stimulate the economy without running deficits at all.

I'm sure you know that our debt has generally increased over time, with a few exceptions - that means we're just digging ourselves deeper and deeper into a hole we won't be able to get out of, even if the economy improves.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

A combination of raising tax rates and cutting spending is the only way out of our financial problems.

When people accept that debt is necessary for the government to function, they don't even look for ways to structure programs sustainably, which is a problem for me.

I'd start with waste/fraud - obvious things that we can pretty much all agree on - then I'd move to efficiency.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm OK with reducing the deficit over the long term (and is a completely different topic from eliminating fraud/abuse and increasing efficiency right now.) But now is not the time. Deficit reduction right now has only one predictable effect-- a downward spiral in the economy, continued redistribution of wealth to the already wealthy, and real unemployment rates that rival that of the Great Depression.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

The problem is that it's never the right time.

So, we don't do it - instead we continue to increase our national debt.

Eliminating fraud/abuse and increasing efficiency are always good ideas, and they result in less debt.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"So, we don't do it - instead we continue to increase our national debt."

It'll have a slight inflationary effect. Going on a crash course of eliminating the debt during an economic contraction will only exacerbate it, which would actually make paying down the debt even more difficult (in addition to creating a great deal of suffering for those in the bottom 80% of the economy)

tomatogrower 2 years, 6 months ago

Jafs and Bozo. I have to say this is the best discussion I have seen in a long time on this forum. While you don't really agree with each other, you are discussing things without resorting to name calling. It's been a pleasure reading this thread. Thank you.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks :-)

I wish it weren't so rare - everybody could discuss and debate things without the rancor, and we'd all be better off for it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Jafs and Bozo. I have to say this is the best discussion I have seen in a long time on this forum."

Yes, thank tomato grower.

jafs and I both have a philosophical basis for our positions, but unlike many posters on this forum, especially those on the rigid right, we're both willing to adjust those positions as facts and sound arguments warrant it.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Again, why the extremes? I never suggested we go on a "crash course" to eliminate a 15 trillion debt.

Another way to look at the numbers - let's assume you're right, and our entire 15 trillion debt is at 2% (I'm not sure that's true).

That translates into $2.5 million/month on the interest alone - more than most people will make in an entire lifetime.

Doesn't seem like such a small amount that way, does it?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I asked Bozo early at what level of debt should be capped. I had a specific issue in mind, one that Jafs touched on but I'd like to discuss further. Increase debt will likely mean greater borrowing from China, something that makes me nervous. I'll elaborate in a moment, but first I'd like to give an example of what I mean. I'm thinking of the situation currently unfolding in Syria. the U.S. has little interests in Syria and therefore, we have little influence. Additionally, the two countries with the most influence, Russia and Iran are two countries where we have little influence. On a practical basis, our options are limited to a military operation or doing nothing. But back to borrowing from China. As we become more dependent on them, they gain greater influence over us as we lose influence over them. I look at Sudan (and South Sudan). The continuing violence there is troubling. As with Syria, we have little influence because we have few interests. But China does have substantial interests in Sudan. But as our influence wanes, our ability to alter events there decreases. The conflict in Sudan has been going on for several years. As has our borrowing from China.
Those two events are not directly related. Their relationship is indirect. But as we borrow more, it is an issue that should concern us.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

So if Germany begins a policy of genocide, we trade our corn for their beer. And if Cambodia begins a policy of genocide, we trade our lumber for their rice. And if their policies offend us, we cut off trade with those countries.
And if India and Pakistan start lobbing nuclear weapons at each other, and the winds blow the radioactive materials over the U.S., we refuse to import T-shirts made in India and baseball caps made in Pakistan. Got it.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Am I correct in interpreting your response that in the face of genocide, it should be our policy to do nothing? Simply trade with Nazi Germany in the exact same way we trade with Switzerland? Trade with countries who have vowed to destroy us, our friends, our way of life, and ignore those threats? Are you saying that if other countries engage in human rights violations on the grandest scale, we should turn a blind eye? Is that what you're saying.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I did not say that. I asked if I was interpreting your comment correctly. Unless you dispute my interpretation, then I will assume it to be correct, that you believe it should be our official policy to turn a blind eye towards genocide.
BTW - engaging in trade my be beneficial to both sides, but if the other side is a murderous regime, then trade with them only helps them in their policy of murder. And if their regime is so bad, that we simply cannot turn that blind eye, then we ought to be trading some bombs dropped on their heads in exchange for our own peace of mind.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Only a fool would believe that trade with a murderous regime would have the effect of that the murderous regime would share the bounty of such trade with it's victims. Do you believe that on the way to the gas chambers, the Nazis would have given their victims a good hearty meal, courtesy of trade with the U.S.? Business as usual, which is what you advocate would yield more people going to the gas chamber. Would you really trade with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Khadafy, etc.?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

We don't only trade food. If we export lumber and then that lumber is used to build a gallows, then cutting off that trade helps the victims of the builders. If we sell bullets, then those on the receiving end benefit from an end to that trade. And if any trade, be it in food or any other commodity yields a substantial profit for a murderous regime, profits that the regime then uses to suppress people, then ending their profit helps the victims.
But even if it were food only, we know from past experience that murderous regimes have starved their own people, so there is no reason to believe victims will be any worse off should trade be eliminated.

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 6 months ago

How can the country ever run without a deficit when every dollar borrowed from the Federal Reserve has to be paid back with interest?

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

I don't know what you're asking.

Surely you're not suggesting that the government owes interest on the money it creates, are you?

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

Better yet, run it as a for profit entity and pay the dividends in the form of tax cuts.

Alyosha 2 years, 6 months ago

You forget that in the United States we the people are the government. Our laws create the very circumstances within which we act economically — from currency to infrastructure to defense; to the courts within which disputes are settled; to police and fire departments that protect life and property.

In your view, government should be interested only in profit?

Your view that government should be run like a good business find zero support in the Founders' political philosophy that created this amazing country.

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

"You forget that in the United States we the people are the government."

"We the people" are the sovereign. The government is our employee. We give them payment in the form of taxes to do things for us, not for themselves.

It is we the people, not we the government.

You should keep that in mind.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Gov. Walker has a big future for example."

Probably in the state penitentiary after the conclusion of his corruption trial.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"pay cuts for all federal employees, benefit reductions, "

And what happens after that? Their spending decreases, and everyone who they might buy anything from sees their income decrease. In other words, you've got the perfect recipe for more of the same that we've seen over the last 5 years.

"elimination of failed departments."

Define "failed." And merely asserting the circular argument that all government programs are failures by virtue of being government programs won't cut it.

Alyosha 2 years, 6 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.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

It can act as a good non-profit company, can't it?

My wife works for an organization that provides services for folks with dd - it provides a good service to them, and runs balanced budgets.

Why couldn't government do the same?

woodscolt 2 years, 6 months ago

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

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 6 months ago

Not really, the rich get out of bed and go to work everyday so almost half of the population, does not have to and the balance to around 85% get free money stolen from the rich and given to a moocher.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

As I stated above, you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Your statement is just emotional and ideological gibberish (and Fox "News" has based a whole network on the same crap-- is that where you got it?)

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe you would feel different Bozo if you actually paid income taxes and don't give me any crap about everyone pays taxes.

tomatogrower 2 years, 6 months ago

Why do you keep insisting that bozo doesn't pay taxes? Are you trying to out him? I make a lot of money and pay taxes, and I agree quite often with bozo, so what's your point? And, by the way, everyone pays taxes.

woodscolt 2 years, 6 months ago

Not really, the rich don't have to work nearly as hard as the poor because they can pay their way through society while the poor have to work their way through. This society is structured (ie, Slimebacks tax reform) to make it easier for wealthy people to live in at the expense of the poor. Your "cant have both ways" (or in other words you have to be either wealthy or your just a lazy parasite) is indicative of your tunnel vision and lack of knowledge causing you to be gullible to the whims of the people who go to great extremes to assure that the rich get richer (them) and the poor get poorer. What your knee jerk remark indicates is that you aren't knowledgeable enough to realize their is a huge vast area between being wealthy and what causes people to be poor. Its more complicated than your right wing ideology that everyone who is poor is poor because they are lazy and deserve it.

woodscolt 2 years, 6 months ago

How does that old saying go, (don't quote me) but it is something like this

" He who holds the gold make the rules"

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 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?

Richard Payton 2 years, 6 months ago

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

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 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?

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

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

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 6 months ago

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

It has to stop.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Poor old retired folks living on meager SS benefits?

Armstrong 2 years, 6 months ago

Chronic able bodied welfare recipients

woodscolt 2 years, 6 months ago

I think you could have a point, armstrong, if you can distinguish that not all recipients belong to your category.

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

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

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, all those little children at Head Start should have a paying job, not getting educated on my dime.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 6 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.

Armstrong 2 years, 6 months ago

As proof, the redistricing map everyone is up in arms about

Armstrong 2 years, 6 months ago

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

verity 2 years, 6 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?

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

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

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 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).

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 6 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.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 6 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.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Well I would argue that the wealthy and powerful now buy their positions by providing all sorts of "ham sandwiches" to the poor and downtrodden so they can stay in power. The people taking all the hits are the upper middle class who pay the bills.

camper 2 years, 6 months ago

This clip reminds me of an Amway presentation I unfortunately got roped into watching. I am working on saying "no". About halfway thru this clip, I said no.

tbaker 2 years, 6 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

camper 2 years, 6 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.

.

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

From what I've read about this organization, a lot of people seem to think that their interpretations of statistics is very questionable. Doesn't take a genius to find Mr. Henchman's letter questionable, as some have already noted. Their membership certainly leads one to question their nonpartisanship, as they tell journalists to call them.

What chaps me is people coming in from the outside telling us what is good for us---and in such a condescending way. Of course, as long as they can buy us, they will tell us what to do.

Jimo 2 years, 6 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.

ivalueamerica 2 years, 6 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.

ivalueamerica 2 years, 6 months ago

the dishonestly in your statement is that with most GOP plans, the middle class will actually be paying more in taxes and the wealthy will be paying less.

However, you have NEVER let facts get in the way in ANY of your rants before, so I would not expect you to change now.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 6 months ago

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

camper 2 years, 6 months ago

That is why we have graduated tax rates. The rich will be fine. I'm not worried about them.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

It is not the rates it is the credits and deductions

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 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???

DrQuack 2 years, 6 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?

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