Archive for Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tax standoff

The tax-cut bill currently on the governor’s desk could have a serious and lasting impact on the state.

May 16, 2012


Kansas legislators and Gov. Sam Brownback are playing a game of political “chicken” that could have a profound effect on the state.

Sitting on the governor’s desk is a tax-cut bill that the nonpartisan Kansas Legislative Research Department has determined will produce a state budget shortfall of $2.5 billion to $3 billion by 2018. The budget currently being negotiated in the Legislature totals about $14 billion. Kansans don’t need a calculator to understand the impact that a shortfall equal to about one-fifth of the state’s total budget would have on basic state services like schools, social services and public safety.

Senate leaders say they never intended for this tax-cut bill to go to the governor. The bill initially was rejected by the Senate, but under pressure to pass some kind of tax plan, senators advanced the plan to a House-Senate conference committee, which could hammer out a compromise. When negotiations on the tax-cut bill stalled, the House, with the governor’s encouragement, decided to simply pass the huge tax cut and send it to the governor.

Brownback supported passage of the bill, he said, because it would put pressure on the conference committee to produce a more moderate tax package. According to the governor’s spokeswoman, if a new plan isn’t forthcoming, “We have looked at the numbers and could make it (the current plan) work.” In fact the state budget director announced Monday that his office would apply a new “dynamic scoring model” to the tax-cut plan in hopes of making the number look less daunting.

The governor continues to contend that large business tax cuts will have a positive impact on the state by creating new jobs and new investment, but the size of tax cuts included in the bill on his desk represent a huge — some would say, irresponsible — gamble for the state. Brownback is counting on businesses to use the money they save on taxes to expand their operations and hire more employees, but that supply-side theory has been discredited by many economists.

If the governor really wants to give the House-Senate conference an incentive to come up with a new plan, he should eliminate the backup plan by vetoing the bill that is on his desk. The fact that a group of moderate Republican and Democratic legislators in both the House and Senate have asked for that action may make a veto less likely, but it’s the right move for the state.

It’s not unusual for Kansas lawmakers to leave key business until the end of the legislative session, but the political infighting that is going on in Topeka now has the potential to do real and lasting damage to the state. It’s time to show some statesmanship.


FalseHopeNoChange 5 years, 8 months ago

What would Liberals do without "other peoples" money?

They get more "hay" for their "strawman" scarecrow"..... " cuts will impact schools, social services and public safety".....oh my god!!!!!what are we going to do without "other peoples money" ahhhhhh!

Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as "extremists."***

(from a source)

question4u 5 years, 8 months ago

Right, we don't need schools, social services, or public safety. Only in America are people who value ignorance, suffering, and crime considered extremists. The rest of the world recognizes that education is unnecessary, that people with mental illnesses should take care of themselves or die, and that a police force and prison system are absolutely unnecessary frills.

The rest of the world recognizes that if there were no taxes, employers would continue, out of the goodness of their hearts, to pay the same wages as before. Downward adjustments wouldn't occur, because...well, just because.

By the way, what's wrong with Brownback? Why doesn't he get it? The guy pushed for the state to spend millions in taxpayer money on engineering programs at state universities. He recently recommended an increase in funding for the state mental hospital, and he is advocating increasing spending on prisons. That's all "other peoples [sic]" money!

Obviously, we need to get rid of Brownback and the rest of those liberals.

George_Braziller 5 years, 8 months ago

It's complete fiscal irresponsibility. I was Assistant Director at a local agency when the ED did the same thing and it blew up in her face. She wrote an annual budget with a $200,000 deficit but made it "balance" by including theoretical revenue from two $100,000 grants that hadn't neither been written nor submitted.

Neither grant was ultimately funded but I wasn't around to have to deal with the fall-out because I resigned partly to distance myself from her stupidity. I predicted the agency was headed for a fiscal implosion within 18 months and there would be mass lay-offs. I over-estimated how long it would take. It only took 14 months.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 8 months ago

Remember folks Gov Sam Brownback is a product and resident of Washington D.C. Debt who cares about debt. Republicans do not so long as the debt is of their making.

Look what took place under republican watch while Gov. Brownback was in Washington D.C. : Republicans cost the Nation too much money!

Tax cuts for the wealthy create tax increases and more debt ......... not less. Why? Because the less government boys and girls have never created less government or debt. It's all rhetoric. When jobs are eliminated what happens? The flow of new money is drastically reduced thus leaving fewer to pay the bills that never went away which inevitably produces tax increases.

Republicans represent big debt and super duper bailouts were the results. Which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

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

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

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

• ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

  1. ENTITLEMENT - Starting in 2003 republicans 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 by way of lawsuits to prevent state securities laws from being enforced on Bush's watch.

Once republican 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.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

How many times today are you going to spam this award-winning website with this same drivel, merrill?

cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

"Brownback is counting on businesses to use the money they save on taxes to expand their operations and hire more employees, a supply-side theory that has been discredited only by left-wing economists who advocate the same kinds of irresponsible tax-and-spend policies inflicted on America by liberal politicians in Washington for decades."

There, editorial staff. Fixed it for you free of charge.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 8 months ago

You don't think its slightly irresponsible to risk leaving Kansas $3 billion in the hole? I know most you Tea Party guys think taxes are the only variable in job growth, but having basic social services is a necessary requirement to draw in people too. I honestly don't think he has any intention of doing it, but the fact that people want to watch the whole system explode is scary; its like real people suffering is just a necessary outcome of affirming an ideology.

TEA Party

Team of Evangelical Autistics

cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

There's something pitiful about a left-wing cretin ridiculing autism.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 8 months ago

Registered Republican... but I'm confused, how am I ridiculing autism? I just think that you TEA party guys should take some empathy tests. The autism spectrum is pretty wide... aspergers might be more appropriate. Either way, other than your irrational fear of state power, your neurotic fixation on work as the only value of human life, and hero worship of men from 200 years ago, you guys are lacking a little something developmentally. Nothing to be ashamed of, just think ppl should know it about you & you should know it about yourselves.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

"...but I'm confused, how am I ridiculing autism?"

If you can't figure that out, you are indeed confused.

mycatsrightorwrong 5 years, 8 months ago

Good explanation chief. Here's a logic lesson for you: stating a FACT about a disabled group isn't the same as citing a characteristic they share with a non-disabled group. Like saying a person eats like a pig isn't insulting the pig. Get it? And if you say I'm comparing autistics to pigs I've lost all faith in your ability to function. Unless you thought I was insulting autistics by saying they were all TEA Partiers (which I wasn't), then that would be an insult to autistics.

cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

I suggest that you re-read your own post, Einstein.

larrygin 5 years, 8 months ago

Brownback's plan is to cut taxes. Once his tax plan takes effect this will create a budget shortfall and with a budget shortfall all the more reason to begin his massive cut of state employees! Which Brownback refers to the state employees as the enemy! We need a RECALL!

Rae Smith Evans 5 years, 8 months ago

How can we fire Brownback? I really want a new gov. for Kansas. I'd really like to vote for someone with some measure of intelligence. Last time I checked, 10-10 does not = 20.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

As the poster just above you suggests, the way to fire the governor is by a recall. Have at it.

verity 5 years, 8 months ago

People continually ask for a recall---but nobody does anything.

Unfortunately---I thought that was something I could work on not that long after Brownback became governor. I researched what it took to do so---google it yourselves, I posted it long ago---and the legislature has made it well nigh impossible to do. And the governor appoints someone to fill the position vacated by recall from the same party the recalled person was from. It wasn't clear to me if the governor would appoint his replacement or if the lieutenant governor would become governor and appoint his replacement. Either way, even if recall were possible, we'd get the same old thing.

The only way out of this is to vote out the extremists in the November election.

ScottyMac 5 years, 8 months ago

Um, isn't this the same editorial staff that endorsed brownback?

Randall Uhrich 5 years, 8 months ago

Tax cuts DO NOT create jobs. Look at the evidence. Never have, never will. I am so tired of these Republican screwups.

seriouscat 5 years, 8 months ago

You know what they say about denial...ain't just a river in Egypt etc etc....but this is no laughing matter. Bad policy is going to lead Kansas into a disaster.

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