Archive for Friday, May 18, 2012

Brownback plans to sign more aggressive tax-cutting bill after Senate halts alternative

May 18, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback said Friday he will sign into law a deficit-producing tax cut after the Senate blocked a less aggressive measure to cut taxes.

Brownback said he would release next week plans for a bill signing ceremony on a measure that a state financial projection estimates would drive the budget into a negative ending balance ranging from $2.5 billion to $3 billion by 2018.

Brownback and his team, however, have disputed the forecast, saying the tax cuts will jolt the economy, producing jobs and revenues.

"We will have pro-growth tax reform in Kansas this year that will create tens of thousands of jobs and will make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business," Brownback said.

"I look forward to signing the bill on my desk and I call on legislators to finalize their work on the budget based on the enactment of Senate Sub. for HB 2117. The legislative session needs to conclude," he said.

Moderate Republicans, Democrats and even some conservative Republicans have said the bill Brownback intends to sign would crater the budget.

Democrats and moderate Republicans have said the tax cuts pushed by Brownback would increase the tax burden on low income Kansans to benefit the wealthy, while robbing funds for schools, social services and public safety.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugton, said, “We are asking for a responsible tax package that addresses the concerns of a large majority of Kansans while leaving room in the budget to restore cuts to classrooms and public safety.

“If we do not show good-faith and restore cuts to education, the courts may certainly tell us to add money to education this summer," Morris said referring to a school finance lawsuit.

Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said, “The governor has told numerous senators that the state cannot afford House Bill 2117. The bill on his desk could well bankrupt the state and lead to massive cuts in our classrooms, roads and public safety. It is the governor’s responsibility to the state of Kansas to veto House Bill 2117." A group of former legislators called Traditional Republicans for Common Sense also called on Brownback to veto that bill.

Instead, Brownback said he intends to sign it.

“It is unfortunate that the Kansas Senate has refused even to debate a tax compromise bill that would have provided Kansans tax relief. However, strengthening the Kansas economy cannot wait," he said.

Brownback's statement came after the Senate voted 21-18 against removing a procedural hurdle to debate a proposed tax cut drafted earlier by Republican House and Senate tax negotiators. State Sens. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, both voted with the majority. Even that proposal, critics of the bill said, would prevent the state from providing funds to needed services.

That bill would have lowered individual income tax rates and phased out taxes on non-wage income for 191,000 businesses over six years.

A separate bill — House Bill 2117 — that made the cuts quicker had already made it to Brownback's desk.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, called the bill that Brownback wants to sign the "nuclear option."

"It is completely irresponsible to purposefully sign a reckless bill `in hopes' that it can be fixed later," Davis said.


Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 11 months ago

It's not a tax cut, it is a tax shift.

The full burden of taxes will be on the poor and middle class through higher sales and property taxes. That will mean less money in the pockets of 90% of all Kansans.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Brownback will be the new poster boy for the reason you don't elect far right extremists (or commonly known as the tea party wing of the GOP) to positions of authority and responsibility. I'm starting to make back up plans to get the heck out of this place. Might as well look into places I've always wanted to live. Kansas is going down in flames. I'd rather rebuild my career somewhere stable and watch the spectacle from a distance.

JayhawksandHerd 5 years, 11 months ago

"Tax relief," he says. I guess he does have a point; after all, he will be relieving those of us who aren't wealthy of more of our money.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Rightwing untruths. Ever heard of FICA and FUTA? If you include that in the calculation the numbers are much more representative of the actual taxation burden. It's also important to note that if someone is not paying income taxes (by your measure) it's because they aren't making enough income. I guess you think some people like to be poor?

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, nothing in your link refutes my points. So now what?

Katara 5 years, 11 months ago

Since the response was not to your post, I guess you could just continue on your way.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

It also helps when you cite a right wing source that cherry picks a single year of data during which there were temporary stimulus funds used to lower the tax burden.

mcallaigh 5 years, 11 months ago

Yea, lets start taxing the elderly on social security and no other income (+/-20%), families making less than ~$26,000 that have children (+/-15%), and any other that makes beans. These bastards have been sucking us dry. Its just 'common sense'.

Jean Robart 5 years, 11 months ago

Sam, methinks thou art fooling thyself..

Fossick 5 years, 11 months ago

When you play chicken, sometimes the other guy doesn't blink. That said, the fiscal armageddon 5 years hence is three elections and five legislative sessions away. There is not a person in Topeka who believes this will not be revisited next year, and the year after, and the year after...

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Nobody thought we'd actually be at this point, with this bill on the Governor's desk ready to be signed. Unless the electorate revolts during the 2012 election and votes the radicals out of office I'm not terribly optimistic about where the State is heading. Ironically, maybe appropriately, it's the rural voters that elected these people to office and it's their communities that are going to get hit the hardest, along with the poor, elderly and infirm.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 11 months ago

That is what I don't understand. A large percentage of the state legislators that support this action are supposed to be representing a constituency that is primarily rural and comparatively poor. The social programs that support such constituents are the programs that this budget will necessitate being cut.

Thankfully I won't be directly impacted by the resulting cuts, but in the long run, all of Kansas is going to suffer. Sad day for Kansas.

parrothead8 5 years, 11 months ago

I beg to differ. Everybody who voted against brownback KNEW we'd be at this point eventually, and if they didn't, they were fooling themselves.

cowboy 5 years, 11 months ago

Unfit to Govern , this display of petulance by the tea party guberner is quite pathetic.


riverdrifter 5 years, 11 months ago

Go ahead and sign the bill, Guv. You baked this cake. Now eat it with your rusty fork. Go ahead. What'cha waitin' on?

Glenn Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

Dramatic effect. Tension will continue to build the longer he waits, causing folks to adhere closer to their emotional responses over the issue.

Plausible deniability. I know that makes no sense, but a year from now folks will claim that the legislature failed, and Brownback signed the best bill to come to his desk. While technically accurate, BB's been all about this bill on his desk.

It's all part of his four phase plan to do something... diabolical? Maybe?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 11 months ago

Nice. Phase four should include curling little finger and holding it next to mouth while laughing.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

Jesus. Brownback wants Kansas to burn more than Quantill wanted Lawrence to burn 150 years ago.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

To paraphrase another nut, Sara Palin, "burn baby burn."

David Albertson 5 years, 11 months ago

Haven't we already tried this? Didn't G W Bush enact massive tax cuts mainly aimed at the wealthy? Weren't we told the economy would boom? We all know what happened in the years following. When will the GOP realize that tax cuts aren't a silver bullet? When is the GOP going to take responsibility for the fact that the Bush tax cuts are one of the main reasons for the ballooning debt the federal government is facing? When are GOP voters going to wake up and see that the tea party movement is actually damaging the Republican brand?

mcallaigh 5 years, 11 months ago

Many who work hard and make money will not benefit from this kind of tax reform. That's just a fact. And another many who 'do not work' but receive income, are elderly people that payed into the social security system all their life whether you like it or not. Many others are just under paid. Not everyone can be at the top of the food chain, its a mathematical fact. Not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur, but that doesn't mean we trash them. And I don't believe they should be destroyed by people with your mindset if they're not.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

W came into office with a surplus and one of the best economies in the country's history and left with massive deficits and an economy in ruins. Don't let facts get in your way. I doubt they do very often.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

Commonsense lacks common sense. Bush era policies led to 3 bubble bursts and the current economic downfall. The problem with conservatives like you is you blame people who had nothing to do with the problem. Obama wan't president when the economy collapsed. Bush was.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 11 months ago

"The governor has taken us to the financial cliff, and only he has the ability to stop us from going over. This is not a game. The magnitude of this bill cannot be overstated, and the impact that it will have on our communities and schools will be real and unforgiving."- Former Chairwoman of the KS Republican Party, Rochelle Chronister.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Brownback and his team, however, have disputed the forecast, saying the tax cuts will jolt the economy, producing jobs and revenues."

Are they liars or idiots? The track record over the last 30 years are crystal clear-- tax cuts don't produce either jobs or revenue.

Lenette Hamm 5 years, 11 months ago

He needs to just GO AWAY!!! This administration is killing us!

verity 5 years, 11 months ago

Brownback may actually be smarter than many give him credit for---or his handlers are. He now has deniability when this all turns into disaster, which it almost assuredly will.

Our once great state will continue on it's way to hell. When even the conservative Republicans are against this bill, it shows how very extreme it is.

So tell me, somebody who understands these things---it seems that most of the legislators are against this and yet---? A bunch of children playing in the sandbox who, in a snit, are willing to cut off their noses to spit their faces? I don't know.

One thing I do know---because of large amounts of money being spent by vested interests, we the common people have lost control of our state government.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 11 months ago

Fair and balanced? Try looking at the historical facts, starting with Hoover. Leaving the "free market" to repair massive economic disease has never worked, and trickle-down economics has never worked. The sad thing is that you do not recognize economic research as facts. Proper journalism demands that the actual facts are reported, not the pipe dreams and smoky musings of the monied in their back rooms. The Journal_World has printed nothing not backed by verifiable fact, and you disagree simply because your feelings are hurt that not everyone is dumb enough to fall for the pie-in-the-sky musiongs of the monied.

There is certainly a lot to be desired in any plan for economic recovery, but the further burdening of the lower income classes with taxes out of proportion to the wealthier classes is not a way out, but is a way to further depress the economy.

If you ever decide to debate with facts, go for it. If not, simply go on as you have, unaware of the facts and uncaring as to the outcome.

coloradoan 5 years, 11 months ago

Try keeping some factual perspective. The 2003 growth that you reference followed the economic disaster after 9/11/2001. There was literally nowhere for the economy to go but up.

As for the 2008 housing debacle, I continue to be somewhat intrigued by the fact that every housing disaster has been attached to the Bush family. Try Googling "Neil Bush" and Silverado for the story of the housing crash of the 1980's.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

How is Brownback quietly blowing YOUR tax dollars?

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

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

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

More blowing of tax dollars on the way...

Another Koch-funded stealth campaign Thursday, May 17, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

Millions of children in our public schools will soon be hearing from the Heartland Institute. It might sound like a nice above board civic group promoting such salt-of-the-earth virtues as integrity and veracity, but quite the opposite.

Heartland's mission is to promote mass ignorance on behalf of its self-serving (and often heartless) corporate backers. It is yet another secretive far-right-wing front group funded by the Koch brothers' club of billionaires who're intent on establishing an unbridled corporate plutocracy in our country.

But this outfit was recently outed by someone who released a trove of its internal documents – including details of its multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to undermine the teaching of climate change science in America's schools. Heartland is creating an anti-science curriculum to pooh-pooh the facts of global weather change and planning to turn the issue into a major culture war in local school districts across the country. Falsely claiming that "Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective" and that climate change "is a major scientific controversy" the Institute and its right-wing allies are already pressuring school boards to adopt its denial curriculum, forcing teachers to water down the science.

The dishonesty of Heartland's campaign includes its shielding of the special interests behind it. When the campaign comes to your area, it won't tell local people that the Koch brothers – who own America's largest private oil corporation and are vituperative opponents of regulations to restrict their emissions of global warming pollutants – are putting up $200,000 for the effort this year.

To get to the dark heart of this insidious campaign, and to stand for science and truth in teaching, go to the National Center for Science Education at

"In Documents, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching,", February 16, 2012.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

The Brownback tax dollar give aways are never ending....

Publicopoly Exposed

How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

ALEC nuts and bolts

ALEC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that in recent years has reported about $6.5 million in annual revenue. ALEC’s members include corporations, trade associations, think tanks and nearly a third (about 2,000) of the nation’s state legislators (virtually all Republican). According to the group’s promotional material, ALEC’s mission is to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”

ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Exxon Mobil
  • the Corrections Corporation of America
  • AT&T
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Koch Industries
  • along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.

ALEC is composed of nine task forces–(1) Public Safety and Elections, (2) Civil Justice, (3) Education, (4) Energy, Environment and Agriculture, (5) Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development, (6) Telecommunications and Information Technology, (7) Health and Human Services, (8) Tax and Fiscal Policy and (9) International Relations–each comprised of “Public Sector” members (legislators) and “Private Sector” members (corporations and interest groups).

Each of these task forces, which serve as the core of ALEC’s operations, generate model legislation that is then passed on to member lawmakers for introduction in their home assemblies. According to ALEC promotional material, each year member lawmakers introduce an average of 1,000 of these pieces of legislation nationwide, 17 percent of which are enacted. For 2009, ALEC claimed a total of 826 pieces of introduced legislation nationwide, 115 of which were passed into law–slightly below the average at 14 percent. ALEC does not offer its model legislation for public inspection.

ALEC refused to comment on any aspect of the material covered here.

More and more:

handley 5 years, 11 months ago

History shows that tax cuts never boosts the economy or creates jobs,

KSWingman 5 years, 11 months ago

The "front page, above the fold" photo on the LJW online is:

The caption says, "Gov. Sam Brownback said Friday he will sign into law a deficit-producing tax cut after the Senate blocked a less aggressive measure to cut taxes."

I'm pretty sure that's not Gov. Sam Brownback.

anotherview 5 years, 11 months ago

Why is Brownback going to Wichita to sign this bill? Is it because it's where the Koch brothers live.

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