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Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Analysis: Kansas governor owns aggressive tax cuts

May 23, 2012

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— Plenty of Kansas legislators' fingerprints are on the aggressive income tax cuts signed into law this week by conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, including those of some GOP moderates now describing it as a budget crisis in the making.

But Brownback now owns the legislation, even though it strayed significantly from the tax plan he outlined in January and he and his allies sought less aggressive alternatives in the legislative session's final days. He not only signed the bill, but he pushed for the debate making it possible and ultimately embraced what passed.

He's likely to get most of the blame if critics turn out to be right that the state will need close massive budget shortfalls over the next six years. Conversely, he'll deserve most of the credit if the plan works as intended by giving the state economy a job-generating boost.

In signing the bill, Brownback invoked President Ronald Reagan, and his administration paid for advice from Arthur Laffer, a conservative economist and former Reagan adviser. Laffer came to the Statehouse in January, and many Republican conservatives already were converts to his position that states should eliminate income taxes to spur growth. The environment nurtured aggressive tax plans and dreams of ending state income taxes.

"The idea was, the faster to zero, the better," said Rep. Anthony Brown, a conservative Eudora Republican.

The bill Brownback signed is a long way from zero, but it cuts individual income tax rates significantly for 2013 and exempts the owners of 191,000 businesses from income taxes.

Coupled with a previously scheduled sales tax decrease, the income tax reductions will provide $231 million in tax relief during the fiscal year beginning July 1, with the annual figure growing to $934 million after six years.

The Legislature's research staff projected a budget shortfall would emerge by July 2014 and, if left unchecked, grow to $2.5 billion by July 2018. Because the state constitution prohibits a deficit, spending cuts would come in each of the next six years, with lawmakers going deeper into funding for public schools, social services and other programs.

But Brownback's administration has treated the projections as a political problem rather than a solid forecast of what the state faces. He and top aides have repeatedly described the legislative researchers' analysis as "static," predicting steady 4 percent growth in revenues, outside of the tax cuts. The administration thinks such a forecast is too pessimistic.

Their views led to mixed messages during the final two weeks of the Legislature's session, when the aggressive tax cuts passed but Brownback encouraged lawmakers to keep working on alternatives. He signaled early that he wasn't afraid to sign big tax cuts, though he preferred to phase them in what he called "an easier glide path."

Two days before the bill for aggressive tax cuts cleared the Legislature, Brownback told The Associated Press, "We've been reviewing it, and we think we can make it work."

The Senate's moderate GOP leaders described the bill Brownback signed as irresponsible, but it passed their chamber first in March.

It emerged because GOP senators wouldn't back off the core components of Brownback's plan, cutting individual income tax rates and the tax break for business owners. They also rejected proposals from Brownback to offset those cuts, such as eliminating an income tax credit for poor workers or keeping the sales tax at 6.3 percent instead of dropping it to 5.7 percent as planned in July 2013.

The Senate initially rejected the bill on a 20-20 vote. But after Brownback intervened, the chamber reversed course two hours later and approved it. GOP moderates said they wanted to keep tax legislation moving and had assurances the final package would be far different.

Democrats warned that GOP moderates were being set up.

Two weeks ago, when the Senate appeared ready to reject a compromise drafted by House and Senate negotiators, the conservative-led House passed the aggressive tax cuts, sending them to Brownback. Conservatives said they were pushing the Senate toward passing the negotiators' compromise, and Brownback helped his allies build pressure by promising repeatedly to sign the bill.

"The governor has gotten his way on the tax discussion," said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat. "He has choreographed this tax debate clear to the end."

The bill Brownback signed isn't exactly what he proposed. But just as every child inherits physical and personality traits from parents and even grandparents, this legislative baby is the governor's.

Comments

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 4 months ago

And so the grand experiment/gamble begins.

It should be quite a show.

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Mike1949 2 years, 4 months ago

If funding for schools, services for the minim wage, part time workers, health care coverage for the poor, etc, etc., drys up and the school buses stop running, people dying from the lack of health care part of the grand experiment, yes it begins. Jobs never materialized in the Reagan area, won't for the brownbeck area, the grand experiment begins with the results that Kansans may NEVER recover from. Death of a State By Suicide!

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christie 2 years, 4 months ago

Riddle me this: If tax cuts creates jobs how come during the last 18 Months of G.W. Bush the U.S. lost around 750,000 jobs a month.

I will make an official bet with anyone for $1.00 that these tax cuts will not create jobs, and the State of KS will be bankrupt within 3 years.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 4 months ago

I would take you up on your bet, but I fear that when it came time for me to pay up, I wouldn't have a buck to give you.

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Mike1949 2 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, that is a suckers bet! LOL

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woodscolt 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't know about your bet but I'll bet you a Romney regime would loose 750k jobs bringing back the failed disastrous republican policies. After Brownback destroy's the state a moderate will be elected and then get blamed for not being able to fix Brownbacks disaster fast enough and the Kansas killing right wingers will be tooting their horn again about how no one could fix their problems fast enough so therefore the only solution is to just vote them back into power. That, I'll will bet on.

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jjinks 2 years, 4 months ago

We just came through the longest growth period in history and would still be going on if it was stuck to and you say "failed Republican policies". No country or state has ever taxed their way to prosperity but then that's not what a democrat is about is it? Let's just keep taxing citizens all we can and pouring money into failed branches of goverment and then say we care and that's what matters but nothing happens. If you want predictions I'll predict one of the greatest grow spurts in Kansas history.

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woodscolt 2 years, 3 months ago

Yep, just keep living your fantasy. Unfortunately being able to once again say "I told you so" is of little consolation to me given the hardships the country will be buried in.

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Katara 2 years, 4 months ago

" Reliance by Wal-Mart workers on public assistance programs in California comes at a cost to the taxpayers of an estimated $86 million annually; this is comprised of $32 million in health related expenses and $54 million in other assistance.

The families of Wal-Mart employees in California utilize an estimated 40 percent more in taxpayer-funded health care than the average for families of all large retail employees.

The families of Wal-Mart employees use an estimated 38 percent more in other (non-health care) public assistance programs (such as food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidized school lunches, and subsidized housing) than the average for families of all large retail employees.

If other large California retailers adopted Wal-Mart’s wage and benefits standards, it would cost taxpayers an additional $410 million a year in public assistance to employees. "

http://www.dsausa.org/lowwage/walmart/2004/walmart%20study.html

Yup, awesome business model.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 4 months ago

Oh my good lord, the worst of our fears have been realized.

Merrill, and FHNC, have merged to become one.

Everyone out of the Boards! Quick!! Quick!!

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woodscolt 2 years, 4 months ago

Didn't get past the walmart portion of your diatribe and wasted my time getting that far. With all your glorification of wall mart you are also glorifying china's manufacturing base. Fine if you want to worship walmart but do it knowing that you forfeit your right to complain about where all our manufacturing jobs went. How does your diatribe have anything to do with Brownbacks race to economic ruin? Oh right, nothing.

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 4 months ago

You left out the war on drugs....

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 4 months ago

FHNC,

I couldn't agree more. The US Govt has FAILED in virtually every single undertaking it has attempted. I can not think if a single task where I can say the 'government succeeded' in carrying out its task. We are over budget on every task mentioned, yet we are still failing at the task miserably. And now Obama wants to run our health system as you mention. What in the world makes people think that the govt will get that right when their track record is a complete failure.

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jjinks 2 years, 4 months ago

Interstate highway system is exactly the reason that Social Security is broke, the Golden Gate Bridge?, Hoover Dam?, just another government jobs bill, national parks is getting out of hand, NASA I'll buy but it's gone now and GPS is a direct result of it, I don't think you can give the government credit for the internet, oh that's right a former VP invented that LOL, have you tried using the 911 system and got put on hold?

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tomatogrower 2 years, 4 months ago

World War I and II. Especially successful in WWII, but I'm sure a lot of conservatives are sad about that one. We were successful pulling out of the Great Depression and World War II, because Americans stood up to the plate and sacrificed, and because it was a "we", not me, me, me. How much has any of us sacrificed for the wars we are fighting now?

Conservatives love the war, because they make money from their investments, but then they don't want to pay for the war. They want their cake, your cake, your son's life with a flag over it, and eat all the cake and gloat on the way to bank, while calling us envious for not doing what they did. But they wear their little flag pin, so they are patriots. Tell me how many of you could have made what you did, if you had lived in other countries? If our system is so bad, how do so many people succeed? Or at least used to, until the conservatives took a stranglehold over our state and country. Remember the Bush tax cuts still exist. How is that tax cutting, job creating thingy working out for you?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

" I can not think if a single task where I can say the 'government succeeded' in carrying out its task."

Let me fix that for you.

" I can not think."

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DeckDoctors 2 years, 4 months ago

I love Walmart! I agree too bad Sam Walton could not have been President rather than Clinton.

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Scott Tichenor 2 years, 4 months ago

Funny how Republicans talk about worrying how their kids will pay off all this debt... unless it involves them taking in some bucks for themselves now. Then, screw it. They could care less. This state voted in that idiot at the top, and they'll get to own up to the disaster he creates. I'm sure if we all just pray a lot it'll all be OK.

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tbaker 2 years, 4 months ago

Aggressive....right. I get an extra $193.

How about they cut spending? Why is it that anytime tax cuts come along, all these dire warnings of terrible consequences come pouring out of the left? Is ANY cut in the size and scope of government bad? Is the money the people who work for and earn in the first place ALWAYS better spent by the state? Is it wrong to let people keep more of what is theirs? How is everything the state spends money on essential? Nothing can be done away with? Government can't shrink? Even a little? Perpetual growth / greater spending must always be maintained? Really?

Gimmie a break. I work for a living. Thanks Mr. Governor. Keep it up.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 4 months ago

Good grief Vertigo, you can't confuse them with facts.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

"Is ANY cut in the size and scope of government bad?"

For the hard-core like you, the answer to that question is that cutting the size and scope of government is NEVER bad-- as long as it isn't your ox getting gored.

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tbaker 2 years, 4 months ago

I have no ox to gore bozo. I do not depend on the state for handouts.

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rtwngr 2 years, 4 months ago

Well said tbaker! You can see that bozo and vertigo are willing to argue no to all of your questions.

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 4 months ago

The budget signed by the Governor, the 2013 budget, represents a 0.4% increase from the 2008 budget.

By the way, the big reductions in spending were by Democrat governors. This governor has actually increased spending in both of his budgets.

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Alyosha 2 years, 4 months ago

You are flatly wrong that dire projections come from only the left. "Countered Sen. Steve Morris, a more centrist Republican who is president of the Kansas Senate: "It is not good public policy." He also called the tax plan backed by the tea party "very reckless.""

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304791704577418641784902500.html

There is no reason for anyone, including yourself, to take your thoughts seriously if you can't get simple facts straight.

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Shelley Bock 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm in total agreement that Brownback owns this completely.

I wonder how it will play out and if he'll be around to be triumphant his success or take the blame when it fails. His political career depends on such, unless he moves onto a cabinet role in a Romney administration, should that occur. If he sticks around as governor, we already know the major issue in 2014.

First, he needs to shake off any impact this plan has with the rise or fall of the national economy. All boats (as in individual state economies) change levels with high / low tide of the national economy. Marginal changes for the worse or better can't be attributed to this plan.

For Brownback, dramatic improvement in the State's economy, regardless of the US economy's progress will be considered a success. Marginal improvement with low paying minimum wage jobs shouldn't be touted as validation of this plan. On the other hand, any retrenchment of the State economy regardless of the status of the US economy will clearly be condemnation. This is supposed to run counter to what happens in other states.

Second, what are the jobs being created? Are they middle class or minimum wage class type jobs? Minimum wage jobs are needed for any economy, but are often a sign of service type employment. Will there be creative jobs? Will there be jobs that sustain the middle class? If not, this plan will be a failure and Kansas will regress towards the fiefdom of Brownbackistan.

Finally, has anyone address consequential costs of this massive change? Will fewer social services increase social costs such as in law enforcement, courts, prisons or damages? Will reduction of care mean increased poverty and less medical care for seniors? Does this new policy have any impact on the brain drain out of the State? (I must disregard commenting on the obvious joke about "brain drain" and the legislature.) Will Kansas continue to rank low in population growth and wind up with only 3 Congressional representatives? Only time will tell.

Someone always points out that Reagan made much of the Laffer curve and tax policy. Now that Laffer appears to be the Godfather to this tax plan, we must also remember that the "Great Tax Cutter" was also a "Great Tax Revenue Enhancer" after his first year in office. Granted, this was designed to augment the nation's military and spend the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. The State maybe forced to address the great task of sustaining education in the State by reason of being compelled by the Kansas Supreme Court.

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Shelley Bock 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm certain that the richest out there are rejoicing in their new presumed wealth. In the meantime, the services we expect from the State will suffer and continue to degrade. Kansas was once a progressive state. Now, it is regressive and greedy. I guess the community spirit of helping has now been replaced by "how greedy I can be". Well, so be it.

But, the pendulum swings both ways. What is now a bounty of wealth for a few, will only enhance the anger of those without. This is fairness (not socialism) as espoused by such Republicans as Teddy Roosevelt.

Change may well come.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 4 months ago

"Change may well come." Unless Kris Khobach succeeds in stopping you at the polls.

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Shelley Bock 2 years, 4 months ago

Guess I better not lose my passport. That probably won't protect the way things are going.

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Liberty275 2 years, 4 months ago

"the services we expect from the State"

I don't expect services from the state. I expect them to take my money.

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Shelley Bock 2 years, 4 months ago

Then, please don't drive on any highway, road or street. Don't use any telecommunication source such as your telephone or internet. Don't use any natural gas, electricity or water. (You can also add not breathing since the air that you breathe has quality improved by the government.) Please don't mail anything. Don't eat any product that you don't grow and cultivate by hand yourself. Please don't shop or purchase anything outside of what you have produced by your hand on your property. Don't utilize any medical services. And, don't use any law enforcement.

I'm so glad you don't want any of those services.

All services described above are made possible by the government

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

I pay for all of those things you mention that I use.

Phones - 2 X Net10/month. Net10 is government? Natural Gas - Black Hills is Government? Internet - Knology, TV too. Government? Electricity - Westar. Government? Mail - Fed EX, not government Medical - $500/mo health insurance + $300 disability, not government Cops - don't bother with them. Food - Dillons, not government.

I figure I pay for my share for roads given gas tax and my car gets 8MPG. Plus I have to pay for annual registration.

I don't have kids, but I pay for government schools for yours. I wont step foot on the T, but I pay part of the bill. I don't use the police, but I pay for them anyway. Same for the fire department. I have no use for a library when I can order books online, but I'm helping to pay for a new one. Rec center, not hardly - but I'll help pay for it. Bike path? Not for me, but I helped pay for it.

You don't want to get into a petty match concerning how much I use the government verses how much I pay in various taxes and fees. You will lose. I avoid government and want nothing to do with it. Where the government holds a monopoly, I'll pay them like anyone else.

Like I said, I don't expect anything from government except for them to take my money.

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bad_dog 2 years, 3 months ago

"I don't use the police, but I pay for them anyway. Same for the fire department..."

So if you are the subject of a home invasion, you'll just defend you & yours or shrug it off if unsuccessful? "No need to further investigate, Officers. They killed one of my relatives, but I got one of them and winged another. Nah, I'll clean it all up, nothing more to see here." If your house catches fire, you'll either extinguish it yourself or invite the neighbors over for a weiner roast. No 911 calls for you, I see. You'll pick up & deliver your own mail, too right? No wait, you use FedEx. Doesn't seem like a particularly prudent economic choice, but hey that's the price of living off the grid, eh?

You probably don't want to purchase any food that has a government subsidy or regulatory structure associated with its production, either. Out to the fields for you, then. The crops are spoiling! And don't worry about the quality of any of the food you produce. I doubt there will be any nasty pathogens or impurities lurking about just waiting to infiltrate your eggs, milk, produce and meat. But no sweat if you're wrong. I'm sure you'll be back to your old self in a few weeks or so.

"I don't have kids, but I pay for government schools for yours."

You may not have any kids, but you and your family members were likely educated for free in government run schools. Ready to renounce those publicly funded educations, too?

You have no use for a library where one can obtain books and other publications for free because you can order them online. No need to consider the needs of other, less fortunate readers that can't afford such alternatives. Are those books supplied and mailed (I mean FedEx'ed) to you for free? If not, there is an opportunity cost associated with your choice, but again, it's your money to spend as you choose. That's the price of rugged individualism, I suppose.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 4 months ago

Are you still hiding in your bunker? How do you get around without driving on those evil government roads.

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Getaroom 2 years, 4 months ago

The Koch's end up with a bunch of easy cash in their pockets and we end up paying even higher property taxes(if you can imagine that). That's how this works. Lowering taxes for the wealthy has never created more jobs, just more money in the pockets of the already wealthy.
Its called trickle down economics.

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jjinks 2 years, 3 months ago

No it does not hurt the poor, it helps the poor find jobs. Take the money away from government and the poor will find jobs. You know the jobs others won't do. Oh where have I heard that before?

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woodscolt 2 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is no more or less than the fox guarding the hen house.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 4 months ago

So Brownie will get the credit or the blame, but its me and you, the citizens and taxpayers of Kansas, that will pay the price.

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Budgets_Smudgets 2 years, 4 months ago

"In signing the bill, Brownback invoked President Ronald Reagan..."

Reagan nearly tripled the federal budget deficit. During the Reagan years, the debt increased to nearly $3 trillion, “roughly three times as much as the first 80 years of the century had done altogether.” Reagan enacted a major tax cut his first year in office and government revenue dropped off precipitously. Despite the conservative myth that tax cuts somehow increase revenue, the government went deeper into debt and Reagan had to raise taxes just a year after he enacted his tax cut. Despite ten more tax hikes on everything from gasoline to corporate income, Reagan was never able to get the deficit under control.

Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. Unemployment jumped to 10.8 percent after Reagan enacted his much-touted tax cut, and it took years for the rate to get back down to its previous level. Meanwhile, income inequality exploded. Despite the myth that Reagan presided over an era of unmatched economic boom for all Americans, Reagan disproportionately taxed the poor and middle class, but the economic growth of the 1980′s did little help them. “Since 1980, median household income has risen only 30 percent, adjusted for inflation, while average incomes at the top have tripled or quadrupled,” the New York Times’ David Leonhardt noted.

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Tracy Rogers 2 years, 4 months ago

The state of Kansas is Brownie's personal guinea pig. What he's doing is staking his political career on these tax cuts. If it works, (which personally I think has zero chance) he's going to run for president in 2016 using this model as his platform for the whole country. If it flops, he's done as a "public servant."

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neolib 2 years, 4 months ago

Agreed that this is a bone-headed move, but I'm curious to know how much of the lost revenue in the tax base is offset by previous nickel-and-dime tax debt unpaid. Are there not many single filer people with adjusted gross wages circa 2005-present of around 20K who have never been able to pay around $150 in annual state income tax? Isn't this part of why the legislators have been saying income tax reform is needed, because many people simply aren't able to pay it?

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Jason Johnson 2 years, 4 months ago

So-called "job creators" don't magically create jobs just because taxes are cut. They only create jobs when customer demand warrants new positions be created so that they can put out more product, and thus more profit. They're not going to take away profit (typically) just to give someone a job.

Especially when you're talking about publicly traded companies with many shareholders who want maximum dividends.

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50YearResident 2 years, 4 months ago

When your goal is to become President of the United States, you will take the 100 to 1 odds longshot bet. If it works Brownback is one step closer to being chosen for the 2016 election. If the bet loses, well, he didn't have a chance anyway. This will make him either a "Hero" or a "Zero" It's a longshot he is willing to take. Kansas is just a stepping stone along the way.

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50YearResident 2 years, 4 months ago

He already tried and failed to get nominated for this 2012 election so his only hope is the next election. That means he will run for a second term as Kansas Govenor, unfortunately, for Kansas.

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Alyosha 2 years, 4 months ago

If your claim that Obama is anti-capitalist we're true, the stock market would be worse off than when GW was President.

The stock market is in fact doing better now than when GW was president.

It's sad that your ideology blinds you to reality.

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Alyosha 2 years, 4 months ago

First, you're changing the terms here: you said Obama was anti capitalist. I pointed out that the stock market is doing just fine. You then shift to food stamps, rightly agreeing with me that we should be more concerned with those in dire straights than with the already wealthy and well off.

Second, surely you can understand that the cumulative growth of food stamps of course results in a huge number under Obama. However, "The food stamp recipient growth grew to an historically high level under President Obama, beginning before he took office, but skyrocketing during his presidency. But, food stamp participation grew more under President Bush's two terms in office, than President Obama's one." http://www.theroot.com/buzz/was-bush-actually-best-food-stamp-president

Bush was in office 8 years, and so of course in dire economic times the growth is higher for a longer period than for Obama's shorter period.

But the point remains that you are being selective in your presentation of information, and / or willfully obscuring the complex truth to make your already-fixed political point.

Lastly, you make the best argument possible for why Brownback and Republican policies at large are not sound public policy: our attention need to be on policies that benefit the millions of our fellow citizens who have not be part of the growth over the last forty years.

Meager tax cuts mean not much at all for a family under water. And the promise that making the wealthy even wealthier -- as we've been doing since Reagan -- will help the vast majority of Americans has been proven by history to be a pipe dream. And cutting services our fellow citizens depend on, in this terrible-for-them economy (which is going gang busters for corporations and the already wealthy) will do nothing but spread further misery and be blight on a generation of citizens.

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Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

The Dow tanked after obama was elected and has never reached the levels under obama that it rose to under Dubya.

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4getabouit 2 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is a smart Washington politician who is adept at deflecting responsibility. He certainly avoided taking any responsibility for conducting secret legislative meetings at his mansion.

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booyalab 2 years, 4 months ago

So, progressives, let's say...hypothetically....that tax increases were shown to not increase revenue. What would you want to do then? Or would you still want tax increases as a symbolic you-know-what to the "rich", even if the increased tax rates just caused them to put their money in another country.

I ask because that is the reality. So I am curious about whether you actually care about the facts or if you just spout anything that seems to support your assumptions.

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Alyosha 2 years, 4 months ago

First, it's not just progressives who think what Brownback is doing ss wreckless policy. Unless of course the president of the Kansas senate is a progressive, in which case the term has no real meaning.

So, I'll fix your question before answering it: "So, people of all political stripes, let's say...hypothetically....that tax increases were shown to not increase revenue. What would you want to do then? Or would you still want tax increases as a symbolic you-know-what to the "rich", even if the increased tax rates just caused them to put their money in another country."

To answer the more accurately worded question: we (I presume) all are interested in sound public policy. Thus we must balance tax revenue in line with the widest social good for everyone. As a nation we have obligations that extend beyond rank self-interest, understanding that as everyone does better, everyone does better. My self interests are directly effected if more and more citizens are in terrible circumstances. Terrible circumstances, as history shows (recall how Kansans nearly revolted because of bank policies during the depression?), breed social ills that effect everyone. I'll repeat that everyone is better off when everyone is better off. The question is, how do we make the best grounds for everyone being better off and secure? Certainly we can see that 40 years of policies like Brownback is championing have gotten us precisely where we are: record growth for the very wealthy and already well off, and record unemployment / underemployment and stagnant real income for everyone else.

Now I'll ask you a question, which I hope you'll consider and answer: what's wrong with going back to the tax rates we had under Ronald Reagan? I'd accept those. Would you?

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booyalab 2 years, 4 months ago

Incidentally, no state income taxes would be amazing. Currently, Kansans who make 16,000 a year are taxed over 6%. That is ridiculous.

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booyalab 2 years, 4 months ago

The rate actually doubles between 15,000 and 15,001. We love us some poories.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

Not sure how accurate your description of the brackets is (actually I think they're wrong,) but assuming they are right, the difference in taxes that you describe above between $15,000 and $15,001 would be six cents.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 4 months ago

I disagree that Brownback is smart. Brownback is simply an actor.

He is an "agent of influence" who simply works for some very wealthy and powerful people.

His bio and his presentation have been carefully crafted to appeal to the most naivete people on the planet.

He is not a good manager or an intellectual. He is simply an actor doing his job and he probably pulled off his greatest role yet in pushing through these tax cuts which were even more than he dreamed possible.

I am certain there is a hit list somewhere for what will come next year and the Department of Education is probably on it. They just need to get rid of a few moderate Republicans and they will own this state.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

There is a great similarity between actors and politicians. That's not true of all politicians, but more often than not, their job is to be a shill for whoever hires them, and that requires a good deal of acting ability. They don't even have to fully understand the positions they take, as long as they read the lines well (Ronnie Rayguns being the best example of such an actor and politician.)

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Jimo 2 years, 4 months ago

"In signing the bill, Brownback invoked President Ronald Reagan..."

In 1967, Ronald Reagan became a governor himself. He promptly raised income taxes $1 billion dollars (in 1967 dollars - maybe $16 billion today, which ironically is the size of Calif.'s current budget deficit that the GOP refuses to close by taxation) to attack the state's budget deficit. At the time, this increase was roughly a 30% tax increase in a single year!

In 1972, Reagan raised income taxes another $1.1 billion (in 1972 dollars) as well as increasing sales taxes and corporate taxes.

Reagan NEVER cut taxes when the shortfall couldn't be paid for by other taxes or by borrowing. He did so expressly for the purpose of balancing the budget while providing government services to the people.

When Reagan became Governor, state revenues were $2.9 billion. By the time he left office, state revenues were $8.6 billion. (And I note: college education was free.)

Reagan, the man not the myth, would be denounced today as a socialist. Brownback (as on so many other topics) is utterly clueless about reality, substituting his religious faith in Ayn Rand for facts.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 4 months ago

You must be talking about that other Reagan, the mythological one that the new hard right came up with to exploit the Reagan legacy. Your analysis comes straight from the Limbaugh-Hannity-Beck shows, none of whom ever made it through college but each of them consider themselves world class experts on economics.

Here is one link to an analysis of the Reagan tax cuts and tax increases.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/08/news/economy/reagan_years_taxes/index.htm

Reagan was an extremely likeable guy who made a lot of mistakes but was a much better President than our last one. He was only an actor but he had more intelligence and common sense than any of the Republican candidates we have seen recently, which is kind of scary to think about.

I like to believe that Reagan was a good guy who sometimes listened to the wrong people.

The idea that massive tax cuts will always lead to massive growth is a myth. Kind of like adults believing in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

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Alyosha 2 years, 4 months ago

"...seeking no taxation without representation," not "... seeking tax relief."

Fixed that for you. Vastly different thing.

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Alyosha 2 years, 4 months ago

Also, would you agree to going back to tax rates under Ronald Reagan, or would you say that Reagan too made a pact with those who feel robbed of their self appointed "right of entitlement"?

Or to pick another couple Republican presidents, the tax rates under Eisenhower or Nixon?

It would behoove you to read more accurate histories before writing comments, so that you don't make obvious and easily avoidable mistakes. Everyone concerned with sound public policy should at least make sure they are not stating things with have no basis in historical fact.

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usnsnp 2 years, 4 months ago

Dont know if the plan will work or not. But if it does not work I would like the people responsible for it to man up and take responsibility for their mistake and not try and blame it on some group of people. If it does not work mabey they should resign from their position and forfite their retirement, but of course that would not happen, no skin in the game easy to make decisions that will not affect them.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 4 months ago

When Brownback's plan causes massive state deficits leading to severe cuts in spending on education and social services, it will have had its desired effect.

Brownback and the right wing GOP will not take responsibility. They will continue to claim that spending is still out of hand and that more cuts are needed.

Theirs is a good plan, as most people have very little consistent long term memory and tend not to remember root causes, only the issue in the present.

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Pragmatron 2 years, 4 months ago

To paraphrase Mike Kinsley after brain surgery; Now I can see how reduced taxes cause more revenue!

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4getabouit 2 years, 4 months ago

Brownback's statement a year from now:

"The tax cuts have worked. We have made significant gains in creating new private sector jobs. We will continue to make gains as the tax cuts sink in and the Kansas economy grows. This will take time. Presently, we are experiencing a fiscal deficient due to the excessive size of government and its associated bureaucracy. We will need to trim the size of government in order to reduce the deficit and to allow our job producing tax cuts to have their full impact. Public education and other social service agencies will need to learn to live within their means. Cuts will be made."

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George Lippencott 2 years, 4 months ago

Sure does BUT so what. In two years (if removed) he will go back to DC in a very well paying job and enjoy his future in the Republican Party. We will be left with the mess (if there is one). As long as the only consequence of bad public policy is losing an election – well!!!

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Dan Eyler 2 years, 3 months ago

If it doesn't work it will is because of the legislature that wants to continue to spend more than we take in. I cant pay any more taxes. Rather than reaching for a better future through hard work we are taxing the hard workers down to the level of those dependent on the tax payer. I say no. Thank you Governor and Kansas Legislature for putting responsibility back in the hands of local governments and individuals to go out and work and have a shot at a something better than a government handout. I'm good with the state funding core services but in the eyes of most of you everything thing you need to make you happy is a core service. That isn't going to work in Kansas any longer. Lawrence wants a new library, and rec center, football stadiums and artificial turf and now the school board wants more money in bonds, to expand services. Lawrence will have to decide how to pay for that because the money wont be coming from Topeka or tax payers outside of Lawrence. We will have to see how all that spending works out for Lawrence and other communities. All those choices we will have to make. What will it be rec centers and libraries or schools and football fields. Local communities will live and die on their own decisions now. For many in Lawrence that isn't what they were counting on.

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 3 months ago

You are one confused individual.

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