Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2012

Letter: Tax bargain

October 18, 2012


To the editor:

Taxes and fees support government. When combined, taxes and fees are either regressive (everyone pays about the same amount regardless of ability or income), flat (everyone pays approximately the same proportion of income) or progressive (those who have more pay at a higher rate).

Federal and state income taxes are supposed to be progressive. Gov. Brownback has essentially flattened the income tax rate, exempted most partnerships (including Koch brothers), repealed the food sales tax rebate and now proposes to raise the regressive sales tax rate. These actions are a dramatic shift of the tax burden onto the backs of the poor, the elderly and working class residents of Kansas.

It seems the Koch brothers got the bargain they paid for, thanks to Sam. It’s not clear whether Kansas voters bargained for what they got: a snout in a poke and a poke in the snout.


Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Brownback is secret government. Brownback represents the demise of the republican party as well as anyone he has appointed.


Vouchers were promoted in the 1990s as a way to help poor black children escape failing schools. But that rhetoric has disappeared in Milwaukee. Voucher supporters have expanded vouchers to middle-income families and have made clear they want to make vouchers available to all, including millionaires. Vouchers for poor children was just a first step.

For more than twenty years, I have listened to the voucher movement’s seductive rhetoric of “choice” and “parent power.” If I didn’t know better, I might proclaim, “Sign me up today!”

Milwaukee, however, has more than two decades of reality-based vouchers. The lesson from this heartland city?

Vouchers are a vehicle to funnel tax dollars into private schools. Using the false promise of “choice,” they are an unabashed abandonment of public education and of our hopes for a vibrant democracy.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

I am sick and tired of all the libertards and their lies that Governor Romney's tax plan is void of specifics. They are right here. Check it out yourself.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

I liked it the first time you posted it. But put it on too many threads and we'll have to start calling you Merrill.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

How bout Merrill Jr. There is only one Merrill.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Federal and state income taxes are supposed to be progressive"

Who says? Florida has a flat income tax. Flat zero.

Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, but it is still the case that the state income tax rate on the top 1% is 100 times lower than that for the poor.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

" I know some will say boo hoo but, like I said, you don't understand."

Oh such a heavy burden you bear, you poor dear.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Typically, anyone earning 250K/yr. are people who have spent many years working very hard to get to that level. School, along with the debt that goes with that, apprenticeships during the summers, then working their way up the ladder, all the while foregoing the fun and frivolity of their youthful counterparts. You'll find very few individuals who wind up having a dozen children with a dozen different partners.

That sort of behavior needs to be punished, according to people like Bozo. They need to be taxed and then taxed again. They need to pay an ever increasing burden so those who did have a dozen children, or drop out of school, or spent their summers at the beach, can live in a lifestyle without hardships. Tax them some more, says Bozo. And then tax them again.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

Nice strawman.

Meanwhile, many people go to school with many student loans, work very hard, forgo fun, do not have dozens of kids, climb ladders, etc, and don't end up earning 250k per year. According to, the average salary of PhDs with 20 years experience is $106,548. The average salary of a MS in computer engineering with 20 years experience is $125k. The average MBA with 20 years is only $122k.

If the reward for such hard work and dedication were aways high pay, I imagine a flat tax would have a lot more fans. Heck, libertarianism in general would have a lot more fans.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

You've made that same response several times. I showed it to a 14 year old who thought it quite clever. Giggled for at least 8 seconds before going back to you tube. Or was it the avatar that received the giggle? Dwell on that question for 8 more seconds and respond.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

It would behoove you to wait at least 8 seconds to respond sometimes.

PS - Your imaginary 14 year old wasn't even born when the first movie came out, old man. I've changed it to a better reference for the young peoples. I hear they're hip on this newfangled Internet thing.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Has it been more than 14 years? It must be true, time goes by faster the older you get, or in this case, the older I get.

But I did take your advise, I waited a full 5 hours to reply. But in the interim, you've edited the comment to which I initially replied. It's hard to carry on a conversation like that. Maybe that's why you suggested I wait a bit, until you've completed all your editing.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

I suggested you wait a bit because it was already edited before I even saw your didn't-at-all-make-you-sound-rash-and-silly response. You don't have infinite time to make edits, you know.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

So let me understand how this internet thing works. You make a one line snarky comment. When you receive one in kind, you edit out your own snarky comment, making it seem that it was the other person who responded to a now civil comment with a snarky comment. Up is down and right is wrong. Truth becomes a lie, white is black. Civil conversation is not the goal. Trying to one up your opponent is the goal. Gotta love this new technology.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, that's exactly the way the Internet works in delusional land. In reality land, I was editing the comment in another window before I even saw your response, and I don't care if you or anyone else thinks I'm snarky. I am snarky.

You pounced on Bozo's comment to someone else with a snarky strawman, gave an over the top reaction to being called out on it, and now you have the chutzpah to whine about civil discourse? That's the new "up is down."

Betty Bartholomew 5 years, 1 month ago

" I would guess that a large majority of those making $250k live paycheck to paycheck as well."

What in the world are they spending their money on? I could meet my family's basic needs comfortably and my husband or I could be a stay-at-home parent on a quarter of that. If somebody is making $250k and living paycheck-to-paycheck, that's piss-poor money management.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You seem to be making beth's point for her.

If you make those choices, and live paycheck to paycheck, that's nobody else's fault.

And, you could live quite comfortably and save a lot of money as well, by making different choices.

You yourself comment that one is "chasing the unattainable dream", which doesn't sound like such a great idea to me.

My wife and I live pretty comfortably and well on a fraction of $250K/yr, and we're saving for retirement as well. Even if we had more money, I'd never spend $7,500/month on a car payment or $1,000/month on utilities, which just seem wasteful to me. One could wait a couple of months and have enough to buy a decent new car, for one thing.

Also, a $50K/yr mortgage payment would translate to about a $500K house. I'm sure I could find a number of lovely houses in the $250-$300K price range.

In between "dog food" and Pachamama's, there are a lot of options, ones that improve one's quality of life without resulting in living paycheck to paycheck on $250K/yr.

paulveer 5 years, 1 month ago

It's called the "social contract." You may need to look it up. It's right next to the golden rule.

Richard Payton 5 years, 1 month ago

During the Presidential debates I heard mention the Cayman Islands and China pension money. What if we tax that money which is the hidden money. How fast could the government fund or cut the budget?

bad_dog 5 years, 1 month ago

"Do you want to be banned again?"

Oh, the irony...

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

There are very few people who are "non-contributors." Everybody who buys something in a state with sales tax is a contributor to the cost of governmental services. Everyone who lives in a residence (that is, not on the street or in a shelter) is paying property tax, either directly or indirectly as part of their rent. Everyone who buys gasoline is paying taxes, too. In the case of the people who have such small income that they aren't charged income tax, they are still paying a substantial portion of their income in taxes.

But let's talk about another sort of non-contributors. Those people who think that the US exists just for the purpose of allowing them to get as rich as possible, and begrudge every penny they pay in taxes, even as they collect all the benefits of living in our country: protected borders, police and fire protection, a wonderful system of roads, public water supplies, public education (either for themselves or for their customers and fellow-citizens), safe food and drugs, subsidies for essential industries (such as our farmers), etc. And the non-contributors who just spend on themselves, never helping charities that express our human empathy, or institutions that support learning, science, and the arts, or our religious institutions that teach us that selfishness and arrogance are sins. We do indeed have too many of that sort of non-contributors in this country, atiopatioo.

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