To the editor:
Kansas Gov. Brownback and conservative Republican legislators are vowing to completely eliminate the state income tax. So, this filing season, can salaried workers quit paying it?
No. The only citizens who’ll get a pass are the 191,000 business owners exempted by these very same conservatives during the 2012 legislative session.
Conservatives rhapsodize about the wonderful life each Kansan will enjoy once liberated from state income tax. Why, then, did they use lawmaking power to selectively deny salaried workers the first taste of that happiness? It was fear: Conservatives fear the collapse of government if they eliminate the income tax for everybody.
Salaried workers, listen up: Your state income tax will never be eliminated. Yes, bills will be introduced creating the illusion of effort, but procedural difficulties will stall passage indefinitely. That won’t trouble conservatives.
The strategic goal is to exempt only wealthier Kansans, and, last session, the conservative majority seized that prize. Now each delay in eliminating income tax for everybody gives conservatives time to launch waves of provocative initiatives meant to draw attention away from their arrogated trophy: a new tax law that makes business owners our privileged lords and shakes down salaried workers for money to sustain government services. Conservatives hold power by extorting wage earners for state operating funds.
This method of governing betrays the American Colonies’ revolt that ended the social caste system and tax abuses imposed by the British monarchy. The 2012 tax law Kansas conservatives imposed is counter-revolutionary both in concept and execution.