Archive for Saturday, May 20, 2017

Opinion: Yes vote on Trump tax plan a betrayal

May 20, 2017


An open letter to the Kansas congressional delegation:

Dear Reps. Marshall, Jenkins, Yoder and Estes, and Sens. Roberts and Moran,

A moment of truth for each of you is at hand. President Trump has proposed a tax plan that looks and sounds remarkably like the Brownback experiment now playing out in Kansas. Trump will be asking for your vote, but consider the experience of your home state before you cast it.

Just like the Brownback tax cuts, the Trump plan makes dramatic changes to tax policy by consolidating income tax rates and reworking deductions. But most notably, the Trump plan offers an enormous tax break to individuals who receive “business pass through income.” In Kansas this feature has become known derogatorily as the LLC loophole, allowing business income to be sheltered from income tax while people who earn a paycheck must pay tax.

Given that the same economists who advised Brownback now advise Trump, it’s not surprising that the Trump administration uses similar arguments to sell its plan: The tax cuts will grow the economy and create millions of jobs; the tax cuts will pay for themselves; everyone will benefit. Brownback said all that too.

But after five years of the Brownback experiment in Kansas, we know the real result. Kansas has an anemic economy and one of the lowest rates of job growth in the nation. A dramatic drop in revenue broke the state budget, wiped out reserves, significantly boosted state debt and put public education at risk. And that part about everyone benefitting — well, it turns out that the bulk of the tax cut benefits went to the wealthiest Kansans while the tax bill to low-income Kansans actually went up.

The idea that tax cuts will “pay for themselves” or that tax cuts for the wealthy will “trickle down” to the middle class should be added to the list of discredited ideas that sound good but don’t work. The sell-job at the beginning was oh-so-seductive, but Kansans now have the raw experience to grasp that the experiment carried out on us was a complete failure.

Do you understand how hard Kansas legislators must labor now to fix the financial disaster? Are you catching on that general fund revenue has fallen $1 billion below expenses? Can you see how all political energy goes into crisis management rather than building our future? Is that what you want for the entire country?

Based on your public statements so far, it’s hard to feel confident that any of you will acknowledge the tax policy failure in Kansas and fight off the Trump plan. If you support it, you betray all who have endured the troubles resulting from the Brownback plan, and the Kansas legislators who have been struggling in overtime this legislative session to reverse course. And a yes vote would be a willful betrayal, because after everything that has happened in Kansas, you will never be able to say “I didn’t know.”

— Duane Goossen formerly served 12 years as Kansas budget director.


Richard Heckler 11 months, 1 week ago

Why is it that democrats and moderate republicans are not advising voters?

Conservatives such as the Kansas delegation are neither fiscal conservatives nor fiscally responsible.

They are conservatives being directed by the American Legislative Exchange Council which designs legislation behind closed doors with many legislators attending those closed door sessions who then carry the legislation back to Washington D.C. and to state legislatures. This unacceptable activity has been in effect for nearly 30 years and/or as long as each representative has been in office.

These representatives are on tax dollar payrolls. There is something wrong with this picture.

Does the American Legislative Exchange Council have an agenda? Big time!


Supported extensively by:

SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Legislators to Say NO to the Far-Right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

Richard Heckler 11 months, 1 week ago

The American Legislative Exchange Council specializes in killing state economies thus setting up state government services to be unable to carry on due to inadequate funding. Why?

The American Legislative Exchange Council is the big pusher of privatization which is nothing more than quietly selling off government services to private industry by way of state and congressional legislative action. We call this a guarantee of big profits at taxpayer expense.

Some of these big profits are coming back to conservative legislators as campaign donations aka kick backs. Not a good deal for taxpayers!

Some of these big profits are also supporting CEO pay packages with large golden parachutes and who knows what else. Not a good deal for taxpayers!

Privatization has killed a lot of good paying state level jobs since Gov Brownback took office. Not a good deal for taxpayers or local economies.

Richard Heckler 11 months, 1 week ago

What are these privatization predators trying to steal from taxpayers?

YOUR public school system = a best bang for the buck in spite of the organized lying designed by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

YOUR Social Security Insurance = a remarkable program.

YOUR Medicare Insurance = a remarkable program

Your Medicaid services that Gov Brownback has effectively removed Kansas taxpayers from receiving what taxpayers have paid for.

YOUR right to vote is part of this rather fraudulent activity because ALEC needs the votes to elect THEIR well trained and well funded candidates. Kobach is their man.

Gov Sam Brownback has been their soldier for many years. Gov Brownback has been visiting President Trump with some degree of frequency.

The American Legislative Exchange Council is heavily focused on state level governments throughout the USA as we speak.

Richard Heckler 11 months, 1 week ago

SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Legislators to Say NO to the Far-Right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

The American Legislative Exchange Council Dynasty is well funded and managed by very smart people. Never under estimate their ulterior motives. Throwing taxpayers under the bus is among their strong points.

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