Archive for Friday, November 3, 2017

GOP tax plan draws partisan praise and criticism from Kansans

President Donald Trump holds an example of what a new tax form may look like during a meeting on tax policy with Republican lawmakers in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Washington. From left, Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Trump, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump holds an example of what a new tax form may look like during a meeting on tax policy with Republican lawmakers in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Washington. From left, Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Trump, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

November 3, 2017


— Republicans in Congress introduced a bill this week to overhaul the federal tax system, prompting praise from the all-Republican Kansas congressional delegation and dire warnings from Kansas Democrats who call it a repeat at the national level of Gov. Sam Brownback's recently repealed tax experiment.

“After working on overhauling our tax code for several years, this is truly a significant moment," 2nd District. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, of Topeka, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee handling the bill, said in a news release. "The release of this tax reform legislation is a major step towards fixing our broken tax code and making it fairer and simpler for all."

Third District Rep. Kevin Yoder, of Overland Park, was equally positive about the bill.

"Tax reform is a critical part of our economic growth agenda, along with reducing harmful regulations and making targeted investments in things like education and research," he said in a statement. "We’re going to work through the amendment process, make this an even better final product, and hopefully bring a bill to the President that makes the tax code more simple and fair, helps create jobs and grow paychecks, and helps working families keep more of their hard-earned money.”

But the plan has drawn immediate comparisons to the tax policies Brownback and his allies in the Kansas Legislature championed in 2012, and which the GOP-dominated Legislature effectively repealed this year in the face of mounting revenue shortfalls and unpopular spending cuts.

For example, the plan would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to four and double the standard deduction, which effectively erases any tax liability for individuals earning less than $12,000 and married couples earning less than $24,000.

It also drastically lowers, but does not eliminate, as Kansas did, taxes on certain kinds of nonwage business income from partnerships, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships and other types of "pass-through" entities.

And it drastically reduces the corporate tax rate.

However, there also are major differences with the Brownback tax policies. Most notably, the congressional plan does not include future, automatic cuts in individual rates, setting in motion a "march to zero" income taxes as the Kansas plan did.

Still, Republicans in Washington are using strikingly similar language to what was used in Kansas in promoting the plan.

Whereas Brownback initially touted his plan as a "shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy," President Donald Trump has called the GOP plan, "rocket fuel for our economy."

That similarity wasn't lost on Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, who on Thursday joined congressional Democrats in Washington to denounce the plan.

"The Kansas tax experiment was an utter and complete failure that almost bankrupted our state," he said.

Ward blamed the tax cuts for an extended period of revenue shortfalls that forced cuts in education funding and highway spending, as well as increases in other forms of taxes. But he also went further, blaming the tax cuts for other recent breakdowns in state services.

"We've had a prison riot, two prison riots last summer, and what was the most appalling because it hit home so close, the department in charge of protecting our abused and neglected children lost — lost — 74 of those children last year," Ward said.

But 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall, of Great Bend, echoed the GOP assertion that the tax overhaul would boost the economy.

"Our hardworking American taxpayers and local businesses deserve tax relief, and this is a huge step in that direction," he said in a statement posted on his website. "Doubling the standard deduction while allowing those same families to file their taxes on a postcard will make it so Kansans can spend that time and money as they see fit."

And 4th District Rep. Ron Estes, of Wichita, said the bill would provide financial relief for middle-income families.

“This bill will allow hard-working families across Kansas to keep more of the money they’ve earned and will dramatically boost our economy," he said in a statement. "A typical family of four earning $59,000 will get a $1,182 tax cut under this bill. That's money that's desperately needed by families saving for their children's education or for their retirement."


Geoff Ermlap 7 months, 3 weeks ago

After what Kansas has gone thru these representatives of Kansas are ready to do it all over again on a grand scale.

Cille King 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The GOP says this is a "jobs bill". It's similar to Brownback's failed tax experiment in cutting taxes for the rich, as 85% went to the top 201% income earners. Kansas jobs fell 9000 one year, and was behind regional job growth, income growth, and economic growth. And the loss in revenue caused 3 credit ratings downgrades.

This tax GOP tax plan adds $1.5 trillion to the debt over a decade, while the current budget proposal cuts Medicare by half a trillion, cuts Medicaid by over a trillion, to allow the wealthy to receive a huge tax break.

This GOP tax plan gives 85% of the benefits to the top income brackets. The richest 20% of Americans already have 85% of the wealth. This is just another plan to further income inequality.

Corporations have had record profits over the last decade, while wages have been stagnant over the last decade. Corporations do not need a tax cut and this plan will not further investments or increase jobs. Like in Kansas - this plan will be a tax avoidance plan when people restructure their income to be "pass-through" income.

This GOP plan may make it easier for some to file their taxes - as some deductions will no longer be allowed. But, expects are saying that this will complicate business tax filings and increase business costs to file taxes returns.

This plan eliminates the estate tax - which is currently only paid when a single person has over a $5.5 million estate, or a couple has over a $11 million estate. This will further increasing our income inequality.

Instead of this GOP tax plan, lets spend $1 trillion over the next decade for infrastructure. It would put people to work, repair out broken water systems, roads, bridges, could add high speed internet, high speed rail, and make us more competitive.

Richard Heckler 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Nothing in it for the middle class.......

This tax plan is following this agenda:

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE NOT GOP? To serial liars like Donald Trump, nothing poses a greater threat than the cold, hard truth. They win elections by preying on people who are not equipped with the information they need to make informed, reasoned decisions. Don’t let yourself be one of those people!

Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws

Like it or not we old school republicans need to stop voting the republican ticket because ultra conservatives took over our party through unethical methods. Big reckless spending and monster lies. Time for all of us to break ranks with the GOP.

Not voting is the same as voting for ALEC and a very radical right wing government.


The ALEC War ON America:

--- War against Medical Insurance and Single Payer

--- War on public education and Higher Education

--- War on the economy through Supply Side Wreckanomics

--- War against women

--- War on Voters Rights

--- War on strict gun regulations

--- War On National Monuments/Parks

--- War on the USA Postal Service

--- War On Environmental Cleanliness

--- War On Good Wages aka Right To Work Legislation

--- War On USA Jobs aka Free Trade Agreements and Leveraged Buyout Scams

--- War On Social Security Insurance

--- War On Medicaid

--- War On Medicare

--- War for Oil Control Worldwide

--- War on truth about global warming/climate change

Union of Concerned Scientists

Dave Lee 7 months, 3 weeks ago

you know what was a great success in KANSAS?! their cutting of taxes to promote growth. and it would have worked if they had just given it a bit longer . like till it bankrupted the state. so lets take that success and apply it to AMERICA. MAGA. it worked for kansas. cant wait to see the results this time. i wonder how many people well set themselves up as LLCs so they can take advantage of the pass throughs. sign me up!

Dave Lee 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Its ASTONISHING that KS republicans in congress would support this. I mean its unbelievable . Did they not just witness what occurred in their own state? Please. WAKE up america. oh and lets deny that global warming is a thing, and lets build that wall. Cmon Kansas. You are better than this.

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