Letter to the editor: Don’t imitate Kansas

To the editor:

The reaction of the Kansas congressional delegation to the Republican tax reform plan is unbelievable.

Have they paid no attention to their state, which was the guinea pig for Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax experiment? U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ claim that “these two [tax] reforms could not be more different” indicates she doesn’t understand how Brownback’s plan was supposed to work. The Brownback experiment was to demonstrate that cutting taxes would stimulate the economy and generate so much more income that tax revenues would increase even though tax rates were lower. The key first step was to stimulate the economy, and in that regard the experiment failed miserably as the Journal-World pointed out.

The Republican tax reform bill has the same components as Brownback’s plan: tax breaks for corporations, for businesses with pass-through income, and for the very wealthy, and requires that these tax breaks accelerate economic growth, which would supposedly generate more income and tax revenues. Jenkins has one thing right: The tax cuts will not be as large as those engineered by Brownback — but this is a problem with the plan. Pass-through businesses will pay a tax of 25 percent, not zero, meaning businesses will get a much smaller incentive to spend and invest. If the huge tax breaks that Brownback gave to the wealthy and businesses in Kansas provided no stimulus to the state’s economy, how can smaller tax cuts stimulate the nation’s?