Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What is the Real Conservative Tax Policy – Take a Look at the Proposals in Kansas

Small Tax Increase on Low Income Taxpayer; Huge Tax Reduction on the Wealthy – That’s What We’re Talking About

Kansas is now firmly in the control of Conservative Republicans, and Conservative Republicans love nothing more than fiddling around with the tax system.  In Kansas they are proposing the tax policy everyone else would call unfair.  This is the rationale of their plans

State Republicans have been campaigning to overhaul the tax code in Kansas to spur growth. The idea is that, by eliminating income taxes for residents and small businesses, lowering the sales tax and ditching a host of tax credits, Kansans will have more money and thus stimulate the economy.

So what is the result of such a program as Kansas Republicans see it

A Kansas House tax committee passed a bill in which anyone making less than $25,000 a year — roughly half a million of the state’s 2.9 million residents — will pay an average of $72 more in taxes, while those making more than $250,000 — about 21,000 people — will see a $1,500 cut, according to Kansas Department of Revenue estimates cited by the Kansas City Star.

Well that seems fair, really it does, compared to the policy proposed by the state’s Neanderthal Conservative Governor.

The Kansas House bill, still under review by legislative leadership, is actually a less-ambitious version than one initially proposed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback in which the poorest would pay $156 more in income taxes while those making $250,000 a year would pay $5,200 less. 

Where could such an idiotic and punishing program come from?  Kansas employed the most discredited economist in the universe, the aptly named Art Laffer (Laugher)

Reaganomics mastermind Art Laffer is getting paid $75,000 to consult on the state’s overhaul, and he ran into some flak in January when he arrived to give testimony on the new plan, according to the Kansas City Star.

And the state’s Governor has argued that the policy will make Kansas look much more like Texas. 

"Our goal is for our economy to look more like Texas, and a lot less like California," Brownback said in a Wall Street Journal editorial praising the anti-income-tax plan.

How much like Texas? Kansas’ unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation, with 6.3% unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Texas’ is 7.8%. The USDA’s Economic Research Service  estimates Kansas’ poverty rate to be 13.5%, while Texas’ is 17.9%. 

Yep, as soon as Kansas’s unemployment rate increases and poverty rate increases they will declare the program a success.

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