Despite Kansas’ Continuing Economic Disaster, Sam Brownback Promises To Abolish Taxes

 

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Most human beings learn early in life that conducting an experiment by sticking their hand in a fire will result in them feeling intense pain. However, if they are vicious and cruel they will never hesitate to see what happens if they stick someone else’s hand in the same fire. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback touted his trickle down tax cutting experiment would produce a bonanza in jobs, revenue, and economic growth the entire nation would marvel at and cause the rich no pain. Of course, the results have been exactly the opposite with Kansas residents and state government experiencing all the pain that a leader with an ounce of compassion would do anything to relieve; unless they are a Republican committed to the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist’s vision of abolishing income taxes as a means of abolishing government once and for all.

When Brownback first proposed giving away a $600 million budget surplus courtesy of his Democratic predecessor and add in another $1.2 billion for tax cuts for the rich and corporations, he knew the effects on the state would be devastating to the people. In fact, the recently ‘former’ head of the GOP warned Brownback at the time his trickle down tax cuts for the rich “will bankrupt the state within two years.” The House Democratic leader, Paul Davis said, “There is no feasible way that private-sector growth can accommodate the price tag of this tax cut for the wealthy. Our $600 million surplus will be a $2.5 billion deficit within just five years.” Instead of heeding the warnings, Brownback promised his tax cuts for the rich will produce nothing but economic success and gave thanks “for how god blessed our state.”

Apparently the damage to Kansas’ economy and its citizens from his Koch-Norquist tax-cutting scheme is insufficient for Brownback. During his recent state of the state speech he told Kansas lawmakers he had no intent of changing course and would accelerate his trickle down attack on government and the people. He also revealed that he was emboldened and came up with a new plan to punish the people after being in consultation with business and industry leaders regarding “our shared concerns. They have been generous with their time and frank with their advice, and we will continue our march to zero income taxes.”

That statement was music to the Kochs and Norquist’s ears. In 1980 when David Koch ran for the vice presidency on the Libertarian ticket one of the “big ten” issues was “the repeal of all taxation.” Grover Norquist has championed eliminating income taxes for a couple of decades as a means of “shrinking government down to a size I can drown in a bathtub.” Brownback’s tax elimination scheme is, besides a wealthy-enrichment plan, a process of cutting government to death and he started slowly with the conservatives’ vaunted trickle down scam.

Thus far, Brownback’s embrace of his “god blessed” trickle down experiment to enrich the wealthy and corporations will cost the state $5 billion in revenue within a few years despite a non-existent possibility of Brownback and Republicans addressing a $278 million revenue shortfall within a few months. Despite already “chopping government down to size;” the real reason for the Norquist-Koch tax cutting crusade, Brownback promises to shift money to cover just a fraction of the shortfall by further slashing much-needed infrastructure spending, and naturally just rob more from the state’s pension fund that is already suffering a major shortfall; all in an effort to preserve and increase tax cuts for the wealthy. Brownback’s tax cuts have failed to produce the storied trickle-down benefits he labeled “an economic shot of adrenaline” as the state lags every other state in the region in GDP improvement as well as a pathetic job growth record lagging the national trend of substantial job expansion. The tax cuts have also not helped the state’s per capita income ranking and Kansas residents are fleeing the state in record numbers to find jobs, adequately funded schools, and decent roads.

Since there is no way Brownback is going to abandon his tax cuts for the rich, both to increase their wealth and reduce government for Grover Norquist, he has few options to avoid immediate bankruptcy besides taking more from the people. He has already cut healthcare, education, pensions, infrastructure, and several state agencies, so his only recourse is to substantially raise taxes on the poor and middle class; a prospect Brownback told legislators is “definitely on the table,” and since he intends on abolishing income taxes he will use an “income inequality” widening scam Republicans can embrace; raise state sales tax rates.

Raising sales taxes is a perfect Republican scheme because doing so does “disproportionate damage to poor, low, and middle-income citizens.” Increasing sales taxes, according to several studies is the most regressive economic policy scheme and does the most possible damage to minimum wage workers who have to spend every penny they earn just to survive. A sales tax increase will not affect the rich proportionally, and according to The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, states with high sales tax are ‘fundamentally unfair” to poor, and lower-middle-income Americans; particularly in states with no income tax because they “disproportionally eat into low-wage workers’ meager incomes.”

The Tax Institute’s list of the “Terrible 10″ states with no income tax and higher-sales tax reveals that “the bottom quintile of wage earners pay up to seven times as much of their income in taxes as the top one percent does.” What that means for Kansas residents, especially poor and lower-income residents, is that they will pay more to help Brownback eliminate taxes on the wealthy and corporations besides losing more funding for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and domestic programs. It is doubtless that Brownback thinks making the poor pay more to enrich the rich and corporations will bring more of “god’s blessings on the state’s richest one percent.

In four short years Brownback squandered a significant budget surplus on tax cuts for the rich, added another billion-plus dollars paid for with education, healthcare, pension, infrastructure, and child program cuts and still, the state is hemorrhaging cash. The state has suffered several credit downgrades, been ordered by two separate courts to adequately fund education, and lags the nation in every economic category. Instead of rescinding, or at least reducing, the epic tax cut gifts to the rich, Brownback met with business and industry leaders to plan a tax elimination scheme that forces more economic pain on the state’s poorest residents.

One wants to empathize with Kansans, but it is difficult to feel anything but contempt for those who re-elected a walking, talking, Koch trickle down devotee who just announced he is going to advance his experiment and inflict more pain on the people; except those who were smart enough to flee the state.

26 Replies to “Despite Kansas’ Continuing Economic Disaster, Sam Brownback Promises To Abolish Taxes”

  1. One of the biggest problems is those who most need to flee the state i.e. the lower and lower middle classes can’t afford to leave. Of course the rich will stay and probably send their kids to exclusive private schools until Kansas finally has no other choice but to put some tax on them and then they’ll flee leaving only those who can’t afford to leave. WTG Kansas Repugs and non-voters. Hope you’re happy.

  2. I have a great curiosity to know just who the “business and industry leaders” were that Gov. Brownback discussed his options with. Were they from Koch and Koch-related businesses and industries? Were they dependent on them in any way? It goes without saying that those are the ones who backed Brownback’s reelection campaign with copious amounts of funding.

    Brownback will be granting wishes for their largesse. This is all going to their plan. It is not done in ignorance of the consequences; it is their goal to take away from anything that smacks of people helping people and it is their goal to do away with the middle class.

    It is the people who willfully ignore what their own eyes and ears tell them about trickle-down economics that need to come to accept the truth they do not want to know.

    The economy in Kansas went into the toilet in a mere 4 years. Yet Brownback is still the governor and Kansas will regress even further in the next 4 years.

    The Kock brothers are smiling.

  3. I will only feel pain if Kansas gets help from the Fed. And that is behind all this. Drain the fed.

    Kansas needs to go down on its own

  4. Once they do go bankrupt, I pray the government dose bail them out. The voters should recall this madman before it get’s to that point.

  5. Kansans knew full well what they were getting, both in 2010 and in 2014. They gave Brownback the governor’s house, twice, because he bleated a full-throated JeeeZusss and a chorus of Hallelujahs to a sorry state of sanctimonious sh*tbrains.

    Let the calico church ladies and their American Gothic men folk Gather at the River and drink in full measure, their Balm of Gideon. Perhaps In the Sweet By and By the smarter among them will come to realize that Brownback was quietly singing “Sweet Bought and Bought” with a wink and a nod towards Charles and David Koch.

  6. The republocusts remind me of the scene in the Lion King when the brother of musafa, Scar, takes over and lets the hyenas run the Savannah. The Savannah turned into a barren desolate waste land thanks to the greedy, devouring nature of the hyenas and that is what the GOP is: a bunch of greedy, predatory hyenas that will lay waste to whatever they touch. Because they DONT CARE.

    Is there anybody left who doesn’t get it? They DONT CARE.

  7. Hmm. Either he lives in OZ, or he failed Math and Civics in school because he doesn’t know the Constitution.

    Great post!

  8. Kansans had an opportunity to change course and instead voted to continue their rush toward the cliff. They deserve what they get. The rest of the nation needs to watch this state destroy itself and perhaps learn a lesson from it. Unfortunately, Kansans obviously didn’t learn from their mistake and will suffer a terrible lesson as a result. I sincerely hope the federal government doesn’t waste my tax money to bail them out. Leave that to the rich and “industries” that guided their Governor down that path.

  9. Kansas deserves everything bad that could possibly happen. Even the Democrats that lived there and didn’t show up to vote and get rid of that psycho Tea Bagger Brownback. Every tornado should head straight for them and then let them ask for aid, we should say no unless they hang Brownback from his heels like Mussolini. You know damned good and well when Kansas has had all that it can stand then Brownback will blame his ignorance on Obama and those wheatheads will eat up every turd Brownback tosses them. To hell with ignorant Americans! You vote in a psycho DEAL WITH IT!!!

  10. I’m confused…..
    If they don’t collect taxes where does the $$ come from to pay the state employees, police, firefighters, including Dumbbeck?

    You already have a NEGATIVE deficit…

    “pay no attention to the idiot behind the curtain”

  11. What people don’t understand is that there were 2 choices in the election. And both of those choices were REpublicans. The Republican that switched to Democrat was not going to do anything to reverse the cuts in services to poor people or to old people. He was going to stay the course on all cuts and tax breaks that were made, but would not make any more cuts or breaks. The Lesser of two Evils is not a Choice, they’re both Evil. Let this be a lesson throughout America. If Democrats want voters to come out of their houses, then they have to be doing something for them! Not just asking people to vote for them because their party leader became a dictator and went rogue on them.

  12. Not everyone in Kansas voted for the idiot! We didn’t have much of a choice to vote for because it was bad and worse anyway! However, Brownback lost the election until the wonderful folks in Johnson County voted. The rich people in Johnson Co. won the election for Brownback not the State of Kansas. Unfortunately, all of us get to suffer because of it :(

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