Anti-Tax Republican Governors Are Raising Taxes On The Poor and Middle Class

GOP Taxes

It is an undeniable understatement to say Republicans detest taxes nearly as much as they hate Americans who are not part of the wealthy elite class. However, even anti-tax and anti-government Republican governors cannot deny their states require just enough revenue to keep the people from revolting over myriad government breakdowns due to a lack of funding. Even though most Republican governors are wary of going all-in on tax cuts for the rich and corporations  like trickle-down failure Kansas governor Sam Brownback, they are going all in to raise taxes on their poor and middle class  residents to avoid putting any “financial strain” on their wealthiest donors and their corporations.

It is likely that at least eight Republican governors are aware that according to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the crushing lack of revenue growth in Republican states is not enough to maintain even basic services and meet their constituents’ increasing demands to spend more on education, roads, social programs, and prisons.  According to NASBO executive director Scott D. Pattison, some Republican governors “realize that money is tight, and there’s not enough to go around even if you just want to do the basics, like fund K-through-12 education and Medicaid. What’s going to happen is that elected officials want to implement tax cuts, but they can’t do anything significant or dramatic.” Translation: no tax hikes unless they are consumption-based to put all the burden on people further down the income ladder; the middle class and the poor.

For most legislatures in Republican states, the idea of tax hikes at all are an abomination and it is a factor anti-tax and anti-government crusader Grover Norquist noted will put a damper on governors’ intent on raising any kind of taxes. He said he was “annoyed by some governors who were calling for tax hikes” and accused Nevada Governor- Brian Sandoval as “really bad on taxes.

You can’t just look at governors these days. You’ve got to look at the legislatures” who will oppose any kind of tax increases regardless their state’s fiscal situation.  Norquist went on to tout a few red state legislatures that are “much more anti-government, pro-growth, and anti-tax than their governors.” Nevada is one of those states.

Sandoval recently proposed a $1.1 billion tax increase for education that drew an immediate response from Republicans in the state legislature who promised that “whether we kill it by five votes or 15 votes or 25 votes, we are going to kill it.” For his part, Sandoval said he expected it to face opposition, but argued that the state needed to do something to improve its education system. “What we must all agree on is that another generation of young Nevadans cannot move through our schools without more resources, and that we must modernize our revenue system.” However, no Nevadan should expect new funding to come at all, much less from the rich; something all Republican legislatures, the Koch Congress, and red state administrations concur on.

For example, in Maine, Governor Paul R. LePage called for increases in sales tax and subjecting “more goods and services” used by the poor and middle class with tax hikes to offset cuts to personal income tax and eliminating the estate tax; all to benefit the rich. Le Page is aligned with other Republican governors who are proposing increases in the sales tax, gas tax, liquor tax, tobacco tax, and several other levies to offset the larger cost of eliminating personal income taxes for the rich.

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder proposed increasing the gas and sales tax to cover shortfalls in spending on roads and bridges, but the Republican legislature said it was not happening. Eventually they agreed to compromise with Snyder and let voters decide to raise gas and sales tax, but not income tax because it might affect the wealthy and corporations.

Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota proposed raising the gas tax and several other “consumption-based taxes and fees” because highway funding is falling short. Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert already raised taxes on tobacco and proposed extending it to e-cigarettes, and said he was open to an increase in the gasoline tax. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she might allow the state legislature to raise its gas tax, but only if the legislature cut the income tax by almost a third and reformed (read slash) the State Transportation Department.

Republicans will do anything possible to prop up their state economies so long as they can preserve major reductions to, or eliminate altogether, income taxes that may affect the rich. As the director of state fiscal research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Michael Leachman, said  “there is no evidence that cutting the income tax or other taxes creates jobs or attracts business. In a study conducted by Leachman, states that cut personal income taxes the most during the 1990s grew more slowly than the nation average and the only three that did experience growth were “energy-rich states benefitting from higher gas prices.”

As usual, Republicans of all stripes claim that drastically cutting, or eliminating, income taxes are crucial, and proven, to boost economic growth. But that is a contention that has proven false for thirty years and most recently a shown to be a certifiable fiscal disaster as evidenced by Brownback’s continuing tax-cutting exercise in Kansas. As Leachman and every economist on Earth understands, replacing income tax revenue with consumption-based taxes does nothing except put the entire burden on the poor and middle class. It is why President Obama and most Democrats believe that “If there’s a tax cut, we think it should benefit the middle class and not disproportionately benefit the upper classes.”

However, Republicans exist to benefit the “upper classes” and they will raise taxes on the poor and middle class through scams like raising the gas tax, implementing a flat tax, expanding the tax base, or preaching tax reform; all terms Americans have heard before and will hear much more in the coming months from the likes of Ayn Rand acolyte Paul Ryan. Ryan and Republicans’ goal is simple; to shift what little is left from so-called “takers” to the rich he calls makers. It is a lesson for all Americans to beware any Republican who claims they will consider raising taxes because it will always impact those who can least afford it; anyone except the filthy rich.

14 Replies to “Anti-Tax Republican Governors Are Raising Taxes On The Poor and Middle Class”

  1. They all do what they must for the benefit of their masters, the rich and Corporations. They care less for the people that live in their states that are poor or middle class.

  2. The only time the GOP are anti tax is when it comes to the wealthy. Everybody else, tax, tax, tax. I hope every white person who were dumb enough to vote for the GOP are happy with this. Once again the page of the rich has managed to trick white, working-class class people to vote against their interest.

    We know what will happen, don’t we? They will now blame Obama ad every black and brown person for their suffering brought about by themselves!
    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me again and again, shame on me! The tax cuts that these Governors gave to the wealthy caused a revenue shortfall! DOH!

    Now, instead of putting the taxes back on those they took it from, they are making many take up the tax burden that was once paid by the few!
    Everybody suffers, except the wealthy, their income increased, while working-class people see their wealth decrease.
    White people that vote Republican, I don’t want to hear the whining! This is what you voted for, it’s what you are getting. E…

  3. This is what happens when you don’t get out the vote. All this horror show is because 63.3% of the people didn’t get out to vote.

  4. I feel that the other Ayn Rand acolyte Rand Paul should be included in the last paragraph, because he always seems to have a lot to say about the poor, middle class, and black and brown people, and all of it tends to be pretty vapid.

  5. I wonder when the good folks of Kansas are going to storm the Capitol and install someone who will help the non-wealthy. Those wealthy with homes all across the world, multiple crew served ships and airplanes, hundreds of thousands acres of land, how long will “we the people” tolerate such outright thief from the public coffers? I’ve got my pitchfork sharpened and ready to go so there must be others who feel the disgust of the super rich and those political lapdogs that them possible. How long?

  6. Gov. Snyder is trying the same trick here in Michigan. Our roads are a disaster. Now the governor wants us to pass a referendum increasing the sales tax ostensibly to fix the roads but the fine print suggests that the money could be used for other things. I think the governor needs to spend a lot more time driving around the state on local roads, as in day after day after day, in a ten year-old car with its share of dents and rust. He might want to talk to some of the people who have had tires ruined because of potholes deep enough to go to China.

  7. All part of the plan. Privatize the profits and socialize the cost. 9 out of the top 10, and something like 17 of the top 20 states that receive more back in federal subsidies than they contribute to the treasury are GOP controlled states. In other words, they are freeloading off the more responsible and prosperous states. On the micro level, WalMart posts billions in profits while openly counseling their slav…errr employees how to get on the dole to survive. The plutocrats want nothing more than a starving, frightened and desperate work force. They will accept crumbs, ignore horrible working conditions and a toxic environment because they are reduced to the basest levels of survival instinct. This will only change if the Dems trumpet the truth continuously and people vote for themselves instead of against, or…there will be blood.

  8. At Davos, 1%ers Talk About How To Make Their Getaway
    With growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people’s mind, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.

  9. Yes, beagle mom, I am here too, and Snyder disgusts me. He vetoes guns for stalkers, pretending to be all human again, then lets the GOP run all over him with this tax scheme (or was that the plan all long?) Sales tax increases hurt people…we are just barely recovering from five years ago, and this will hurt businesses. People will once again start thinking hard about purchasing anything, particularly a new car or a home..that extra 1% is a lot. Not to mention the tourists who will not like that extra tax on their trinkets, not to mention the bone crushing they will get trying to drive to Mackinac this summer. I do hope the Kochs are proud of ruing this nation..because they, the NRA, and Norquist have just about turned us into the third world.

  10. The death of the country state by state, all for the rich. As smart as the rich may be, dont they understand when the country dies their money is worthless?

  11. Here in North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCory and the Rep controllled Legislature are trying their damnest to make us the 2nd Kansas. Since they took control in 2012 they cut taxes for the wealthy while increasing taxes on services. We have the 5th highest gas tax in the nation, they rasied it this year. They cut unempolyment benefits and the time limit. They put taxes on things like movies, sporting events, concerts, fishing licenses, and other things the middle class enioy. They refuse the ACA, so many go without seeing DR. They cut education funds and are trying to stop teacher tenure. Not the metion the abortion laws they passed. 2012 was the first time since the reconstuction that the Republicans have controlled our Government. The drastic actions the have taken explain why for so long voters have not let them take control. Enough of this little experiment, its time to clean house in 2016.

  12. If they were gonna do it, they would’ve done it by now. The Right Wing will continue to blame minorities, the poor, and Democrats and Red brains will continue to believe them.

    Sooner or later, even Red brains will figure it out and stop electing these clowns but not for quite some time. If Kansas voters were all that quick on the uptake, their state wouldn’t be facing bankruptcy while the rest of the nation’s economy flourishes.

  13. When Republicans proselytize tax cuts, they ONLY mean for the wealthy and well-connected. All others, down to the minimum wage earner, must pay what the wealthy and well-connected don’t want to.

    The only way to stop them is to VOTE DEMOCRATIC. The Democratic Party is far from perfect, but at least they don’t want to raise taxes that will irreparably harm the “least among us” or kill the middle class.

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