Kansas GOP: Poor Are Too Rich

Kansas Republicans, under the leadership of “compassionate conservative” Sam Brownback, are working hard to stick it to the poor:

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.

The hike would come from the elimination of tax credits typically benefiting the poor.

I can’t help but see this as a continuation of the conservative meme that its the poor who don’t pay their “fair share.” Last fall, as the Occupy movement gained steam, it became common for conservatives to complain about the 47 percent of Americans who “don’t pay taxes.” Presidential candidates like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry complained about it in speeches and debate performances, while conservative activists (Redstate’s Erick Erickson comes to mind) touted it in response to the Occupy movement.

Of course, the claim was misleading to the extreme; all Americans pay something to the government—sales taxes, payroll taxes, and various state taxes—but only some make enough money to owe federal income taxes. Those that don’t, as Annie Lowrey explained for Slate, are either poor, or benefit from a variety of tax deductions:

About half of households within that 47 percent do not end up paying federal income tax because they qualify for enough breaks to cancel their tax obligations out. Of that group, 44 percent are claiming tax benefits for the elderly, like an exemption for Social Security payments. And 30.4 percent are claiming credits for “children and the working poor,” like the child-care tax credit. The remainder get breaks for investment income, spending on education, itemized deductions, and a mish-mash of other things. When combined, it’s all enough to cancel out their income tax requirements.

Because of facts like this, and the declining visibility of the Occupy movement, conservatives began to back off on the rhetoric of tax increases for low-income Americans and others who benefit from social services. That said, both policies have always been part of conservative proposals for reform—see Paul Ryan’s roadmap, for example—and in states like Kansas, Republicans are actively working to increase the burden on the least well-off.

One last thing: Kansas Republicans say that this proposal is to make the state more competitive. “Our goal is for our economy to look more like Texas, and a lot less like California,” said Brownback. If that’s the case, then the Kansas GOP should spend less time trying to raise taxes on poor people, and more time trying to encourage immigration. More than anything, Texas has been a beneficiary of the fact that people want to live there. As it stands, however, conservatives in Kansas would rather joke about shooting immigrants than work to bring them to the state.

Comments

Republicans demonstrate 1) hypocrisy 2) disdain for those in need 3) staying bought. Dog bites man.

These people are basically corrupt, deceitful and incompetent. The problem is that most people know this and it applies to almost all levels of government.
But the question is, who is worse, the corrupt politicians or the people who ELECT them even though they know they are corrupt?

Now may I ask the perennial question. I assume the people whose taxes are being raised vote. Why not just vote these clowns out? Oh yeah their preachers told them not to. There does come a time when they need to stand up on their own.

It's all about fear. Fear of this, fear of that. Fear of another 9/11...you can do anything to the American People, if you make them afraid enough. That's why Americans----who fully expected Bush to at least avenge 9/11-----got tired and elected his opposite number; President Obama, who DID the deed that Bush was supposed to do, kill bin Laden.

I'm hoping that we lose our fear. But with a media that flogs "fear" at us at the least opportunity---even lies---Americans will have to remember a time when we were NOT afraid, when we HAD vanquished our global enemies, when we kicked s#it, went to the moon, CAME BACK FROM THE MOON, ALIVE....brought in Medicare and Medicaid (Thank you, Mr. President Lyndon B. Johnson!) --As well as, his famous Aid to Education, now all but gutted while we weren't looking. And Labor Unions? Now it seems that Congress has bought a few judges to DISSOLVE them. Unions were (in the 50s, 60s and 70s) the main engine of the massive climb of the poor out of poverty, into the Middle Class. And now?

A few crooked judges, can DISSOLVE one of our biggest unions? Well, then this country has to retrench and VOTE DEMOCRAT. Republicans kill unions and prosperity with ease and glee---but it's harder when it's Democrats being bought off. At least the bought-off Dems KNOW they'll be voted out once people find out----what's more, their political memories among the people of this country, will be ridiculed.

Vote Democrat. They're the better (WAY better) political party. For sure the republican dirt- and douchebags now running, ought to be in jail and maybe with their Dem enemies firmly in power (that 60-vote 'majority' applies for us, too!) we can get them there.

Above all. Apathy is NOT an option. The Republicans proved that for themselves ever since 2000. There, numerically, is WAY MORE of us, than there is, of them. Their biggest fear is that Democrats become as politically active (at the polls, at least) as the Republicans. May that wish come---and above all, STAY--true.

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