Legislators should consider cutting or eliminating Kansas’ earned-income tax credit, or EITC.
It’s time for changes in the way government collects and spends its citizens money.
When and if legislators ever get the nerve to fully consider eliminating the EITC, residents shouldn’t fall for heated rhetoric that is likely to accuse politicians of of balancing the budget on the backs of the poor. That is a misleading argument against the plans to lower rates for everyone and flatten the tax code.
Under the existing tax code, the EITC allows Kansas to take money from some Kansans and simply give it to others in the form of tax credits. It’s government redistribution of wealth – something the vast majority of Kansans oppose when put in those stark terms.
Tax credits are traditionally rife with fraud and are used as a tool for social engineering. In a truly free society, the government doesn’t offer rewards or punishments for legal behaviors through the tax code. At best, it’s bad policy. At worst, tax credits are baby steps toward tyranny.
A flatter, fairer tax is something all Kansans should celebrate. And yes, we believe every Kansan who earns a living should pay a little something into the state coffers. The state and all its services are the responsibility of the many – not the few.
A fairer, flatter state tax code grants everyone ownership in it. That’s a good thing.
If such a thing ever comes to fruition, there may some pain as the tax code is re-adjusted. That’s unfortunate, but change is always difficult, even when it’s absolutely necessary. And in this case it is.
Eliminating all tax credits, including the EITC, while lowering the state’s astronomical income tax rates should be an immediate priority of all Kansans.
We hope legislators cease the remaining moments of the 2014 legislative session to make Kansas’ tax code fairer, more equitable and with lower rates across the board.