October 25, 2014

OUR VIEW: Time for a fairer, flatter tax code in Kansas

Legislators are considering plans to cut or eliminate Kansas’ earned-income tax credit, or EITC.
It’s about time.
Don’t believe the heated rhetoric accusing the Kansas House and Gov. Sam Brownback 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 the state 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.
There may some pain as the tax code is re-adjusted, and 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 ignore the dramatic rhetoric and do the right thing – make Kansas tax code fairer, more equitable with lower rates across the board.

Comments

  1. ThePatriot says:

    Gardner News editorial board:

    So increasing taxes is OK as long the poor have to pay them and the rich do not. This is such a morally bankrupt point of view. There are more people in poverty today (millions more) because of the bad acts of bankers and other Wall Street executives. But it is ok for them to get rich, use their money to buy influence at all levels of government, and rig the rules of commerce and taxation in their favor. How is that not a transfer of wealth?

    Over the last 30 years, the income of the middle class has flat lined while the wealthy collect the benefits of their government transfers of wealth obtained through access to legislators unavailable to anyone else. Unless you have been living under a rock the past few years, you know 90% of the financial assets of this nation are owned by less than 10% of American. The top 1% own 38%.

    Before you raise taxes on the poor, fix this first. But, of course, you are not interested in that. Your agenda is to starve the government of funds and make it powerless to protect individuals and allow the rich to run this country.

  2. State of Affairs says:

    With the new Federal and State tax regulations, I will need to send in 3 weeks’ pay this year. Meanwhile, the household bills go on: housing, lights, and water. Need food for energy, especially, if the government wants me to work and send in all of my pay. Co-worker said if gets much worse, we should all just quit and take public fare. But, who would pay taxes then?

  3. State of Affairs says:

    P.S. Tax accountant said the Feds want to eliminate the 10% tax bracket next year and tax everyone starting at least at the 15% bracket.

    Come 2013 April 15, people will know if they “got er done”.

    (I know they got something done for this year. Speaking of poverty. . .)

  4. @Patriot says:

    Show me statistics that illustrate how the poor actually pay taxes. Sales tax? Yes, that’s a tax that hits the poor proportionally harder than the rich because it’s not progressive like personal taxes. If you’re going to retread the tired old saw complaining about 1%. Some reading for you.

    http://news.investors.com/article/592051/201111171848/occupy-wall-streets-income-inequality-stand-based-on-lies.htm

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/believe-not-wall-street-doesn-t-dominate-top-183915328.html

    Perhaps when you talk about poor people and taxes, you ought to consider that 53% of Americans pay taxes for the other 47%. So are you REALLY angry about all those taxes being paid by all those rich people? Or are you just greedy, looking enviously at the money in other peoples’ wallets and imagining how you can make it your own? That’s the biggest irony of the whole Occupy movement: the people complaining about greed are, themselves, being greedy.

    Now, you mention buying government influence. Is that the same kind of government influence that, say, Goldman Sachs bought from the Obama Administration? Or all those green companies who were lining up to get handouts from the Obama bailouts, all so they could go bankrupt with not a cent tossed back to the taxpayers. Or the poor people. Yeah, your buddy Obama is showing us SUCH integrity when it comes to influence being bought and sold. It’s a MUCH better solution. (You ARE catching my sarcasm, there, aren’t you?)

    Could we mention the unemployment figures that are still dangerously high under President Obama and don’t begin to show the number of people who have simply given up and are stuck begging the government for welfare handouts instead of working like they’d rather do?

    Funniest of all: the tax loopholes that we hear about the rich exploiting so they don’t have to pay as much in taxes? Many of those loopholes are created to provide assistance to the less fortunate. Tax breaks for donations to charitable organizations that help people. Tax breaks to support social programs. Chickadee Checkoff to help wildlife? Sure thing!

    Are tax breaks exploited illegally or immorally? Sure. Is influence bought and sold in Washington? Yep. Even uner Obama. Or maybe, especially under Obama. Is the solution to these problems gutting everything so we can play robber barons against the people we pretend are robber barons? Not in the least.

    You wanna paint devil horns on someone and misquote irrelevant statistics so you can take their money from them and kill the economy, don’t expect everyone to jump on your class warfare bandwagon.

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