Restore state income tax rates
I have given up waiting for a state-level executive or legislative leader to acknowledge the elephant in the room, so I will do it for them: The only rational solution to the state’s budget crisis is to restore the state income tax rates to their status prior to the “Kansas experiment.”
This would have several positive results, including:
▪ It would restore income tax as the vital third leg of the three-legged revenue stool: sales tax, property tax and income tax.
▪ It would be an uncommon act of statesmanship that acknowledges an error in judgment and sets significant corrective action in place.
▪ It would restore the lost revenue so that we could realistically look at eliminating the sales tax on food – the least fair and most regressive tax imaginable.
▪ It would restore the fair share of taxes on those most able to pay.
▪ It would eliminate the need to manufacture other tax gimmicks that end up as a de facto tax increase on those in middle and lower income brackets.
▪ It would do away with the short-term “trick” of transferring money from other funds that are designated for specific projects and purposes other than subsidizing the general fund, including highways and pension funds.
▪ It would go a long way toward restoring the funds needed for public education, human services and health care that are now struggling to meet the levels needed to be adequate.
Go pound sand
Regarding “Anti-tax activist criticizes proposed budget fix” (Jan. 27 Eagle): Would somebody please tell Grover Norquist to go pound sand?
He may be firmly ensconced in a fancy home in Washington, D.C., living off the dark money that is contributed to his Americans for Tax Reform, but the rest of us have to live in the real world. Does he seriously believe this state can cut more than $1 billion in spending? How, pray tell? By letting all the prisoners out of prison? By not investing in the next generation’s education? By not keeping our promise to retirees? By letting our roads and bridges crumble?
Norquist once said he wants to shrink government to the size where it can be drowned in a bathtub. Well, I for one have no desire to live in an overblown version of “Lord of the Flies.”
Norquist’s wealth and the wealth of those who pay his way may insulate him and them from the adverse effects of a government underfunded to a fault, but the rest of us enjoy no such privilege. It’s already shocking that so many Republicans have signed his no-taxes pledge, paralyzing any chance of pragmatic compromise to closing our federal deficit. Do we really need to listen to this self-serving man when it comes to saving our state from ruin?
Julie Burkhart disputed Gov. Sam Brownback’s assertion that Kansas is the most “pro-life state in the nation” (“Not ‘pro-life,’” Jan. 21 Letters to the Editor) . She suggested that to value life, Kansas must pass laws that support access to health care, education, a living wage and healthy foods. In addition, she stated that Kansas should support reproductive health care, which to me sounds like supporting human reproduction – something our governor supports.
Considering the dire straits in which Europe and especially France find themselves, this is a great suggestion. Because of a very low birthrate, the indigenous population is shrinking while the immigrant population, largely living in Muslim ghettos, is booming.
Our birthrate has also slipped below that needed for replacement. Our president apparently is aware of this, which perhaps is why he encouraged a flood of illegal child immigrants. Are they to be our future workforce?
If, however, Burkhart’s idea of reproductive health care means terminating the life of children awaiting birth, then her idea of being pro-life must mean exploiting sexual intimacy to be the life of the party. We should promote healthy reproduction.
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