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Kansas – A Tea Party Utopia?


Much of what the conservative right asserts as sound public policy is merely a rehash of old ideas that have already been proven bad by history. There are many places in the world where both taxation and regulation are very low; we call them third-world countries. Recent experiments with these policies derive more from ideology or special interests than from any common sense assessment of what is best for society or, more importantly, its people. As a recent article at ringoffireradio.com illustrates, the ill-fated consequences of such ideas continue to arise in places where Republicans have an iron grip on all branches of government. The writer comments:

Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has pretty much ruined the entire state of Kansas. Brownback has signed numerous bills he says will help the economy, but they actually help the wealthy and hurt the poor. Brownback is responsible for the largest tax cuts in Kansas history, all of them favoring the wealthy. He called it a “real live experiment.” However, his actions quickly dropped the state’s S&P credit score.

The Washington Post reported that Kansas will also have a $143 million budget shortfall in 2016 and that “the corrective proposals that look most likely to succeed are sales and excise taxes that would be paid disproportionately by Kansas’s poor and working class.”

The Kansas state tax code shifts the heavy tax burden unfairly onto the working class. The bottom 20 percent of income earners pay 11.1 percent of their income in local, state, and sales taxes. Comparatively, the top one percent of earners in Kansas only pay 3.6 percent of its income. Essentially, Kansas lawmakers want to raise taxes for those who are least able to afford a tax increase. (Groceries are not tax-free in Kansas.)

Brownback is the enemy of the poor and middle-class. VICE reported that Brownback signed a law that bans Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients from withdrawing more than $25 from an ATM at one time. The law is part of Brownback’s effort to make sure that welfare recipients get as little out of their aid as possible.

“By signing this bill into law, Gov. Brownback has added to the burden that the poorest Kansans already carry,” said Kansas Action for Children president Shannon Cotsoradis. “It’s always been hard to be poor in Kansas. Now, it’s going to be a lot harder.” As per the usual Republican agenda, Brownback’s economic plan is not designed to help the majority. He only seeks to give the rich more money, and he’s damaging the state’s economy in the process.


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  1. Terry Ratliff says:
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    Welcome to Hooverville!!

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    Terry Ratliff knows our history. What Brownbackistan, i.e., Kansas,
    is experiencing has already been demonstrated in the U.S. resulting during the Hoover administration. FDR resolved that problem. It took decades to see the comparative results. Obviously voters today don’t know about our history. Today, we teach STEM in place of History and Liberal Arts. That is what big business wants; “train our workers so we can save that cost of doing business.”