The Hutchinson News editorial board are well-known supporters of tax increases of all kinds, except, it turns out, if a Republican suggests it.
This time, the editorial board is stompy angry about a proposal that would require the payment of sales taxes on certain services like towing and pet boardings, or as the editorial board puts it, “the length Republican lawmakers seem to be willing to go to undo touching Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature income tax cut…”
Get out your waders, readers. The nonsense spewing from the Hutch News editorial board smells a lot like raw sewage.
Just a few short months ago, the same editorial writer was begging legislators to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of a tax plan that would have retroactively increased income taxes on individuals earning more than $15,000 per year. (Seriously, someone needs to start asking what constitutes “wealthy.”)
That editorial bemoaned that the retroactive tax increase didn’t return income tax rates to the dizzying heights of 2012. (Note: If legislators vote to overturn the 2012 tax reform, they will impose more than a $1.5 billion tax increase on Kansas citizens. That’s more than the so-called budget shortfall. Most of the new government money would be paid by ordinary citizens via higher income tax rates–not by businesses.) Pretty much everything in the February editorial is inaccurate or mischaracterized, but it appeared on a day of the week that ended in ‘y’ so…
The Hutch News writer says that punitive tax increase on almost all Kansans would be “negligible.” Apparently, as opposed to how much lower income families would be forced to spend if taxes are levied on services like renting a storage unit. All of this ignores what these new taxes might do to businesses that are suddenly now forced to collect sales taxes. (It will be bad.)
There are logical reasons some Republicans favor sales taxes over income taxes. For our purposes here, we’ll call them principles. First, taxing something typically means you get less of it. Taxing income discourages earning. Second, sales taxes aren’t taxation at the threat of jail. You can avoid a sales tax on towing by not using a towing service. You can avoid a tax on pet boarding by not boarding your pet. Kansas has more than $6 billion in sales tax exemptions. The Hutchinson News should ask some legislators why sales of Bingo cards aren’t taxed and then question why in all the rush to increase sales taxes and remove exemptions, attorney fees somehow never make the list. The answer to both questions is special interests.
Still, the Hutchison News editorials miss the main point: Kansas has a spending problem. Legislators don’t need to raise taxes at all. Lawmakers should be looking at ways to cut spending; that’s what the 75 percent of the people want, according to a Fort Hays State University poll. Lawmakers aren’t up to the task. Instead, they’ve stretched the limits of their imaginations to come up with nutty tax proposals, including a tax on paying taxes. Meanwhile, bills that would add efficiencies like centralized procurement land like a thud on a committee hearing floor never to be debated again.
The Hutchinson News, the propaganda outlet for all things big government, should be honest in its editorial appeals. The bottom line is it appears the paper’s editorial board dislikes those who adhere to the principles of limited government and unnecessary taxation.
Here’s how the editorial writer closes his screed against all things fiscally conservative:
“This group of lawmakers has no problem raising taxes; they just want to make sure it’s the right taxes that are raised.”
Um. Right back at ya. Anyone care to explain how that differs from the Hutch editorial board’s opinion? Pot, meet Hutchinson News Editorial Board.