Angling to kill the possibility of people keeping more of the money they earn, the owners of the Kansas City Star and the Wichita Eagle are out with a story today fear mongering that teachers might be treated just like every other person with a job if Congress adapts tax reform.

According to the Kansas City Star, teachers need a sign of appreciation in the U.S. tax code. Otherwise, they oppose tax reform, despite math that reveals they’d save more money under a House proposal.

The McClatchy editorial disguised as news is stompy mad that a tax reform proposal would strip a $250 tax deduction from teachers. The story intones, “teachers often have to spend their own money to provide students with books, pens, and pencils, but they can get a tax deduction of $250 for their expenses–but not under Republican tax legislation.”

A Kansas teacher’s union rep calls the provision, a “slap in the face.” Readers have to dig to learn that under the tax plan, the standard deduction dramatically increases. In exchange for almost double the standard deduction, the House plan strips some deductions, including the paltry $250 teachers can use for classroom supplies.

Congressman Kevin Yoder is the target of the Star’s ire. A large photo of his head tops the story, and the McClatchy reporter waits until paragraph nine to give his explanation of the proposed change to the tax code.

““What teacher wouldn’t take the trade-off of giving up a deduction that saves $62.50 for a simpler tax code that saves them more than $1,800?” Yoder said. “This is just one of many deductions and exemptions for individuals and businesses that are being cleared out to pave the way for a simpler and fairer code.”

That’s not good enough for the teacher’s union, however. Maybe the math is too confusing? They’re hosting a school supply drive outside of Yoder’s office to drive home the point that unless teachers receive something above and beyond what other workers receive, they don’t approve of Americans keeping more of their hard-earned money.

It’s odd, because allowing other workers to keep more of their own money might actually help more parents buy pens, pencils, and books for their own children.

But then that isn’t actually the point, as the Star article makes clear. Teachers think they deserve special recognition via the tax code.

“And teachers counter that the $250 deduction is an important recognition of the work they do. And for some teachers, especially in low-income areas, it can mean the difference between a student equipped for school and one who is not,” the article reads.

Lisa Ochs, the president of the American Teacher’s Federation-Kansas, chimes in: “For teachers it’s an acknowledgment: ‘We know what you’re doing and appreciate it.'” Apparently, other work isn’t valued, appreciated or respected. Noted.

If Yoder hands out some teacher appreciation certificates, would the teachers union sign-on with all workers keeping more of the money they earn? Asking for a friend.


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