Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Unexpected

Friday, May 24, 2013


I did not expect this. I assumed many House members would go squishy.

After a special appeal from Gov. Brownback, the Kansas House just told the Senate and the Governor to bite them. 

I am pleasantly surprised they are standing strong.


  1. This legislative session is a good example why fundamental tax reform - that is either flat or consumption-based - will ultimately fail. There's no political will for reform which aims to be revenue neutral but seeks to raise revenue that is less distortionary.

  2. Almost right. You're right, there's no political will for what you just said, which was "revenue neutral." What conservatives want is tax reform combined with spending reform. Brownback is not even trying to be serious about spending reform, or about getting the income tax down to zero, so the house isn't taking him seriously. If the house thought that Brownback would actually get the income tax rate down to zero, they might budge. If the house thought that Brownback wanted to cut spending, which is impossible to think when Brownback tells them to cut nothing in higher education, then the house might budge. This session is a good example of why a Republican governor who cuts taxes but doesn't cut spending, isn't taken seriously by either Republicans or Democrats.

  3. I hold out hope that eventually a flat or consumption based tax will win the day. But I think the first step is dramatic spending cuts.

  4. The answer lies in trying to bring down both taxes (sales and income) at the same speed, rather than bringing one to zero and leaving one high. Nick Jordan is obsessed with talking about South Dakota, but he fails to mention the sales tax rate is 4%, not 6.3%.

    If we got rid of sales tax exemptions and had a really high standard deduction on the income tax, we could have an income tax rate around 3% and a sales tax rate around 4%.

    A march to 3 anyone?

  5. I worry that our Governor and Senators are fooling themselves into thinking they're cutting taxes with the Brownback plan. It's a tax increase. Plain and simple.