Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Brownback advocates for tax increase

Friday, February 6, 2015

Brownback advocates for tax increase

 I hate to pile on Gov. Sam Brownback today as the mob is restless about the tiniest of cuts to schools. (To listen to the mindless rally of the libs -- and their uninformed friends -- you'd think the $44.5 million in cuts was going to close schools. A closer look at the numbers shows that for the vast majority of schools the cuts will be less than 2 percent of their budgets. How about buying fewer pencils?  Or foregoing new football uniforms? That ought to cover it.)
But I digress. 
One proposed solution to raise some cash: Brownback has suggested adding taxes to cigarette and liquor sales. 
I mean this as nice as possible: That is the silliest solution in the history of well, history. Conservatives -- heck, even liberals -- recognize that an increase in cigarette and liquor taxes in Kansas will likely mean less revenue for the state. A very large percentage of Kansans live within a few miles of neighboring states. (Hi, Missouri!)
The biggest proponents of the Brownback tax hike are Missouri convenience store owners. (Note to Gov: They aren't your constituents.)
And don't even get me started on the sheer stupidity of using the tax code to induce certain behaviors. I hate.hate.hate that. I don't like it when liberals do it, and I expect better of conservatives. If we don't like cigarettes and/or liquor, let's ban them outright rather than taking a bigger slice off the top. That only puts government in the awkward position of having to encourage behaviors in order to pad their bottom lines. It's D-U-M dumb.
Fortunately, Brownback's proposed tax hike appears to be dead on arrival. (No word yet on how many angry phone calls David Kensinger will dish out before the Legislature's budget battle is complete.)
Though it appears to be going nowhere, someone in the Brownback administration (and perhaps the Governor himself) should be taken to task for reneging on a foundational promise to the electorate -- fewer taxes, not more.
As one astute emailer who shall remain nameless said, "Not only is (Brownback's) proposal incredibly stupid policy for a supposedly staunch economic conservative, but it also demonstrates an alarming degree of political cowardice that might entail further problems down the road."

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