Seeing in so many ways that the proposed national tax “reform” resembles Kansas’ failed “tax experiment,” there is no group of legislators in the U.S. Congress with more practical moral authority to resist the flawed national tax “reform” bill than our Kansas congressional delegation.
Just like Kansas’ recent past, Congress favors “pass-through” businesses like sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations over individuals. A new low 25 percent rate allows their owners to escape the higher individual rates the rest of us pay. And, again as in Kansas, more high-earner individuals will incorporate to skip their fair share of taxes.
Corporate taxes get slashed from 35 percent to 21 percent, well below most of the new individual rates of 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent. This “tax reform” is a classic Washington bait and switch scam on individual taxpayers because our tax breaks are set to automatically expire in a few years. But, don’t worry about corporations; their tax break is permanent.
Lets focus closer on corporate taxes. (1) The non-partisan Government Accountability Office reports to the Senate that loopholes reduce actual average taxes paid now by large corporations to only 14 percent. (2) The tax burden as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product is 3 percent for corporations versus 8 percent for individuals. (3) The “alternative minimum tax” will be eliminated for corporations but not people. (4) Corporations use tax breaks mainly to repurchase stocks and increase shareholder dividends, not jobs. (5) Many of our “patriotic” corporations go to Ireland for their 12.5 percent tax rate. But, Ireland’s unemployment rate is 2 percent higher than ours.
Bruce Bartlett, who helped develop “supply-side economic theory” (trickle-down economics) in the Reagan era, offers insight into the tax cut agenda. He says, “tax rate reductions do not pay for themselves ... they are just excuses to slash spending for the poor when revenues collapse and deficits rise.” Essentially, the current tax “reform” is intended to benefit corporations and wealthiest elite while giving extremists excuses to cut Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition programs, Social Security, education and other programs enabling citizens and America to prosper.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson explains that the tax plan isn’t good for farmers either, saying that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the $1.5 trillion deficit increase would need to be offset by eliminating all funding for vital farm programs such as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), among other mandatory federal spending programs.
Tax fairness and infrastructure, health and education programs aren’t luxuries to be sacrificed to cut taxes for profitable corporations and wealthy elitists but investments in keeping America great. Ask our U.S. congressional delegation, seeing the injury to their fellow Kansans caused by such ill-conceived state-level tax policies, to show leadership and courage by stopping the current proposed tax changes. Please call Senator Moran (202-224-6521), Senator Roberts (202-224-4774) and Congressman Marshall (202-225-2715) to tell them that we’re tired of the same old rigged tax system and, for a change, truly “drain the swamp.”