GOP economics: The poor must pay for the rich

GOP economics: Tax cuts for the rich made Kansas broke, so now Republicans move to raise taxes on the poor. The rich, who are already wealthy, need more tax breaks, and the people Republicans believe should pay for it are those already at the bottom of the economic ladder.

This is the continuing recipe for revolution. The Republicans never learn from history.

Gov. Sam Brownback signs a welfare reform bill into law in Topeka, Kan., Thursday, April 16, 2015. The law tells recipients that they can't use cash assistance from the state to attend concerts, get tattoos or buy lingerie. Although more than 20 states have similar bills, Kansas appears to have the most extensive list of restricted items. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Gov. Sam Brownback signs a welfare bill into law in Topeka, Kan., on Thursday. (Orlin Wagner/AP)

(Washington Post) Wealthier Kansans are paying much less in taxes after Republican Gov. Sam Brownback overhauled the state’s income tax a few years ago. Brownback and other Republican officials hoped that more generous policies would stimulate the economy, bringing more revenue into the state’s coffers and making up the difference on the bottom line.

It didn’t work. Kansas’s economy has kept expanding at more or less same plodding pace as the rest of the country. And now, according to official estimates released Monday, the state will have at least a $143 million budget shortfall in 2016, and likely more. Lawmakers are looking for a way to plug the hole.

One thing they’re not considering: asking the wealthy to chip in. Instead, in a legislature that last week barred welfare recipients from using their benefits to go swimming or watch movies, the proposals that look most likely to succeed are sales and excise taxes that would be paid disproportionately by Kansas’s poor and working class.

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