Kansas is on a roll this month, if by “on a roll,” you mean “wow, it seems like they come up with a new way to screw poor people every single day!” What are they doing now? Oh, just trying to get poor people to pay for all the tax cuts rich people have been enjoying for several years now. Those tax cuts were, of course, supposed to make Kansas grow and thrive, but because that doesn’t actually work anywhere besides Ronald Reagan’s dead butthole, Kansas doesn’t have any money. So, let’s let poor people pay for it! This is called “fiscal responsibility,” and Kansas lawmakers are ON IT:
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.
You see, according to current projections, Kansas will be in the red to the tune of $143 million in 2016, so somebody has to pay for that. And it absolutely cannot be rich people, because they’ve had their tax cuts long enough that they are now in love with them and want to gay marry them. So, the state says, let’s raise sales and excise taxes. And what happens when you do that? Republicans say that everything is more fair, because you’re merely taxing people based on how they spend their money, instead of taxing their income, which encourages them to save and invest and all that kind of stuff.
Normal people counter by saying, actually, NO, because poor people and rich people all have to do things like eat and buy clothing, so when you raise the sales tax, you’re taking away a much larger portion of that poor person’s income than you are from the rich person. Oh, and also, people living paycheck to paycheck (or worse) aren’t doing a whole hell of a lot of “saving and investing,” are they? No they are not. The WonkBlog reports that, even without these changes, Kansas poors are already extra-fucked from a taxation standpoint:
Among the fifth of the Kansas population with the lowest incomes, the average person pays 11.1 percent of what they make in state and local taxes, including sales taxes. Among the wealthiest one in every 100 Kansans, the average tax bill is just 3.6 percent of annual income, according to a recent report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
Faithful Wonkers (and why would you cheat on us?) will remember that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed a bill that made sure that all those welfare-receiving snatchwhistles don’t spend all their luxurious wealth on Caribbean cruises or swimming pools, because that is clearly a problem facing Kansas. Also in that bill? A provision that those on public assistance are only allowed to pull out $25 in government riches per day, which basically prohibits them from doing things like buying food in bulk, in order to save money. And now, if these changes go through — which duh, they will — Kansas can be sure those poor people buying stacks of baloney at the corner convenience store will PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE, so that the rich aren’t unfairly burdened.
Fuck the poor, indeed.