Federal Tax Plans Threaten Kansas’ Fiscal Recovery

By Heidi Holliday
Tax cuts for the wealthy. Extreme revenue loss. Deep funding cuts to schools and to other public investments that create thriving communities.
Sound familiar, Kansas?
It should.
Just one year after Kansas voters began the process of rejecting the Brownback tax plan, and five months after lawmakers voted to end its most harmful provisions, a dangerous debate has engulfed our nation’s capital.
At the center of the debate is the pernicious ideology of supply side economics championed by Art Laffer and Stephen Moore, architects of Kansas’ tax experiment and current advisers to President Trump.
Kansans learned the hard way thatwe cannot cut our way to prosperity. After five years of economic stagnation, nine rounds of budget cuts, two sales tax increases, and three credit rating downgrades, Kansans rejected this flawed ideology. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle put aside political differences, worked together, and put the well-being of Kansans first. Now it’s time for lawmakers to do the same at the national level.
Both the House and Senate tax plans provide enormous, permanent tax cuts to high-income households and corporations – all while adding at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit.
A recent analysis of the impact of the House “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” on Kansans by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals that by 2027:
  • The top 1 percent of households’ share of the tax cut would increase from 32% in year one to 45% by 2027, for an average cut of $78,520.
  • Middle-income taxpayers’ average tax cut would decrease from $890 in 2018 to $650 in 2027.
  • For the lowest-earning 20 percent of households, their average tax cut of $100 would remain the same.
Similarly, the analysis of the Senate tax plan shows that by 2027, the richest 1% of Kansas taxpayers would receive a tax cut of $7,150 while the average taxpayer in the bottom 60% would face a tax hike. Additionally, starting in 2019, the bill would repeal a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, causing millions of people to become uninsured and raising premiums for millions of others. In Kansas, individual market premiums for a family of four would increase by $2,070.

These tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthiest Kansans and will add to the nation’s annual deficits at the expense of low- and middle-income families. These hardworking families will likely lose more from cuts to education, health care, infrastructure or other public services than they gain from either the House or Senate tax plan.
These tax proposals would increase the federal deficit by approximately $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, and guarantee cuts to investments in education, health care, food assistance, services for children and the elderly, and public infrastructure – programs Kansans depend on, right as our state begins down the path to fiscal stability.
The House and Senate tax plans are built on a broken premise – that tax cuts promote economic growth. Kansas is a cautionary tale for those tempted by this false logic.

Our state, and our country, can’t afford another reckless experiment.

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