It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it. Someone’s got to beef up revenues when the Governor won’t ask the wealthy to contribute more.
That someone is usually the poor who can be depended upon to buy their guilty pleasures retail and fork over the “sin tax’ that the rich are so good at avoiding.
Am I talking about the Shumlin administration’s forays into sin-tax “social services,” like the proposed soda levy?
No, in this case, the Governor in question is Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas who made a hash of the state’s finances with massive tax cuts, and now seeks to remedy the problem; not with the obvious strategy of reversing the tax breaks that bought him support from his wealthiest constituents.
Instead, he proposes to exorbitantly tax the very things that poorer folks often depend upon for comfort, thanks to the combined efforts of the tobacco industry to foster addiction, and life on the margins, which has been known to drive the desperate to drink.
Apparently “tax” is only a dirty word when it threatens the growing nest egg of the privileged class.
The Kansas Governor’s quick fix is meeting with resistance in the Legislature, even from the occasional Republican:
“He’s proposed some revenue enhancements that I think the Legislature will have a great difficulty passing,” said Senator Susan Wagle, the chamber’s Republican president. “That’s [a] tax increase.
But that’s not the only way Brownback proposes to punish the working class of Kansas for his own folly:
Rather than retreat from the massive tax cuts that are crippling his state’s finances, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) wants to cut classroom funding for Kansas schools by $127 million and push pension fund payments off into the future.
That’s pretty uncomfortable company for Governor Shumlin, when we can draw a parallel in his policies to a Republican governor who is even too regressive for his own caucus!