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Letter to the editor: Tax plan appalling

To the editor:

If some politician proposed a new budget item that would give trillions of dollars to those who qualified, most of us would be concerned; at a minimum it would increase the deficit and be seen as another government handout. If this program’s purpose was to provide luxury goods vouchers to those in the top 1 percent of the income distribution, we would be appalled. And yet here we are; the Republican tax reform bill does exactly this and is being taken seriously. Instead of collecting taxes and showing a budget item to fund these vouchers, the entire transaction will be hidden by letting the top 1 percent keep the trillions of dollars they were supposed to pay for national defense and infrastructure. The top 1 percent would also now be freeloading on those programs.

The Republicans also claim the rich will spend this money to create jobs in the U.S. Fat chance! More likely they will take vacations in Europe, go on African safaris, buy German automobiles and so on. Worse, some will not spend it at all, depositing it in a Swiss bank account. Will those funds be used to create jobs in the U.S.?

If these tax breaks went to those in the middle- and lower-income tax brackets, the money would certainly be spent rather than channeled to a Swiss bank account, and most likely spent in the U.S. to create jobs.

Comments

Brock Masters

Anyone have a link to Tax Bill being considered by Congress? I didn’t think there was one, but there must be since Weiss has obviously read it.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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William Cummings

Has not been released yet. It was supposed to be yesterday, but has been delayed. Last word was that it would be introduced in the House today.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Glen Stovall

Just unbelievable that our fine republicans in congress and all the lackeys here fully support this give-away to the rich. But I guess no thinking is allowed and surely this will MAGA-----just like everything else this administration has and is doing to screw our country .And I'll bet you it is all the fault of the evil liberals.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brock Masters

CNN reporting top rate stays the same. No cut in rate for highest earners.

Might have been a good idea for Weiss to wit and see the bill until criticizing it base on conjecture.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jim Slade

Ending the estate tax and lowering the mortgage interest deduction to pay for it is a cut in taxes for the highest earners.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brock Masters

I thought the mortgage deduction was capped and not lowered so does that help the higher earners?

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jim Slade

You are correct, I was mistaken. It is now a lowering of the cap and not a lowering of the deduction as previously drafted.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Brandon Devlin

I laugh when I read these LTEs.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/...

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Glen Stovall

Yes---because it is just hilarious that trickle-down voodoo hurts everyone but the oligarchs. But the mindless will parrot whatever the oligarchs say and try to convince themselves that the apple is really a banana.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brandon Devlin

No, what's hilarious is watching people thrash around in the belief that somehow the top income earners in our country are "getting over" on everyone. Please.

But by all means, enjoy your fruit.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Bob Summers

When are the poor going to start paying their "fair share"?

They enjoy all the benefits and pay nothing for it.

That's like someone going to all the Lied center shows or Theatre Lawence shows for free for life.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brock Masters

Much discussion today involve equality. When it comes to taxes what is “equal?” An argument can be made that equal is you require everyone to pay the same income rate. Others would suggest equal means taking into account that paying the same rate is not equal since it negatively impacts lower wage earners.

I can see both sides and think we have to balance equity with fairness. We should not create a tax system that forces low wage earners into poverty, but we must not tax the higher earners an unreasonable rate just because they “afford” it.

We must also simplify our tax code and that means getting rid of many of the deductions.

Non-profits, including churches, must be treated just like other corporations. No free pass for them.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Bob Summers

"Equal" is everyone pays the same.

Not hard to figure out unless you went to a government inculcation center in your childhood.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brock Masters

Wading into the mud......yes equal means the same but we often don’t treat everyone the same and for good reason. We must, within reason, recognize and address the inequities that exist in our society. Eating well because you can afford it while others go hungry may be equal but it isn’t in our society’s best interest.

I am willing to pay a higher tax to fund the public good functions of society, but I do balk at wealth redistribution. All government services must be available to all citizens You may chose not to use them, but you should not be prohibited.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Bob Summers

Your thinking is the problem.

Everyone is equal. Everyone should pay the same.

You and people like you can pay all you want to inculcation centers that can't turn out a product that breaks the top twenty worldwide in math, science and reading.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Gary Stussie

Your letter does not seem to reflect a knowledge of the Federal Tax system or a handle on the proposed tax reform bill. Google "Who pays taxes".

More "Tax Breaks" to low Income? On average, those in the bottom 40% of the income spectrum end up getting money from the government. Meanwhile, the richest 20% of Americans, by far, pay the most in income taxes, forking over nearly 87% of all the income tax collected by Uncle Sam.

https://www.pgpf.org/budget-basics/wh...

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Cille King

The richest 20% have 85% of the wealth. You want those 40% of elderly, youth, severely handicapped, war injured vets, low-income workers to pay more income taxes?

Corporations have had record profits over the last decade, while wages have been stagnant over the last decade.

The estate tax is only paid when a single person has over $5.5 million estate, and a couple has over a $11 million estate.

The GOP says this is a "jobs bill". It's similar to Brownback's failed tax experiment in cutting taxes for the rich. Kansas jobs fell 9000 one year, and was behind regional job growth.

This tax GOP tax plan adds $1.5 trillion to the debt over a decade, while the budget cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. This is just another plan to further income inequality.

Instead of this GOP tax plan, lets spend $1 trillion over the next decade for infrastructure. It would put people to work, repair out broken water systems, roads, bridges, could add high speed internet, high speed rail, and make us more competitive.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

The biggest concern, if the leaked plan is real, is the dramatic reduction of the 401k cap.

That's taking away one of the only good ways middle class earners have to build wealth.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brandon Devlin

Keep investing as much as you're allowed in your 401k, invest the rest that you normally would invest in a Roth IRA. You aren't going to get the tax savings while investing, but you certainly will when you get to the age to use it.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Pete Kennamore

At your age a Roth is a WAY better deal than tax deductible 401K. Wish it had been around when I was your age.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Gary Stussie

Still $18k

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Richard Aronoff

I wonder how many of you have ever had to sign the FRONT of a paychek?

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Bob Summers

I paid $74K to these parasites in government. Wrote a check for $26,654.

Government people are ALL parasites.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Larry Sturm

A tax bill designed by the rich will benefit the rich you need to read between the lines.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Pete Kennamore

please elaborate and be specific.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

For one, the repeal of the estate tax which is levied against less than 5,000 people a year.

Also, the corporate tax rate getting massively cut from 35% to 20% (I wonder how much the Trump family alone will make by that change).

Other troublesome changes:

- Eliminates deduction for student loan intrest
- Eliminates deductions for medical expenses
- Caps deductions on mortgage payments

And VERY troubling:

- Will now allow churches to endorse political candiates

This bill looks like nothing but bad news for middle class earners and nothing but positives for the ultra rich. And the church part is down right terrifying.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Pete Kennamore

Estate tax: so you think fair that these admittedly rich people that accumulated wealth and paid taxes on it as they went should have that wealth confiscated upon death? Seems like double taxation to me.

Corporate tax rate: corporations do not pay taxes, people pay taxes. Where do you think corporations get the money to pay their taxes? They get it by selling their goods and services to people.

Deductions for student loans, medical expenses and the like are just hand-outs to various special interest groups. The tax code is full of it. There was a time when credit card interest was deductible but that was eliminated years ago.

Mortgage Interest: Again, the various interest deductions are just complexities in the code to give handouts to interest groups (i.e. homeowners). Why should you, currently a non-homeowner, subsidize my mortgage payments? (and by the way thank you)

Church: Here's one we agree one; wholeheartedly

Any reduction in taxes will of course be of disproportionate benefit to the rich; they pay most of the taxes to begin with.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Really not interested in debating the general merits of taxes as I know we'll never agree on that.

You asked for examples of how this bill is built to help the ultra-rich at the expense of the middle-class...and I've done so.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brock Masters

Great rebuttal.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Gary Stussie

Do you realize how many companies locate their corporate offices in other countries? Get a grip.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Steve Jacob

Remember, this was done by a few Republicans in secret. The facts are coming out and many Republicans will not go along with this. If your a Republican in a high tax state like Cal, New York and New Jersey the upper middle class will get hammered. In the end, many of the ways to pay for the cuts will disappear, creating higher deficits, meaning some Republicans will not go along. We saw this already with the ACA repeal. ,

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Initial estimates are showing the bill could add more than trillion dollars to the deficit.

Didn't the GOP literally shut-down the government over the deficit a few years ago? What changed?

Oh yeah, the president is no longer a DEM so it doesn't matter anymore.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Pete Kennamore

GOP hypocrite much?

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Excellent breakdown of how this bill hoses the middle-class:

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/11/02/...

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Richard Heckler

How many other ways are the middle class getting hosed?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE NOT GOP? To serial liars like Donald Trump, nothing poses a greater threat than the cold, hard truth. They win elections by preying on people who are not equipped with the information they need to make informed, reasoned decisions. Don’t let yourself be one of those people!

Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27...

Like it or not we old school republicans need to stop voting the republican ticket because ultra conservatives took over our party through unethical methods. Big reckless spending and monster lies. Time for all of us to break ranks with the GOP.

Not voting is the same as voting for ALEC and a very radical right wing government.

BIG DOLLAR ALEC DARK MONEY TRAIL IS EVERYWHERE.

The ALEC War ON America:

--- War against Medical Insurance and Single Payer

--- War on public education and Higher Education

--- War on the economy through Supply Side Wreckanomics

--- War against women

--- War on Voters Rights

--- War on strict gun regulations

--- War On National Monuments/Parks

--- War on the USA Postal Service

--- War On Environmental Cleanliness

--- War On Good Wages aka Right To Work Legislation

--- War On USA Jobs aka Free Trade Agreements and Leveraged Buyout Scams

--- War On Social Security Insurance

--- War On Medicaid

--- War On Medicare

--- War for Oil Control Worldwide

--- War on truth about global warming/climate change
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010...

Union of Concerned Scientists
http://www.ucsusa.org

Corporate Welfare Profiteering
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/...

Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27...

=== Pay close attention to this 24/7 organized activity:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...

--- How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party
https://samsmitharchives.wordpress.co...

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Gary Stussie

"...very radical right wing government" ... As opposed to a very left wing (read socialist) government? You need to get some new talking points ...Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) is one of most active left-wing journalist in the business.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Richard Heckler

It’s time to consider eliminating sales taxes on groceries.

Sales Tax Issue - Vote NO then send it back to the city commission for a revised ballot.

Why? "Infrastructure portion" - The commission isn’t obligated to follow the plan exactly and is the largest pool of money generated by the sales tax. This keeps the door open for helter skelter spending opportunities.

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

Dedicated Spending eliminates the potential for what I call helter skelter spending opportunities

I say vote NO. I want the tax voted down then revised.

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Richard Heckler

I say vote NO. I want the tax voted down then revised.

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

This is how I believe this sales tax should be revised and approved to make it efficient and practical spending. I respectfully request the sales tax be absolutely dedicated to the following:

=== 0.05%% dedicated specifically to Public Transit is necessary for low income families, students, seniors who can no longer drive and for those who cannot afford to own a vehicle and for those who choose not to own a vehicle

=== .3% dedicated specifically to Affordable Housing as it seems there is a huge need for such and would provide enough money to make a substantial impact. Who provides the best bang for the tax buck and tenants? Tenants to Homeowners

=== .2% dedicated specifically to the following which improves the quality of life throughout Lawrence,Kansas and provides safe travel for a broad spectrum of the population.
== recreational path infrastructure/recreational trails and paths
== sidewalks/improvements to crosswalks and accessible ramps
== safe travel walk to school and back home

Why is this important?
1. Reduces travel costs
2. Promotes an active and healthy lifestyle
3. Expands mobility options for all in Lawrence,Kansas
4. Provides environmental benefits through reduced traffic congestion which in turn improves air quality.

The collection of such sales tax to commence on April 1, 2019 and shall terminate ten years after its commencement, all in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 12-187 et seq., and amendments thereto?”

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Bob Summers

What makes you and millions like you so special you should not pay as much as I do to the parasites?

Why is your White privilege better than mine?

What makes you so important?

Enlighten me?

What makes you so special?

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Do you even pay taxes in America?

BTW, I notice that your account was created last Aug...right when the Russian trolls were really ramping up.

Can you prove you're even in America?

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Bob Summers

Deflect much comrade?

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Pete Kennamore

I think Richard and Bob are really the same person

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Bob Summers

you wish

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Daniel Kennamore

It would fit the Russian's model. They pretend to be both sides and say the same nonsense over and over trying to stir the pot.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Bob Summers

Magical thinking.

You've got it all figured out.

What's your secret?

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Richard Heckler

It is a conservative tool which is where I obtained the concept. For example the conservative agenda has not changed since 1980 when Reagan/Bush came on board. Since 1980 conservatives have been trying to place the 99% in the poor house which is demonstrated by the still NOT TAX REFORM Trump announced Thursday. The rhetoric is charming yet still the same old BS.

Hopefully taxpayers will not embrace this nonsense one more time for the wallets of the 99% cannot afford conservative BS. The 99% does include a ton of republicans ..... just so they know.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Doug Larson

"The Republicans also claim the rich will spend this money to create jobs in the U.S.". This trickle-down theory is ridiculous. If trickle-down worked, it would be working right now. We don`t need tax reform to get the rich to spend some of their money. If they aren't doing it now, they won't do it later.

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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