Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Dear Governor Brownback,


The dust has settled from the largest tax hike in Kansas history and you finally spoke to the press about it yesterday.  Like you, I’m trying to be optimistic about this enormous tax hike and look on the bright side.  Let’s just agree to call it something besides a gigantic tax hike and come up with another word for it.


How about if we call it a voluptuous  tax swell?  Yes, that sounds so much better to soften this killer tax increase.  It’s the largest Kansas tax swell in history.


The worst part of the swell came in the form of the sales tax increase that will impact middle-class and poor Kansans the most.


In response you said,


“I understand people are concerned about how a sales tax of 6.5 percent will affect them on a day-to-day basis, and based on consumer expenditure survey data, which estimates 45 percent of a household’s expenditures are subject to sales taxes, a household making right around $36,000 will see an annual sales tax increase of $56.35. A household making $48,000 or just under that will see an increase of $75.20,” Gov. Brownback said.


Dang that media for leaving out the rest of your quote.  You know what they say about the liberal media! (wink…wink)


You went on to say…..


“Kansans will be able to easily adapt to a lifestyle of Ramen noodles and Tuna Helper with this new sales tax increase.  Earlier this year when we restricted welfare recipients from activities like going to the swimming pool on government funds, we felt like we singled them out.  With this new sales tax increase, now most Kansans wont’ be able to afford luxuries like swimming or going to the movies.  The message is clear – we are inclusive in the state of Kansas.  When one Kansan suffers – we want all Kansans to suffer.”


Glad I could be here to offer up the rest of the statement.  You can always count on me.


Yours for hanging in there and riding the wave,




4 thoughts on “Brownback – On the bright side -This wasn’t a tax hike, it was just a giant tax swell.

  1. Kansaswoman says:

    Too bad the governor cares more about what Grover Norquist thinks about taxes than what the ordinary Kansan thinks. When did
    Grover move to KS? I’m waiting for the “high crimes and misdemeanors” of this governor to be uncovered. Too bad arrogance isn’t an impeachable offense.

  2. Michael Box says:

    Old Sam may be confusing everyone with his shell game claiming the largest regressive set of sales taxes (notice how only radical right wing zealots call them consumptive) that they aren’t a tax hike at all. But by golly I’ve outdone the State’s doublespeaker-in-chief. I got Sam to give me a tax decrease. That’s right, the obscenity of all regressive tax hikes hasn’t even taken effect but I’ve started taking the lower taxes. I just drove over to Missouri and filled my tank up at a friendly Quick Trip. Same gas I buy in Kansas but today I saved a whopping 78¢. Over time that will add up, just last weekend we spent over $400 at Costco. Guess what? They have those in Missouri too!

    Now I’ll grant you that the power to tax is called the power to destroy. That bit of dictum, legal speak for second hand speech, came from the mouth of Chief Justice John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland. But dicta ain’t precedent. Along came Mr. Justice Holmes, speaking for a unanimous Supreme Court in 1928 and said ““The power to tax is not the power to destroy, while this Court sits.” Panhandle Oil Co. v. Mississippi.”

    All that is important because the Supreme Court has never acknowledged that wealth, well poverty, to be a suspect classification for Equal Protection analysis. I have a sense that given 1) the massive wealth inequality in these United States today 2) combined with greedy schemes to let the rich pay no income taxes while pounding the middle class, the poor, and the working poor with these regressive taxes that Sam’s new tax scheme may give the Court a chance to think over poverty as a suspect classification. The middle school logic that this is a fair taxation scheme was bandied about the legislature when Republican Representatives and Senators alike pointed out that the wealthy spend more so they’ll be paying more. Yes but at the end of the day when a person working 1.5 or 2 minimum wage jobs to keep a roof over her head and feed a family gets hits with these massive tax hikes she pays a larger percentage of her income in taxes. Those Country Club folks aren’t scratching the surface by paying these taxes, it’s hardly noticeable to them.

    Even in my wildest dreams I can’t imagine anyone prevailing on the question that these sales taxes are confiscatory. Yes they’re burdensome. On their face they serve a public function which is paying for the expenses of the state. But a deeper look reveals, I think, that they serve an alternate massively private function by allowing one group of Kansans to prosper as another group faces oppressive poverty.

    A finding that these sales taxes violate the takings clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments is going to be a stretch if the issue ever reached the Marble Palace. Instead I think the Court would render essentially the same advice given back in 1819 in McCulloch v. Maryland, which was to get political and change the legislature. Or they might say that there’s that one guy who turned the largest regressive sales tax increases into a tax break by driving into Missouri.

    I think the smartest thing to do is go register to vote, pay Kris Kobach’s poll tax (the cost of acquiring a certified copy of your birth certificate), then find out where you vote, early vote if you can, but vote out those who raised taxes on you while letting the Country Club set get a pass.

    Oh, one other thing, Governor Brownback says the minority party (Democrats) didn’t offer an alternative. Talk about your spitting in the wind Governor. Every Democrat in the Legislature thinks that your idiotic fat cat tax boondoggle needs to be repealed. That’s their plan.

  3. William stueve says:

    But they can still afford to keep their refrigerators. Gotta do something about that Brownie.

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