The Kansas City Star editorial page has always been for big government, more redistribution of other people’s wealth, etc. If it weren’t for the misleading, inaccurate and downright deceptive statements in the editorial, their apoplectic rantings about the proposed tax reform measure would be entertaining.
Opponents of the reforms only have one weapon to fight against the tax reform proposal – fear proving John Adams correct.
They deploy this weapon often and without any qualms concerning the facts. Since they aren’t interested in providing the facts about the proposal, I’ll be glad to do it for them.
The first and most preposterous accusation is that eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a consumer driven sales tax will “will either bankrupt the state or, in the alternative, bankrupt the poor and the working lower and middle classes.” Never mind they offer no substantiation to this claim other than incorrectly stating that a “government relations” person had made an analysis of the proposals. The Star and others can’t substantiate this false allegation. But we can show you that it is a false statement.
Tennessee has been operating under a very similar model. If as the opponents contend Tennessee and its citizens would be much worse off than those in Missouri. It just isn’t the case. Here is a graphic that compares the income stratification of the two states.
As you can see, the low income and middle classes in Tennessee are not significantly larger or smaller than in Missouri. But what about “shifting” the burden from the so-called “rich” to the middle class and “poor”. Not true either. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data shows that the more you make the more you consume. When you take into account that necessities won’t be taxed, it’s actually better for the poor and middle class.
Here’s a graphic using tax return data applied to the proposal providing an example of the instant increase in take home pay for every Missourian:
You might be saying, ‘alright so it doesn’t bankrupt the poor and middle class but THEY say the state won’t have enough money for education and other programs.’ Once again THEY are wrong.
Tennessee collected $6.3 billion with a 7% statewide sales tax in FY2010. The tax reform proposal in Missouri will be applied to a slightly higher base than Tennessee’s. Here is what Missouri’s FY2010 General Revenue consisted of:
As the chart indicates, the only thing the tax reform proposal replaces is the $4.4 billion in individual income tax collections. So how do we replace the $4.4 billion?
When you consider the other sources of general revenue remain unaffected it’s obvious that the state is not going to go bankrupt, schools will not close and people will not be laying dead on the streets. You would think that these stock “objections” to almost every reform proposed for government reform would change over the years but they don’t. Why? Fear is a powerful emotion.
I am an optimist. I still believe that there might actually be an honest discussion of the facts regarding the tax reform proposal before citizens vote on it. If an honest discussion does occur, voters in Missouri will adopt the proposal moving Missouri into a commanding economic position.
Yes, I am an optimist but given the past history of opponents of reform of almost any kind that changes the rules in favor of those paying the taxes, I’m not holding my breath that an honest discussion will actually occur.