In the fable Chicken Little (Henny Penny) the central phrase is – The sky is falling! This can easily and accurately be applied to the supporters of big government spending opposing tax reform in Missouri who are unreasonably afraid and disturbingly incite an unreasonable fear in those around them about tax reform. Sadly there are many Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosey, Gander Lander, Turkey Lurkey and Foxy Loxy followers.
Every state surrounding Missouri has been discussing tax reform of some sort. Some of them like Kansas and Oklahoma have actually been doing it and racing ahead of Missouri.
The protectors of big government spending are all beside themselves that tax reform is actually not only being discussed but several version have passed. These henny pennies resort to what they do best – distort and outright lie about not only the impact of the proposed Missouri bills but about the reality of what is happening in other states!
The henny pennies sell their snake oil that education funding will be cut. And if that’s not your “soft” area, they through in the old stand-by “other state services” will be negatively impacted. They make it sound ominous. Some legislators don’t want reform so they leap to take up the false doctrine being preached by big government supporters.
Other legislators who would otherwise inclined to or should be inclined to support tax reform get a little nervous because they hear this false doctrine from schools – most of which have no knowledge of what they are saying but merely repeat the false doctrine they have been spoon fed.
It’s usually the same group of big government supporters that oppose any move that lets taxpayers keep more of our money in our pockets to spend in stimulating the economy. They believe in the failed – time and time again failed – thought that government spending grows the economy. It never has and never will.
These henny pennies point to Oklahoma and Kansas as failures in their attempts. These attacks are demonstrably wrong. It is amusing though to hear the same big government, anti-tax reform scripts being used in all the states. Funny because they aren’t true.
Take Oklahoma for example. The same things were being said when in 2005 the Oklahoma Legislature passed what was, at that time, the largest personal income tax cut package in the state’s history. The official estimate similar to our Fiscal Notes was that, by Fiscal Year 2007, the tax cuts would cost the state $150 million. The reality was that, by Fiscal Year 2007, individual income tax collections actually grew by $305 million, and state sales tax collections grew by $243 million. So, what was estimated, using static analysis, would be a $150 million hole turned into a $548 million surplus for the state. Facts are pesky things.
Kansas has just begun implementing their tax cuts. The biggest problem with the Kansas bill isn’t the tax cuts but the fact the legislature didn’t include proposed elimination of various tax credits and tax deductions. Despite the claims of the big government supporters, Kansas is not cratering and is growing it’s small business base!
Here’s a brief interview with Kansas Secretary of Revenue, Nick Jordan regarding tax reform. We will be posting the full interview later.
If legislators and big government supporters are satisfied with being 48th in GDP the past decade and likely to drop even lower, then they are right – don’t do anything or worse yet – keep doing all they things we have been doing that aren’t working.
Missouri can and should make tax reform a priority but ONLY if legislators want to make Missouri prosperous and a contender in the Midwest region.