DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values



How States are Redistributing the Wealth

robber-baronOn December 26, 2014, David Sirota with the National Memo authored a post with the above title on the organization’s website. Here’s the basics of what it included:

Remember back in 2008 when the GOP lambasted candidate Barack Obama for supposedly endorsing policies of wealth redistribution? Let’s take a look at what actually happened.

What we’ve seen is in the states at the urging of Republicans. What are we talking about?  Let’s look at what Kansas’ Republican Governor Sam Brownback has done:

Sam Brownback signed a landmark bill delivering big tax cuts to high income earners and businesses (opposite of what Governor Dayton and our Legislature did).

Not even 2 years later, the state’s income tax revenues plummeted by a quarter-billion dollars and Brownback wants to use money from public employee’s pensions to cover the state’s budget shortfalls.

What’s his solution?

Slash the state’s required pension contribution by $40 million to balance the budget even though Kansas already has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the nation.

Here’s how he defends his proposal to take money from middle class state workers and use it to finance his tax cuts for the wealthy in a quote to the Wichita Eagle:

“It’s kind of, uh, well, where are you going to go for the funds. And I don’t like it, but it’s kind of what’s your other option if you don’t hit K-12 and higher ed with allotments?

Kansas isn’t the only state dealing with tax cuts signed by Republican governors:

  • Chris Christie expanded tax credits to corporations and gave record amounts of taxpayer subsidies to businesses (many of those dollars flowing to firms whose execs made contributions to Republican political organizations) while slashing required pension payments.

You’d think there’d be public outrage to this kind of wealth transfer, especially looking back at the 2008 “outrage”.  We think it’s tied to a lack of media coverage of what’s happening to everyday people like you and me.  That lack of coverage points to the decline of true journalism in this country, but that’s a discussion for another day.

You can read Mr. Sirota’s full post here.

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