Letters to the Editor

Some facts

To the anonymous Sound-Off responder who disputed my letter about disasters in Republican “laboratories of neo-conservatism” states, here are some undisputable facts:

In Kansas, a state with veto-proof Republican majorities, Republican Gov. Brownback hired neo-con economist Arthur Laffer to develop a tax plan that gave major cuts to the rich and practically eliminated business taxes. Republican legislators wanted to slash school funding, Medicaid and other programs to offset lost revenue also, but Brownback said economic growth would finance the cuts. Fast forward …instead of a boom, Kansas today is experiencing an economic downturn and catastrophic deficit that threatens schools and vital services. The Republicans’ remedy now ... hiking sales taxes, which particularly impacts the poor and middle classes. Many Kansans will pay the highest sales tax rates in the country on groceries. All this while our nation’s economy has grown and neighboring states’ economies fared much better.

A similar story also played out in Louisiana, where Gov. Jindal and his Republican legislature slashed taxes on corporations, and the rich, resulting in such a shortfall that schools and universities may be forced to close within the year. Louisiana now actually pays out more to corporations than it collects. As in Kansas, Republicans refuse to backtrack and insist on program cuts or sales-tax increases to cover the shortfalls.

The slash and burn philosophy of Supply Side Economics has been repeatedly proven a scam. But since it makes the rich richer and the middle class more subservient to giant corporations, Republicans keep selling this snake oil.

Kevin J. Gagen, Belleville

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