Arkansas GOP Gives MORE Tax Cuts To The Rich, Rejects Cuts For The Poor
By T. Steelman
Jumping on the tax-cuts-for-the-rich bandwagon while leaving the rest of us to walk behind in austerity is the latest trend among Republicans even though it’s been proven that it does more harm than good. But the only people they want to have to live on the edge of poverty are those who are already there. Their rich buddies… not so much.
Proving this, the Arkansas GOP introduced two proposals in committee this week: both are tax cuts for the rich. A proposal to give a tax cut to the poor,however, was ignored. Yep, that’s right. When it comes to tax cuts, the Arkansas House wants to extend more to those who really don’t need them and to hell with those who do.
The plans that were approved were supposedly aimed at stimulating economic growth. Yep, that old disproven theory that rich people, when given even more money, will share it with the rest of us. It’s a load of crap – it’s trickle down economics and it simply Does. Not. Work. We’ve had more than three decades to test it and the result is conclusive. It sucks as a way to get a healthy economy.
But this doesn’t faze the Republicans one little bit. In Arkansas, where the tax rates are among the most regressive in the country, they still insist that giving the rich more tax breaks and the poor none at all is good economics. These new plans, according to the AP, will cost the state a lot of money:
The income tax proposal, which will cost the state about $57 million a year, is expected to be the largest piece of the tax cut package being negotiated. The proposal would lower the top income tax rate from 7 percent to 6.875 percent and increase the minimum income it applies to from $34,000 to $44,000. The reduction would take effect for the 2014 tax year. The lawmaker behind the idea said it would help Arkansas generate jobs by making its tax rate more competitive with surrounding states. […] The panel also endorsed (House Speaker Davy) Carter’s proposal to increase the income tax exemption on capital gains of at least $5 million from 30 percent to 70 percent. It would also create a 70 percent exemption for any net capital gains relating to the sale of Arkansas property acquired after Jan. 1, 2014.
Looking at a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, opponents point out that only Arkansans who make over $155,000 a year would receive benefits from the tax cut. The capital gains exemption would only benefit the wealthy. Add to this the fact that cutting taxes to stimulate growth is another failed economic theory and you have a recipe for further disaster in Arkansas.
Meanwhile, the poor, the people who could really use a tax cut, were completely ignored. A proposal to give an Earned Income Tax Credit to low-income Arkansans was rejected by the same committee who loved the idea of those tax cuts for the rich. Those rich folks pay only about 6% of their income while the poor pay almost 12% of theirs. Absolutely despicable.
Arkansas governor Mike Beebe has said that, if this bill comes to his desk, he will not sign it. He is adamant that his budget does not have room for more tax cuts for those who don’t need them. In point of fact, the country’s budget has no room for tax cuts for the upper 2%. When will Congress get it? Austerity doesn’t work. Trickle down doesn’t work. Get with the program, Republicans!
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