Soak in the Differences

California, a blue state with blue leaders is raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over 6 years. It has gotten a grasp on a very bad fiscal situation and made great inroads in bringing California back from the fiscal brink and on its way to once again commanding the position of national leader.

Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina are red states (NC is more purple) with red leaders that have gone the other way.

North Carolina is embroiled in a self-inflicted gay panic with their anti-LGBT laws.  No reason for it, but the GOP there thought it reasonable and even necessary to load a gun and aim it at their own feet. The citizenry and abundant business community is pushing back on this completely brain dead waste of time.

If you type Kansas  into Google the top search result is “Kansas Fiscal Crisis.” Gov. Brownback has legendarily fucked up the economy in that state by carrying out the dreaded Republican economic agenda: cut taxes on the rich, cut spending on the poor and middle class.  Which leads inexorably to raising taxes on the poor, closing schools, letting roads degrade to gravel, etc., real pain for people, with no actual positive result.

But since the adoption of Brownback’s tax package, which included cutting the top income-tax rate by 26 percent and increasing standard deductions for married and single head-of-household filers, Kansas has gone from a $709 million surplus to shortfalls, said Duane Goossen, who served as budget director for both Republican and Democratic Kansas governors.

Oklahoma, under Mary Fallon, (nicknamed Mary Failin’) has also gone the way of Kansas and now has a $1.3 budget shortfall, bless her heart.  They sought to fill in that big unexpected hole of money by proposing to raise the state sales tax to nearly ten percent.  Yes, that’s right, Oklahoma has a higher state sales tax than New York, California, New Jersey, etc.  What we call sales taxes are regressive, so the GOP must have thought: “hey, that’s the opposite of progressive, let’s do that there.”  Yep, sock it to the poor is the unsaid byproduct of Republican rule, that part of tax cuts for the rich in small print at the bottom of the page. Oklahomans will vote on this next November.

The Tax Foundation’s research shows that Oklahoma currently has a 8.78 percent combined state and local sales tax rate, ranking it No. 6 nationally. If Oklahoma voters approved a penny increase, Oklahoma would have 9.78 percent rate, higher than any other state. (Tennessee, which has no individual income tax, is now No. 1 at 9.46 percent.)

At least they get a chance to vote, but it’s likely to pass since schools there (like in Kansas) are going to a 4 day week because of the lack of funds.

“Republican thinking” should officially be considered an oxymoron.



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