Robin Hood In Reverse

You may not agree with him in general, but if you haven’t been watching the Ed Shultz show on MSNBC, you should. Schultz speaks straight about the dismantling of the American middle class, lowered spending on America’s Main Street, and about those of us who are finding it harder to shop there.

“Wall Street’s going through the roof, and Main Street’s paying the bill,” Schultz reminds viewers. Everybody describing themselves as middle class will/are picking up the tab: liberal Democrat, moderate liberal Democrat, fence riders, moderate Republican, conservative Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Tea Partiers, those who hate politics, people with jobs, people without, etc.

As our conservative ones in the state’s legislature just finished cutting more from what is important to most Kansans, just keep in mind that “they” will be back next year to slice even further taxes on the wealthy and corporations, while holding hands open in our direction.

No wonder there’s an ongoing crisis created to meet their philosophical demands, while fleecing you and me to make up the difference! And next to no effort on the jobs creation front! Who brought this crisis upon us? Who gave us the Bush Tax Cuts on the wealthy? Who promised trickle down jobs? Who continues gutting state treasuries in the name of tax giveaways to the wealthy and the corporations?

Why conservative Republicans, that’s who, hell bent on following an agenda masterminded by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC. And, I’ve asked it before? Why would any normal conservative politician create job one, if it would help make President Obama look good?

Much of what the Kansas legislature and the governor attempted or completed this term in the Statehouse also had been attempted or completed in other states from plans originating with ALEC, while ignoring the voters last November for jobs creation. Bills concerning abortion, voter identification, union rights, gun regulations, KPERS, killing the Kansas Arts Commission, and so many other non-jobs related efforts became priority.

Do our legislators really believe corporations will create even one job? Or the Bush Tax cuts would lead to job creation? They must! In the real world, corporate incomes have been skyrocketing like never before, and those corporations realized they can produce what’s necessary with the current workforce.

In a recent Huffington Post story, several CEOs/presidents of companies were interviewed about what they had done with Bush tax cut money? One said, “Nothing,” another traveled more, and another said the bigger boat he built didn’t help American workers because he had it done in Italy. But most importantly, each man is a member of “Patriotic Americans”, a self-described “gang” of nearly 200 millionaires, who have signed a letter requesting higher taxes on millionaires.

You know who’s not listening to 200 millionaires don’t you?

Wear out workers and replace when necessary, more accurately a Robin Hood in reverse take-from-the-middle-class and give to the wealthy/corporate empires in the name of a jobs creation scheme. But create no jobs! And, we fell for it, well somebody did.

In their drive to privatize and open up another money stream to the wealthy and corporations, conservative Kansas legislators had their sights set on the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS). This includes teachers (like me), law enforcement, fire fighters, state and local employees in county and municipalities and judges.

The Senate would have those covered pay more into the system (sounds like Wisconsin); the House would move KPERS to a 401K for workers hired after June 2013. This mimics other states under conservative Republican control, that have, like Kansas, given away, unnecessarily, tax breaks to the well-to-do. And the hired hands pick up the tab!

If passed, a contributions shortfall for new employees being diverted into the new 401K replacement plan would leave state and local governments at a loss estimated at $7.7 billion. The tab for setting up the new 401K system would be $1.2 billion.

No Kansas public employee ever hired on to get rich. Make a difference to those we serve? Yes! Make a living? Yes! Retire with enough to keep us comfortable, pay our bills and not be a burden to our loved ones/society until we pass on? For sure! This, too, means spending money on Main Street.

Teachers (the youngest and the oldest) already fear pink slips, are watching schools close and have been taking hits to their take-home pay; they may now be forced to put more into their retirement accounts. Meaning, they/we are and will be spending less monthly on Main Street.

The Kansas governor plans to phase out personal income tax and reduce the corporate income tax rate further. You do know who will pick up this tab don’t you, to keep the state of Kansas operating, which will leave even fewer dollars to spend on Main Street?

When our conservative legislators manage to lower – much further next year – income taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, what else will you and I have to cut, thus limiting spending on Main Street by the conservative – Robin Hood in Reverse – cleaver?



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Posted by admin on Jun 15 2011. Filed under Kevin Gray. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Robin Hood In Reverse”

  1. You wrote a superb article and the use of “Robin Hood in Reverse” surely won’t be lost on your reading audience that more than likely heard or amazingly read the novel, “Robin Hood” at least once during their upbringing.
    My opinion of what the Kansans are seeing out of their State Government, specifically of their highest executive and his fellow neo-conservative henchmen might be better titled, “ingratitude in forward!” My high school class recently had its class reunion. We graduated a few decades ago. The reunion planners of our class were gracious, grateful and humbled enough to actually invite and have attend, 3 or 4 our past teachers, as well as one of our principles. I guess maybe our class learned respect, we learned where we got our abilities to perform in society, we learned that what went around is now coming around. Now, I realize Kansas may have been unique back in the 70′s, for we had a government that saw to it that public schools were at least funded and teachers could at least raise a small family on modest if not sub-modest income and retire with some trace of dignity. Maybe not all of our state elected officials went to school in Kansas and can be excused for being so “disrespectful” or ungrateful to public schools, their teachers and administrators. However, what would be the excuse of our Linn County Kansas Educated Governor?
    That is what I call “ingratitude in forward!” As you pointed out, “they have only just begun” and voters need to take note. What a disgrace to the overwhelming majority of us that depended on public schools, from this generation to the past century of generations.

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