Just a few short days ago, Grover Norquist appeared in Missouri to push the new Republican tax plan aimed at revving up the Missouri Economic engine.
National anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is stumping around Missouri today with Republican state House Speaker Tim Jones, in support of a GOP tax-cut plan that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is poised to veto.After the passage of the massive tax cut, Governor Nixon sent it down in a veto. Today, he explains his reasoning.
According to Jones' office, Norquist was to join Jones at an event in Cape Girardeau this morning “to discuss the importance of fostering economic growth by lowering the tax burden on Missouri families and businesses.” The two are scheduled to appear in Springfield, Mo., later today.
The tax-cut measure, which passed the General Assembly earlier this month, would gradually cut the top individual state income tax rate from the current 6 percent to 5.5 percent, with other provisions.
Supporters say the bill will reduce state tax revenue by about $620 million a year. Nixon claims the real cost will be about $4.8 billion a year, based on his assertion (disputed by supporters) that a provision in the bill will eliminate taxes for incomes above $9,000 a year. He has called the plan “disastrous” for the state.
The bill is SB 509.
Sometimes an image sums up things so well:
Over the last two weeks, Senate and House Republicans in Jefferson City have argued for a massive tax cut, designed in many ways to mirror image the similarly written Kansas legislation that reduced taxes in hopes of kick starting economic gains.
When Republicans heard that Gov. Nixon was opposed, they thought they would use it as an anchor around his neck to show that the governor was 'out of touch' with the desires of the residents of the great state of Missouri.
JEFFERSON CITY — Senator Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, raised questions today about the governor’s logic on Senate Bill 509. According to Sen. Kraus, the governor continues to ignore major parts of the bill and simple tax policy facts to create hypotheticals to try to scare legislators away from supporting the bill.Why, these tax cuts would help everyone, and they wouldn't hurt the state at all!
“It continues to amaze me that our governor is unwilling to engage in an honest debate about SB 509,” said Sen. Kraus. “He is picking and choosing parts of the bill to read, just like he wants to pick winners and losers in tax policy. When he championed a $1.7 billion tax cut for one St. Louis company, he gave up any claim to looking out for ‘the average working family.’”
Industry and judicial experts continue to weigh in against the governor’s false claims. Former Supreme Court Justice William Price, the Tax Committee from Associated Industries of Missouri, Certified Public Accountants acting as industry experts, and others have refuted the governor’s attempts to mislead the public.
“The governor is using only part of the bill to fool school districts into believing they will lose revenue,” continued Sen. Kraus. “He completely ignores the triggers and the two-year delay which will produce a minimum of $1 billion in increased revenue. Using those numbers, every school district will see higher revenues.”
Today, the governor cited a “windfall” for the wealthy if SB 509 passes. He again ignored an important part of the bill, the $500 deduction for those making under $20,000. He also ignores that every individual filer receives the same percentage tax rate cut.
“It seems odd that the governor doesn’t understand that those who pay more in taxes will receive more back. We can’t possibly give more back to those who don’t pay now, or those who pay very little,” said Sen. Kraus. “SB 509 helps every tax payer, gives an extra break to low-income taxpayers, and helps small business owners grow their businesses.”
This was the mantra of Sen. Will Kraus and most of the Republicans who toured the state just 3 days ago.
Today, however, that burden weighs heavy around the necks of most Republicans who demanded a Kansas-style tax program.
As expected, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday vetoed a major tax-cut bill.Republicans just spent a week touring the state pointing to Kansas tax plans as a guideline to how to rev up the economy.
One reason: Kansas.
Nixon, a Democrat, looked westward to the 2012 decision by Kansas lawmakers to slash taxes as a big reason why Missouri shouldn’t follow suit. On Thursday, in a move that proved fortuitous for Nixon’s argument, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Kansas’ bond rating.
Said Nixon in a statement: “In their rush to follow Kansas down the fiscally irresponsible path of eliminating ‘pass-through’ income for businesses, the General Assembly seems determined to put Missouri’s spotless AAA credit rating at risk.
“It’s time to set aside the partisan blinders and look at the evidence: fiscal experiments like Senate Bill 509 do nothing to grow the economy and in fact, cause it great harm.”
In a statement, Nixon quoted the rationale the Moody’s used to downgrade Kansas’ bonds:
“The downgrade reflects Kansas' relatively sluggish recovery compared with its peers, the use of non-recurring measures to balance the budget, revenue reductions (resulting from tax cuts) which have not been fully offset by recurring spending cuts, and an underfunded retirement system for which the state is not making actually required contributions.”
Nixon pointed out that Missouri has a perfect AAA credit rating from all three leading credit rating agencies – Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s.
Why, it was just April 22 when Missouri House Republicans took to the Microphones to take a slap at Gov. Nixon over his portrayal of the tax giveaway as a 'bad idea'.
As Gov. Nixon reads off a list that contains a credit downgrade and an unimagined tax drop in nearby neighbor Kansas - the model for this legislation, he has the ability to say: This is why you need a governor who can stop this madness.
As he notes, Missouri retains a perfect Moodys credit rating as well as an economic tax growth in April, providing them a more than 54% tax income swing in comparison to the state of Kansas.
What's next? Well, knowing that Governor Nixon planned to veto this, Grover Norquist proposed that Missouri House & Senate Republicans would override this veto and provide the tax breaks that would work for Missouri.
With a veto showdown looming, Norquist rallied support for the tax cut by appearing with Republican House Speaker Tim Jones at news conferences in Cape Girardeau and Springfield.Now Republicans who seek a veto override will do so under the incredible shadow of one of the largest single year economic collapses in my memory from the state they are modeling this legislation after.
"The tax cut will happen," Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, predicted in an interview with The Associated Press. "You're going to have thousands and tens of thousands more people employed because of this," Norquist added.
Like Missouri's Republican lawmakers, Norquist contends that the tax cut will leave small businesses with more money that can be used to expand. But there are no official projections on whether the tax cut will create jobs or simply result in more money in people's bank accounts.
While Nordquist traveled the state, business and education groups held dueling news conferences in Jefferson City criticizing or praising the measure. The scenario was reminiscent of last year's highly publicized battle, when the GOP ultimately fell 15 votes short in the House of overriding Nixon's veto.
If Grover's still in town anywhere, can someone get a comment?