Republican lawmakers in several states are blunting plans by GOP governors to reduce or eliminate income taxes, putting the legislators at odds with figures many in the party see as leading voices on reshaping government.
Friction over tax policy within the GOP has flared in states such as Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio, as Republican lawmakers raise concerns over projected revenue losses from income-tax cuts. Three of those states shelved big income-tax cuts that would be paid for by broadening the sales tax, and in Kansas, legislators will return next week to a continuing debate over the size and speed of proposed cuts.
This is an income tax vs. consumption tax fight, with legislators being leery of raising sales taxes to offset income tax cuts. There are loopholes that can be closed too in order to achieve some balance in most states. Personally, I feel that people should be able to keep more of what they earn, which gives them the freedom to spend it or not spend it as they see fit. Incremental increases in income taxes generally make consumers skittish to spend at all, while incremental increases in sales taxes tend to irritate them, but not cause panic. The slight hit people got in their take home pay as a result of the deal made by Congress and the president at the beginning of the year has been bogging down the economy even further for four months now.
There are those who would argue that a reduction in income tax is never a bad thing. I’m so old I remember when most Republicans would fit that description.