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Dave Trabert, president of Kansas Policy Institute, talks about the state's K-12 school funding formula. The Kansas Legislature is considering block-grant funding schools for the next two years while they take a deliberative look at rewriting the formula....
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Create Jobs not Justifications... for tax increases
Posted by Todd Davidson on Monday, February 13, 2012

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) recently published a paper arguing that the nine states with the highest income taxes are actually faring better than the nine states with no income tax.  ITEP cites Gross State Product (GSP) per capita, Real (inflation-adjusted) Median Household Income, and the Unemployment Rate as their basis.

Using per-capita data to justify that high-tax states are doing well deliberately discounts overall growth in GSP, employment and population shifts.  One needs only a simple drawing to see GSP Per Capita, Real Household Income, and the Unemployment Rate are not appropriate measures.

In this first scenario our state has nine individuals; seven earning an income and two unemployed.  GSP per capita is $3, Real Median Household Income is also $3, the Unemployment Rate is 22%, and lastly our overall wealth is $28.  Now supposed the first 4 individuals decide to seek opportunity in another state.  Now our state looks like this:

Our GSP per capita is $5, Real Household Median Income is $5, the Unemployment Rate is 0%, but our overall wealth is now $25.  Not one person’s wealth increased and in fact our state is worse off, we have fewer jobs and less wealth.

This is precisely what IRS data suggests is happening.  From 2000 to 2009 the average adjusted gross income for taxpayers leaving the 9 states with the highest income taxes was $59,502, which is $5,000 lower than the average AGI for those states.

Instead of focusing on math trickery to justify our spending habits we need to focus on the policies that foster wealth and job creation.

  • The nation saw 2.9% decline in private sector employment between 2001 and 2010.
  • The 9 highest income tax states saw 4.8% decline in private sector employment.
  • The 9 states without an income tax saw a 2.4% increase in private sector employment.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Comments:     
Posted by Guest on Friday, March 9, 2012
I have taught for over 30 years; I teach in a really small rural school. My 8th graders and my sophomores (who always take the 11th grade reading test a year early) ALL met the standards, with several exceeding the standards and several exceptional results. It costs more to live today, and if we keep cutting down the costs by overcrowding the classrooms, what do you expect to happen? Trying to reach everyone in a 25+ classroom is just not possible, no matter how good your teacher is. Also, it seems to me that fewer and fewer parents are involved in their children's education, and that cuts deep, too.
With the upper level classes, the students actually have to WANT to do well on the test. Some just really do not care. . . There are many,
many factors in why we seem to be losing ground on NCLB, but cutting everything out probably won't make things better.
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