A Tax Day lesson: As crisis rages, shortsighted fiscal policy hurts our kids

Emily Fetsch
July 15, 2020

This Tax Day, we want to answer a question: Why does Kansas Action for Children talk about tax and budget issues?

Put simply, we can’t make sure children and families thrive if we don’t have the resources to do so. That’s true before, during, and after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen what happened when ideology got in the way of common sense over the last decade. Gov. Brownback and his tax experiment starved the state of much-needed revenue for years, and schools, hospitals, and vital infrastructure all paid the price.

Now we’re facing a once-in-a-century health and economic crisis. Millions across the country have lost their jobs and are struggling to meet basic needs. In so many issues relevant to Kansas kids and their guardians – child care, health insurance, unemployment support – our state and nation can make things better.

Sensible tax policies pay for the tools we use to create thriving, equitable communities and that will help us build back better than ever before.

We have proven programs to address needs created by poverty and the pandemic. Work and family supports such as SNAP (food assistance), TANF cash assistance, and child care assistance help feed children and meet the needs of their families. Expanding the KanCare program would provide health insurance for more adults who take care of children. And those are only the beginning.

Unfortunately, state revenue projections have been slashed because of the pandemic. National policymakers must approve more federal aid to prevent widespread state budget problems. State lawmakers must look to protect Kansas families and the most vulnerable to economic insecurity caused by these disruptions.

Children will pay the price for a lifetime if we don’t get this right.

This is why KAC talks about tax and budget issues. And this Tax Day, it’s why we ask every Kansan to use their voice and vote to support policies that strengthen families.


Learn more:

States Continue to Face Large Shortfalls Due to COVID-19 Effects (The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

How Kansas Can Fix its Upside-Down Tax Code (Kansas Center for Economic Growth, 2019)