Wednesday, June 7, 2017

End of the Republican experiment in Kansas

It's over.

After several years of Sam Brownback's attempt to prove the Republican adages that tax cuts encourage economic growth, and that you can run a stripped-down government without enough revenue, and keep meeting your basic obligations (like education) -- the Kansas legislature, led by Republicans, has soundly repudiated the ideological effort.

It's about time.  It's still somewhat astonishing that Brownback even got reelected, given how poorly the experiment was going.  But it got worse, leading to the tax-increasing legislation and veto override.  Brownback can no longer be taken seriously (unfortunately, for awhile, he was).

Kansas’ Disastrous Experiment in Trickle-Down Economics Is Finally Over
The Republican Legislature voted to override the governor’s veto and raise taxes.
"The centerpiece of his [Brownback's] plan was a huge reduction in the state’s income tax. Brownback erased the top income tax bracket and lowered rates across the board, with the most benefits handed to the wealthy. And he zeroed out taxes on “pass-through” income, allowing owners of LLCs and other businesses to evade taxes. Analysts warned that such a big reduction in tax revenue would leave a crater in the state’s budget, but Brownback waved away such concerns, promising that the cuts would more than pay for themselves by juicing the economy and creating jobs. When moderate Republicans in the Legislature didn’t fully agree with their governor, he teamed up with the Koch brothers’ advocacy organization to back primary campaigns against them and replace them with true believers.

But Brownback’s promised economic miracle never came to pass. Tax revenue has consistently come in below expectations."

And I will shed nary a tear for the end of the dream. So long, Sam. You were wrong. You lost. It would take a man to admit that, and so therefore I doubt you will.

And whenever Republicans talk about lowering taxes to spur economic growth, and that such a course of action will "pay for itself", don't believe them.  It doesn't work.  What improves the economy is strong communities and a diversified (skill-wise) work force.

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