Supply side-voodoo-trickle down economics is the Republican Party. Fortunately for us, this failed policy is now out there for everybody to see, thanks to a number of troubling red state examples.
Kansas Comeback Kid Gov. Sam Brownback took trickle-down to its illogical limit and failed. Apparently, this is what the angry, frustrated, ignored, left behind American voters wanted, and will get in January. Guess they showed us…”We won:”
Kansas: In February 2015, three years into the supply-side economics experiment that
would upend a once steady Midwestern economy, a budget hole appeared in Kansas’ finances. To fill it, Gov. Brownback took $45 million in public education funding … took highway money to plug it … state money for Medicaid coverage went into the hole, but the gap continued to grow.
Today, the state’s budget hole is $345 million and threatens the foundation of this state, which was supposed to be the setting for a grand economic expansion … The yawning deficits were caused by huge tax cuts that were supposed to set the economy roaring. They didn’t. The budget shortfalls have been felt across the state, particularly by public schools … Brownback has repeatedly pledged his faith in the free market. “We’re going to continue to grow the economy.”
A stern lesson in theory versus reality to other states contemplating the same free-market ideas. After five years of an economic crusade that has left its originator, Brownback, as the least popular governor in the nation.
The state would thrive, he pledged, because the tax cuts would help keep businesses and smart, young Kansans in the state. It will pave the way to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, bring tens of thousands of people to Kansas, and help make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business,” Brownback wrote in 2012. “It will leave more than a billion dollars in the hands of Kansans. An expanding economy and growing population will directly benefit our schools and local governments.”
Nope, didn't happen.
Revenue from income tax collections plummeted 22 percent. A separate repeal of taxes on partnerships and limited liability companies meant the surrender of 30 percent of state revenue. State revenue estimators project receipts … down 7.4 percent from this year’s estimate … the state did increase the sales tax … the second-highest sales tax in the nation … (but) Deflation is dropping the prices of goods and the taxes the state collects on them.
Tired of the bleating horn of bad news, in September Brownback silenced a quarterly economic evaluation of the state that counted employment, unemployment, personal income and energy production, and consistently illustrated the state’s plunging revenues. He had done so before, in August 2015, when he ordered a halt to a semiannual economic report. “A lot of people were confused” by the reports, said Nicole Randall, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Cutting the people out of knowing what was really happening economically in Kansas was only a start. Purging State Supreme Court Justices for defending the language of state Constitution was also a weapon Republicans have no problem using:
Conservative groups supporting Brownback responded by pushing five Supreme Court justices into brutal, expensive retention races to keep their seats. The targeted justices were retained by voters and are expected to rule this month on the adequacy and fairness of the public education system in a landmark case, Gannon v. Kansas, filed by four of the state’s poorest school districts.
A former liberal radio talk host who likes to ask the “follow-up question” at Democurmudgeon.blogspot.com