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Saturday, January 19, 2019

In 2012, after passing the largest tax cut in the history of Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback (R) claimed that his new policy would be “like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” But as a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities makes clear, Brownback’s policies are doing a lot more harm than good.

According to the CBPP, the tax cuts have already cost Kansas $803 million in revenue, and that figure will swell to over $5 billion by 2019. The state’s schools, courts, health departments, and other public services have felt the brunt of that loss through severe cuts.

After adjusting for inflation, funding for higher education is down 23 percent compared to pre-recession levels (even as tuition at Kansas public colleges and universities has risen by 8 percent). Funding for libraries is 35 percent below 2012 levels, and 65 percent below 2008 levels. Funding for local health departments is down 14 percent from before the recession. Funding for courts is down 16 percent. Each of these declines leaves Kansas well behind most states in the nation.

Schools have been hit especially hard by the impact of the tax cuts. Although most states have spent the past two years restoring spending cuts that were forced by the recession — 47 states have raised general state school funding per student since 2012 — Kansas has continued to slash its education budget. If the state adopts Governor Brownback’s proposed budget, school funding would land 17 percent below pre-recession levels.

School Funding Chart

Making matters worse, Kansas’ economy is lagging significantly behind the rest of the country. CBPP finds that the state’s job growth, business growth, and income growth are all below the national average — and the state’s own forecasts project that it will get worse in the coming years.

Income Growth Chart

That’s not to say that the whole state is suffering, however. Brownback’s tax cuts have worked out rather nicely for the wealthiest Kansans. The highest-income 1 percent of the state received an average tax cut of 2.2 percent of their income, compared to 0.5 percent for the middle 20 percent of households. Meanwhile, Brownback’s package actually raised taxes on the poorest 20 percent of the state, by eliminating tax credits such as a sales tax rebate.

CBPP chart 3

Given all of this, it’s no surprise that Brownback’s approval ratings have plummeted (to just 33 percent, according to a recent Public Policy Polling survey). The governor, whom some consider to be a dark-horse presidential candidate, may not even survive his 2014 re-election campaign against Democrat Paul Davis.

As other Republican governors such as Bobby Jindal and Tom Corbett have learned the hard way, it seems that a Tea Party-inspired economic platform of huge cuts to both taxes and government services is a lot more popular in theory than in practice.

Photo: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

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64 responses to “Report: Big Tax Cuts Have Been A Disaster For Kansas”

  1. FredAppell says:

    I feel bad for the Kansans who didn’t vote for Brownback. Austerity sounds appealing until one realizes just how much it only extends the economic pain. Recovery takes time (something the GOP and T/P fail to consider) and not everyone is going to be able to get by without some kind of subsidy. There’s simply not enough jobs to go around, some people are working 2 jobs to get by, that tends to lesson the number of available jobs for the unemployed. The time for decreasing tax rates and creating budget cuts is when there is a
    healthy economy, not during a crisis.

    • MVH1 says:

      More Republican insane economics and poor Kansans will suffer greatly. Those folks who got the cuts don’t care.

      • FredAppell says:

        Agreed! On the other hand, how pitiful are the SOB’s That are doing this to Americans? For all their pomp and arrogance, their more needy than the rest of us. They need the power and wealth just to feel alive, they don’t know who their real friends are, they can’t rely on their families the way we can. Everything is built on control, that’s a sad existence. Too bad their bringing all of us down.

        • progressiveandproud says:

          Having personal experience with trust fund babies (which many of the wealthy are thanks to rich parents) I can tell you not to waste you time pitying them.
          Most of them have an exaggerated sense of entitlement and superiority and really believe that people of lesser means are inferior to them.

          Can’t rely on their families? Oh yes, my dear, they certainly can rely on their families. Got drunk and killed a kid with your car (Walmart heir)? No problem, money and family connections makes it go away. Caught with drugs in the car? Dad will be there on the first flight to bail you out of jail. Girlfriend pregnant? Give her money for an abortion: and if that doesn’t work, make sure she knows the family will make her life a living hell.

          The wealthy live very different lives than the rest of us and the vast majority of them wouldn’t give up the money under any circumstances.

          • Allan Richardson says:

            Caught with drugs? Join the National Guard and go AWOL? No problem, Daddy and his friends will see that you can become President someday!

          • FredAppell says:

            I think you misunderstood my meaning. There have been many serious studies conducted to understand the behavioral and emotional state of mind exhibited by people who pursue extreme wealth and the findings aren’t very flattering. Everything you’ve described is synonymous with that mind set that they have to be better, richer, and in power over the rest of us. It’s a psychosis that they’re inflicted with, but I’m not suggesting we feel empathy for. Pitying someone carries a negative connotation along with it. It’s meant to be offensive while also acknowledging that they have major issues.

            As far as reliability goes, I feel I was correct. They don’t rely on each other, instead they use each other for a variety of reasons, mostly to keep their prestige in check. Ask yourself one important question, what do you put the most value on in your life, then ask yourself, based on what you have personally experienced, if the wealthy value those same characteristics. I guarantee you the answer is no. They spend their lives chasing something that doesn’t really matter all because they have an insatiable appetite to win at all costs. That’s pitiful!

          • progressiveandproud says:

            I see your point, thanks for clarifying.

      • stcroixcarp says:

        But there is a silver lining. Kansas has passed some of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country. They will get more babies! Everyone knows that all babies in all circumstances are gifts from God. you know…blessed are the poor…

        • MVH1 says:

          LOL. It’s too bad we couldn’t have let the goppers create their own test village, just them and their economic and religious and social policies, roped them off from the rest of us and let them go, like fifty years ago, no Dems allowed, no dissenters allowed with the one proviso that as each one became miserable and poor enough, they would be allowed to leave and never return. All they’d have to do is say “enough”, meaning enough poverty, enough hate, enough poor health care, enough of having baby after baby and then being considered a taker once the bambinos arrived and needed food, shelter and clothing. Any children born gay would be immediately sent to a good place outside the community upon detection so they could live happy lives without being told they were sinners for something they had no control over. The exit door would have the one word over it “enough”. Upon stepping into the doorway, you’d be granted immediately egress.

          • Allan Richardson says:

            There are several such villages. One of them is Kansas, another is Mississippi, …

          • MVH1 says:

            LOL. No I mean an enclave that has NOTHING but them. There are those of us who get caught in these villages and can’t get out for a good while for very good reasons. But I love your take and it’s correct in large part.

          • latebloomingrandma says:

            When is the movie coming out?

          • MVH1 says:

            Perhaps we should write it. This one wouldn’t take a lot of imagination nor creative license. The truth is far more awful and real than anything we could make up.

          • Joseph says:

            It has already been written and the movies made. All we have to do is agree who the bad guys are. Unfortunately, the way the game has been structured that is very difficult. If it were not difficult, we would be pelting Bush and the members of the supreme court and any member of congress with egs and vegetables. Why are the good citizens of Kansas who were screwed and will continue to be screwed by the conservatives not pelting Brownback and his cohorts with rotten vegetables?

          • Faraday_Cat says:

            Well, republicans THINK that their movie is already out…the first part of Elisyum…lol

          • Joseph says:

            That wold mean denying the parasites acess to the government tit and the conservatives would never stand for that.

          • MVH1 says:

            Sounds like you think they have more power than we do. Sounds like you are willing to roll over and let that happen. Sounds like there’s not a whit of fight in you. Fine, you want to go down and succumb? Do it by yourself then. Weakling.

          • Joseph says:

            So fr the conservative parasites have demonstrated they have more power. They arranged it so the poor and the middle class bear the burden of th cost of the society. No I’m not willing to succumb but as the tea-baggers and the republicans have allowed them to arm the local police like an army, what do you suggest? They can now gun us down in the street and it is no harm no foul.

  2. MVH1 says:

    I guess Oz is somewhere else now and Dorothy is going to have to find a new place to call home.

  3. Independent1 says:

    Maybe some day the day will come when the GOP learns that tax cuts accomplish very little, and in fact, often do more harm than good.

    The link below is to an article on Stagpression, which may well be what is suppressing the Kansas economy: giving tax breaks to Kansas companies and the rich only encourages them to hold onto their money and not invest it.

    Here are some selected excerpts from the article brought up by the link below which discusses America’s recovery from the Great Recession, but I think what the author says can be applied to what’s going on today in Kansas:

    Ironically as we gave our businesses more and more money with lower taxes, less regulation, tax funded price supports, hand-tied their unions, and made free new technology at our taxpayers expense, despite all these perks and incentives, they invested less.

    So what are they doing with their money? Rather than invest in plants and equipment, businesses are primarily using their funds to repurchase their own stocks in order to boost management earnings and ward off hostile take-overs, pay dividends to stockholders, and accumulate large cash and bond holdings. The Bush Tax Cuts held through Obama’s first term, and account for today’s sluggish reinvestment.

    So we have an opposite relationship: cutting taxes increases corporate profits which go elsewhere other than reinvestment back into the economy. Increasing taxes, cuts into the Free Cash Flow, and funnels some of that flow over to reinvestment projects.

    Raising the tax rates drives re-investment, cuts down on excessive cash. It is the only thing we know so far, that consistently works to drive re-investment. Everyone who insists on cuts and de-regulation, no matter how they spin it, is pursuing a policy that has been completely disproven by reality and fact and of course, recent history..

    Here’s the link for those interested in seeing some graphs that support the author’s contentions:

    Economic Stagpression: Two Charts The Entire World Must See

    • “tax cuts do more harm than good.”

      This is a drastic overstatement. The effective impact of tax cuts is 100% context dependent. Tax cuts on capital gains do very little to promote broad economic activity. However, eliminate the terrible and regressive labor tax FICA and the economy will get back on its feet in no time. FICA sucks $1.2 Trillion per year out of the pockets of workers. Letting the people keep more of their money would obviously result in more growth.

      • Independent1 says:

        Yeah! But when people talk about ‘tax cuts’ they rarely would talk about eliminating the payroll tax so that Social Security and Medicare would go down the drain. Sorry, I’m not buying that as once of the contexts in which cutting taxes would spur the economy. You know full well that when people talk about talk cuts they’re talking about the income tax. That may be a short term solution for a year or two, as Obama used it, but it is not a longer range solution for spurring the economy. Such as when Clinton raised taxes in the 90s and the economy boomed for almost 8 years.

        • ” payroll tax so that Social Security and Medicare would go down the drain.”

          That is just silly. When Congress did the payroll tax cut with the stimulus bill, they simply decried that Congress would continue making the so-called “trust fund” payments. They can always do this. There is no dept of defense trust fund. No pay as you go taxes for homeland security. You erroneously believe payroll taxes pay for SS payments. But any cursory look at TSY statements proves this. There are no “trust fund expenditures” columns. All taxes go to the same place and all spending comes from the same place.

          Clinton’s tax increases didnt cause the dot com bubble. Why would you think that?

          • Independent1 says:

            I think that because you are wrong! Social security payments come directly from the SS trust fund and the employee and company portion of the payroll tax (FICA) go directly into the trust fund THEY DO NOT GO ALL INTO THE SAME PLACE!!

            See this directly from SocialSecurity.Gov.


            So cutting the payroll tax depletes the funds going into the SS Trust Fund and would put SS at risk. It may be that the Medicare tax goes into the general fund but I don’t think cutting just that would do much for the economy

          • johninPCFL says:

            The money targetted to SS is indeed invested, not “locked away”. The legal requirements are that it be invested in US gov’t instruments that cannot lose their principal value. The first downside is that those instruments take the cash from the SS payments and put it into the general revenue fund. This process has the primary consequences that borrowing from foreigners to fund federal government operations is reduced, and that most of the US national debt is held by US citizens.
            A second downside is that the instruments have “maturation periods”. The instruments can be surrendered (cashed in) before the period expires, but the money returned is much less than the face value. Think: cash in a savings bond early, and the $50 bond you paid $35 for only gets you $28. The SS money is similarly tied up for specific timeframes.

          • Independent1 says:

            Sorry John but you’re wrong too. The Social Security fund is no longer invested in marketable securities, it is only invested in Special Issues that are only available to the Trust Fund. See this from SS dot Gov:

            The Social Security trust funds, managed by the Department of the Treasury, are the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. Since the beginning of the Social Security program, all securities held by the trust funds have been issued by the Federal Government.

            There are two general types of such securities:

            special issues—securities available only to the trust funds; and

            public issues—securities available to the public (marketable securities).

            The trust funds now hold only special issues, but they have held public issues in the past.

            Monthly reports from the Bureau of Public Debt provide data on the amount held at the end of the month by type of security, interest rate, and maturity date. The two forms below allow you to access such data. Data are available for 1990 and later.

            Here’s the link:


          • johninPCFL says:

            I am sorry for oversimplifying. As those securities (US gov’t instruments) are issued by the treasury back to the trust, the cash from the SS contributions goes to the treasury and is assigned to the general fund. This displaces borrowing (i.e. selling other treasury securities) that would otherwise be required to meet spending obligations set by Congress.
            The trust securities pay interest (i.e. are purchased below face value NPV), but require a maturation period for full valuation. My example was off, however. For a normal savings bond, you can receive less than the purchase amount, and will certainly receive less than the face value, for early retirement of the bond. The SS securities cannot lose value (by legal requirement), so the worst case surrender value should be the amount paid (i.e. no accrued interest.)
            You are correct that the treasury rebuys these securities from the trust, and the cash necessary to issue SS payments is deposited. One of the fiscal crises that occured (in July/August 2011) was a treasury repurchase from the SS trust required to meet SS payments, that Congress (the House) tied to the debt ceiling: “According to Barclays Capital, Treasury would run out of cash around August 10, when $8.5 billion in Social Security payments were due.”

          • Independent1 says:

            Thanks for the clarifications!!

          • I love how you completely ignored the evidence that I provided that proves you wrong. It was only 4 years ago that FICA taxes were cut. Congress decreed that the “trust fund” would be fully funded despite the tax cut. I assume you accept that this is true seeing as it just happened.

            Now what makes you think that another FICA cut would be any different as long as Congress appropriated the money?

            Does the Defense Dpt need a trust fund for its spending?

            What about the EPA?

            What about the FBI?

            or DOJ

            and on and on and on.

            Only a dishonest person could deny such blatant reality and still think that FICA is needed to pay for FICA.

            You are free to claim that FICA is a necessary political maneuver (just like FDR did) but you most certainly cannot say that FICA is necessary for SS payments.

          • Independent1 says:

            What in the world are you talking about?? Are you demented or something!! The only thing Obama did with the payroll tax was reduce the percentage at which workers kicked into the trust fund from 6 plus percent to about 4 plus percent – giving workers some extra money in their paychecks to help spur the economy a little.

            The reduction in the percent that workers’ paychecks were reduced had nothing to do whatsover with changing the fact that the monies collected by the payroll tax are deposited in the OASDI trust fund which is used to pay the SS benefits.

            All that happened was that monies being kicked into the fund were less than normal so the deficiency (the amount by which the monies being deposited are less than the SS benefits paid) was a little larger than normal which may have caused a temporary reduction in the OASDI fund balance which was 2.7trillion plus (although the payments coming in are less than the benefits paid, earnings on the fund balance usually cover more than the incoming deficiency so the fund balance had still been growing. With the reduction Obama and Congress had authorized, it could have been the deficiency was too large so the OASDI balance was decreasing).

            What is your hangup with the EPA, FBI, DOJ, etc. etc. None of these government departments are run like insurance, like Social Security is; or do you even understand the concept??

          • Seriously dont you know anything?

            Congress voted that they would make the missing payments THEMSELVES. If they could do this once they could do it again. You don’t understand monetary sovereignty at all.

            Taxes dont pay for federal spending. THe Govt issues the dollar. If taxes were $0, they could still spend infinte dollars. Dont you know what fiat money is?

          • Independent1 says:

            So, in other words, let’s inform every country on the planet that they’re going through all their budget problems for nothing because they really don’t ever need to collect taxes, or worry about rating agencies downgrading their countries, or actually ever need to borrow; all they need to do is just keep printing money and spending it like there’s no tomorrow!! Wow!!

            You should move over to Greece and let them know that millions of their citizens have been struggling with austerity for the past couple years for absolutely nothing – they’re overlooking the fact that they have always had monetary sovereignty and all this time been wallowing in money. Wow!!

            Have they been stupid or what?? They never looked into the ‘Auburn Parks Principle’ of: Never Collect Taxes, don’t worry about debt and just print money endlessly and stop asking your citizens to pay taxes. What a revelation!!! Who Knew????

          • Independent1 says:

            You need to contact some Republicans right a way and let them know that they’re jerking the nation around for nothing. Our government doesn’t need budgets – it was stupid for our founding fathers to have dictated that government spending would originate in the House of Representatives and be authorized by Congress. The country has been going through all these efforts by the GOP to crash the economy over fake budget and debt battles for nothing.

            Congress doesn’t need to keep track of spending. The GOP needs to stop trying to rob Peter to pay Paul every time an emergency comes up and just say, What the Heck!! We’ll cover this 60 Billion in Sandy damage by just asking the Treasury to print another 60 Billion; we don’t need to offset spending on Sandy disaster relief by trying to make cuts to Social Securty and Medicare. All that rhetoric about Obama stealing 716 Billion from Medicare was just a charade – spending doesn’t mean anything – why are we even here.

            Let’s just revert the country to the ‘Auburn Park’s Principle’ and we can save Congress and the President a lot of problems – they really don’t need to worry about spending or where the money is coming from; we have monetary sovereignty and can just print, print, print more money without keeping track of budgets – Wow!! Have we ever been wasting a lot of time the past 250 years thinking that we had to conform to budgets!!!

          • Your ignorance is astounding.

            Before the USA there was no such thing as a US Dollar.

            Every US Dollar ever created has “come out of thin air”.

            Taxes serve onl 3 purposes

            1) To manage inflation and private sector spending power

            2) To punish socially undesirable outcomes (too much wealth hoarding ad inequality, pollution, financial speculation, smoking etc)

            3) To provide a baseline value for a state fiat currency.

            Your entire worldview on economics has obviously been formed through the Big Lie that the Govt’s budget is just like a household budget. Why you believe something so silly is beyond me. Especially since the people in charge of the system have repeatedly told the truth.

            Enjoy the evidence:


          • Allan Richardson says:

            Congress basically decided that, during the TEMPORARY cut in payroll tax (for the purpose of stimulus), they would use other funds to make up the deficiency. That is like your rich uncle offering to pay half your car payment for a few months as a birthday present. When it’s over, it’s over.

          • Right and Congress is the rich uncle. The US Dllar comes from the US Govt. We dont get it from China or rich businessmen. The Dept of Defense doesn’t need some silly trust fund accounting and guess what neither does SS.

          • Independent1 says:

            And I believe that Clinton’s tax increases helped spur the Dot Com bubble because the increases encouraged investors to invest even more in not only the initiatives that pushed the dot com bubble further but to invest in many other entrepreneural initiatives that drove the economy. Did you even read the article about economic stagpression??

            And all you have to do is look at more than 2/3 of the red states where Republicans have pushed tax cuts as a means of austerity to see the harm that they’re doing.

            It’s generally about 2/3s of red states that lead the nation in violence, robberies and murders because of reduced police protection caused by reduced budgets.

            If you look at workplace disasters, it’s also red states that predominately lead the nation in those too because in order to cope with reduced taxes red states have cut environmental and work safety regulations.

            It’s 2/3s or more of red states that lead the nation in infant mortality because they cut funding for healthcare for the less fortunate, resulting for example in Texas leading the nation in having the worst healthcare delivery system in the nation.
            And it’s not just infant mortality, on average residents of red states live two year shorter lives than residents of blue states.

            And with respect to the environment, Texas once again leads the nation in having the most polluted environment and if you pay attention to environmental disasters it’s red states that are most often involved in them because once again they provide very little stewardship of the environment in order to keep taxes low so corporations and the rich can keep more money in their pockets.

            And it’s even 23 of 25 red states that lead the nation in auto accidents, I’m guessing again because red states water down the requirements for driving and don’t provide enough police patrols on their highways. With 23 out of 25 states having the most fatal accidents, there has to be some relationship between operating a state on the cheap and what’s resulting in these high accident rates.

            The northeast, where I live often gets criticized for having high taxes but the northeast also leads the nation in have the least violence, the least auto accidents and the states where residents live the longest; and many more measures related to living longer productive lives.

        • Allan Richardson says:

          How about eliminating the cap that makes FICA and Medicare taxes regressive, and at the same time lowering the rate? Not to be revenue neutral, but to collect enough to keep the fund solvent longer, and still give working folks some relief.

          • Independent1 says:

            Sounds like a great idea to me! All we need now is to get enough progressives elected to Congress to take back control with enough majority in the Senate to override the fake fillibuster so we could get something like that passed. Unfortunately, what you’re suggesting makes too much sense so of course a TeaBagging Republican Congress would never go for it.

      • stcroixcarp says:

        I thought FICA was Social Security and Medicare. Cutting or eliminating FICA may put more money in the worker’s pocket, but grandma will have to scour garbage dumps to eat!

        • Joseph says:

          It is. But we have anothr “problem solver” who lacks any kindof rationl education ineconomics, how the country works and probably waht the FICA is. Anytime uyou give money to the government theyc all it a tax.

        • As I mentioned before but you obviously ignored. FICA is not necessary to pay for SS and medicare.

          When they passed the stimulus in 2010 with the FICA tax cut, Congress simply decreed that it would make all the payments into the so-called SS Trust fund. Do you know what bad things happened to SS and medicare when they cut FICA just 4 years ago….NOTHING!!!

          And nothing bad would happen to SS and medicare if we cut FICA again, just like last time.

      • progressiveandproud says:

        How about we leave FICA alone and tax capital gains, stock trades, estates over 5 million, end the tax breaks to big corporations? That would help set the country right.

        • Sure we should tax all those things you mentioned. I still don’t agree with punishing workers with FICA.

          You probably think that the Govt needs to earn the tax revenue in order to spend just like you do. This is fundamentally wrong. The US dollar comes from us, the US Govt. Whether taxes are $1 or $100 trillion, the ability of the dollar issuer to spend money is always infinite. This is the definition of fiat money.

          FICA taxes are not necessary to pay for SS. They may be necessary to manage inflation, but not right now with 10% unemployment.

  4. I hate to say it but Kansans deserve their fate. If they are dumb enough to vote in extreme conservatives then they are getting exactly what they wanted.

    • Jimmy Agler says:

      Years ago I had a poly-sci professor who used the phrase “in any democracy the voters get EXACTLY the government they deserve good or bad”.

      • MVH1 says:

        It is much more, by far, what they deserve for being so studiously and stubbornly uninformed about what happens when you elect people who lie to you so overly than what they want. Your professor was right.

    • latebloomingrandma says:

      I wonder when the suffering red state “conservatives” will start to realize what’s really going on? I know people who don’t really care as long as their elected leaders are anti-abortion. And Brownback is certainly that. Their state is getting really strange and backward.

      • MVH1 says:

        Then there’s that contingent that hates Obama and refuse to get affordable health care coverage as some sort of spite toward him when anyone with even a smidge of a brain knows they’re only hurting themselves. They’re the ones who cheered leaving the uninsured dying on the sidewalk in front of the hospital in the last presidential campaign.

      • Gantz9 says:

        The blame will never be attributed to the responsible party. Somehow, the self inflicted budgetary wounds are the fault of a liberal other somewhere out there in the ether. Currently that whipping boy is President Obama.

      • Joseph says:

        But … so flat.

  5. mikeln says:

    What is really sad will be the day the middle class in Kansas find out in order to get the things they lost back their taxes will rise sharply while the tax cuts for the wealthiest will remain. Just another scam to raise the taxes on the poor and middle class while the rich get to skip out on paying for the things that make their wealth possible.

  6. jakenhyde says:

    This guy and his cohorts are ruining Kansas. And now he’s thinking about running for president so, if elected, he can ruin the whole country….again.

  7. Joseph says:

    It’s sad but it’s not as if any real people lived in Kansas. So their kids will grow up just as stupid as their parents – but no one goes recruiting in Kansas unless they are looking for laborers. I have occasion to drive through Kansas more often than I’d like and my reaction each time is “How unfortunate.”

  8. ExRadioGuy15 says:

    Tax cuts simply redistribute wealth upwards?!? (sarcasm) Noooo, really?
    Tax cuts don’t create jobs?!? (sarcasm, again) You don’t say?
    Republicans have foisted the “tax cuts create jobs” nonsense at least since St. Ronnie RINO got into office in 1981. Tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations have NEVER created jobs; the sole intention of those are to simply redistribute wealth upwards. The Bush 43 tax policies, most of which are STILL IN EFFECT, have sent $32 TRILLION upwards since 2001. That amount will increase to $33.5 TRILLION by the end of this year.
    Meanwhile, when Bush 43 got into office, the unemployment rate was 4.2% (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).. by the time he left office eight years later, the UE rate had nearly doubled to 7.6% (again, BLS). But, when Bush 43 handed over the “keys” to the country to President Obama, he handed our current President a surprise: further job losses attributable to his tax policies. In fact, the UE rate reached 10% before the ARRA (Stimulus) reversed the losses and sent us on our current four-year streak of private-sector job growth.
    The Truman, Eisenhower and Clinton administrations also proved the opposite argument: RAISING taxes on the wealthy and big corporations CREATES jobs and helps the economy to grow. Repealing the Bush 43 tax policies would turn our annual deficit into a SURPLUS that can be used to start paying down the national debt. A much-bigger surplus could be created if the minimum wage is raised to $12 per hour. It’s simple Keynesian economics, people. Austerity economics does just one thing: worsens wealth and income inequality.

    • Independent1 says:

      I agree completely with your comments. The only thing I would add though is that because the GOP usually partners tax cuts with budget cuts (austerity), tax cuts often do much more damage than just transferring wealth upwards. Here’s some excerpts from an article by Alan Grayson entitled: “How to destroy an entire country”:

      So we cannot properly attribute the catastrophe in Greece to labor protection, nor can we attribute it to government borrowing. What is the cause, then? The World Health Organization has the answer: austerity. “Austerity” is a bloodless term for gross economic mismanagement, animated by heartlessness. That robotic cut-cut-cut mentality that deprives us of jobs, of public services, of safety, of health, of infrastructure, of help for the needy, and – ultimately — of our economic equilibrium and the ability to survive. The mentality that ushers in, and welcomes, a vicious war of all against all. Austerity is destroying an entire country, right before our eyes.

      Or, as the World Health Organization put it: “These adverse trends in Greece pose a warning to other countries undergoing significant fiscal austerity, including Spain, Ireland and Italy. It also suggests that ways need to be found for cash-strapped governments to consolidate finances without undermining much-needed investments in health.”

      In America, we have a rich and powerful lobby that has the same prescription for every economic malady: austerity. Cut-cut-cut. Cut Social Security and Medicare. Cut teacher and police and firefighter jobs. Cut health care. Cut pay and cut pensions. It all boils down to that one ugly word: austerity. And austerity always brings disarray, disaster, decay and death.

      • ExRadioGuy15 says:

        We are at agreement, Independent1. You see, austerity is used to finance the tax cuts, so, it’s still upward wealth redistribution. There’s something else that makes the problem worse: offshoring. According to my confidential sources (who freaked out and stopped talking to me after the Snowden situation came to light), wealthy Americans and big US corporations have the whopping sum of $70 TRILLION offshored, most of that since 2001. Now, even if those sources have inflated that number and it’s only, say, half of that, $35 TRILLION, that’s still $35 TRILLION that’s out of the economy. This cash hoarding is the real reason for the Great Recession of 2008…And, until that money comes back into the US economy, we’re going to struggle to get out of that GOP-caused recession.

  9. DezJimmar says:

    The saddest part of this ‘tax cut phenomenon’ is that the average low to middle income conservative voter doesn’t realize that when Republican politicians say “tax cut”, they are only thinking about the richer voters; not the average guy.

  10. Bill says:

    Notice how the people who need a cut the most get the least and the people who need it the least get the most. Just GOP policy, you can wake up to it or you can continue to get screwed.

  11. Lynda Groom says:

    Proof yet again that a basic understanding of mathematics and economics is in short supply with far too many of our so-called elected leadership. It did not take a genius to point out before Brownback’s giveaway that this was ill advised. Of course that is saying the least…he was warned by the oppositions and those with a better understanding of the results. Let’s hope the voters of the great state have learned their lession and correct their mistake at the first opportunity.

  12. Allan Richardson says:

    And that is exactly the kind of public policy that will help Miss Gulch steal the Gale farm and all the other farms in Kansas (and their little dogs, too)!

  13. Gantz9 says:

    Who’da thunk that the “If you cut taxes, businesses will come” economic plan would crash and burn. God will provide I guess.

  14. dana becker says:

    But the Kochs get to clean up so all is right with the world.

    What? They did not get the memo about trickle down not working? Gee it was such a good idea at the time. You got what you deserved. Keep voting for those that harm you because you are too stupid to realize the Republicans don’t care about you. They only want your vote and then for you to shut up and go away so they can finish killing this country and giving it to their corporate masters. The Kochs.

  15. says:

    If you wish to cut taxes to the bone is a formula to have bad schools, bad health care, bad roads, bad libraries, bad fire departments, bad police protection, bad trash pickup, bad parks, etc. Mississippi has operated this way
    and look how that has worked out. Does anyone in Kansas think that anyone who is highly educated and skilled will move to Kansas? But maybe what they want.

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