Tea Party economics in action

It’s called Kansas.  This is what the Republican Party economic plan looks like when given free reign.  The nice map version:

And from Michael Hiltzik’s column:

We’ve been chronicling the tea party ruination of Brownback’s Kansas for more than two years, since soon after he enacted a slew of dramatic tax cuts in the conviction that they would unleash stupendous economic growth…

Kansas ranked rock-bottom in the three-month change in these metrics from July through September, with a decline of 1.18%. Indeed, it was one of only eight states that showed any decline. The U.S. average gained 0.64%. Most of the other states with negative changes were oil-and-gas producers. Kansas is too, but that industry has been a tiny factor in its economy for years.

How bad is the situation in Kansas? So bad that in August 2015, the Brownback administration stopped publishing a semi-annual report of the state’s economy online; henceforth, members of the public have to make a special request for the document…

The Kansas experience is important because the notion that dramatic tax cuts pay for themselves by spurring economic growth still unaccountably has an allure for conservative policymakers, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. [emphasis mine] Brownback, who took office in 2010, promised that “our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” He was seconded by his tax advisor, the notorious Arthur Laffer, who forecast “enormous prosperity” for the state

Who’s to blame for this? The state’s voters are. While they already were feeling the pain, they reelected Brownback to a second term in 2014, at which point things got worse. Why? Maybe the electorate revels in the state’s role as a “laboratory for supply side nostrums,” as economist Menzie Chinn of the University of Wisconsin called it recently. Some of those who voted for Brownback deserve what they’re getting. But they’re imposing the disaster on a lot of innocent people.

Just more evidence that the Republican utopia of low taxes and low regulation is not exactly a utopia.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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