What’s the Matter with Kansas? It’s an Economic Shit Show, That’s What

If the goal was to lag the rest of the nation in job creation, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's massive tax cuts were a huge success!

If the goal was to lag the nation in job creation, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s massive tax cuts were a huge success!

By now, most of you are probably familiar with the budgetary disaster that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s massive tax cuts have created in the Sunflower State: Double-digit percent annual budget deficits as far as the eye can see.

Brownback’s pitch was familiar—cut taxes deep enough and the resulting economic boom would more than replace the hit to state coffers. But it didn’t work. Because it never works. Dr. Laffer’s Patented Low-Tax Elixir is pure economic snake oil.

Still, Brownback and his supporters have continued to argue, give his plan time to work and the lower corporate and personal income tax rates would surely draw businesses and jobs to the state. Well, now we know that’s not happening either:

Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax-cut plan to spur job growth in Kansas has become a full-time disaster.

On Friday, the state announced it had lost 3,000 total jobs in August. That’s on top of the 5,100 jobs lost in July.

Here’s even more dire news: The Sunflower State in the past 12 months gained a total of a puny 1,000 new jobs.

That’s the fourth worst record in the entire United States, at .1 percent employment growth for the entire last year.

In terms of job gains/losses over the past 12 months, only West Virginia, North Dakota, and Alaska have performed worse—all states whose core fossil fuel extraction industries have been hard hit by the collapse in energy prices. Meanwhile, neighboring Missouri has added a robust 30,800 jobs over the past 12 months, despite its higher tax rates.

And in case you’re wondering, Washington added 92,200 jobs from August 2014 through August 2015, including 12,100 jobs in food services and drinking places, despite our highest in the nation minimum wage!

Hmm. If Brownback wants to grow jobs, maybe he should consider raising the minimum wage rather than cutting taxes? I’m just sayin’.

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Goldy
David "Goldy" Goldstein has written about politics for The Stranger, The Nation and the Huffington Post. He hosted “The David Goldstein Show” on Seattle’s news/talk 710-KIRO from 2006 through 2008, and has been pissing off readers at his blog HorsesAss.org for more than a decade.