Kansas Goes to Washington

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The GOP's tax cuts look a lot like the disastrous tax cuts Republicans passed in Kansas, don't they?

That's what we've been saying for months and years, but no one knows this better than lawmakers from Kansas will join congressional Democrats this week to remind us what happened under former Governor Sam Brownback.

Republicans will not hold hearings on their bill so Democrats will hold their own hearing to talk about the consequences of supply-side insanity.

Among those testifying on Wednesday will be one of the Kansas Democrats who helped lead that repeal effort [of Brownback's tax cuts], Rep. Jim Ward, the minority leader in the Kansas House of Representatives. Ward is running for governor next year.

Ward said his involvement in the hearing was triggered by the GOP tax plan’s resemblance to the Brownback tax experiment.

Here’s the dirty little secret. Our job growth was stagnant,” Ward said. “We lost jobs one year and we gained a very small amount one year. The economic growth was stagnant. You didn’t see businesses flocking to Kansas.

You did see larger class sizes in Kansas school, teachers leaving Kansas, riots in the prisons,” he said.

For their part, Republicans have responded by saying Brownback's tax cuts and the GOP's tax cuts are not the same. A spokesman for Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) says their plan and the Kansas plan are "not comparable."

That's true from at least one point of view. The congressional Republican plan may be far worse. The tax cuts are bigger and far more consequential.

Fiscal chickenhawks like anti-tax inquisitor Grover Norquist and others who supported (and still support) the Kansas tax cuts haven't conceded. They say the plan failed because the state never made the required spending cuts. But they did. The state cut spending to the bone and, as a result, the Brownback administration found itself involved in a years-long court battle with schools who couldn't even afford to keep their doors open. Their spending cuts were so deep they were found to be unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

If they manage to pass anything, Trump and GOP also won't concede when it blows up in their faces. That will be someone's else fault and someone else's problem to fix, not theirs.

  • muselet

    The Republican Catechism begins:

    Q: What is the highest good an elected offical can perform?

    A: To cut taxes, for taxes are evil and we are called upon by our holy guide, Grover Norquist, to fight evil wherever it is to be found.

    It’s a very simple faith the Rs practice. It’s also utterly unmoored from reality.


  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    “I was feeling sick, so I ate some rat poison to cure myself.

    That made me feel worse instead of better.

    I know! It’s because I didn’t eat enough! Next time, I’ll eat the whole bottle!”