Sam Brownback’s Kansas Gets Downgraded Again

S&P Global Ratings has once again downgraded the credit rating of the state of Kansas citing "structural budget pressures."

What pressures are those? As you know, Governor Sam Brownback's tax cut magic regime has emptied the state's coffers and pushed public education and public services to the brink.

"It's just the fundamental, ongoing budget crisis that's been caused by Sam Brownback's failed tax experiment," said state Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat. "The sooner they acknowledge that, the better off this state will be."

Brownback blames continuing shortfalls in monthly tax collections on slumps in agriculture, energy production and aircraft manufacturing and argues that the tax cuts have blunted the effects of broader economic trends. His administration also has noted the state's low unemployment rate — 3.8 percent in June.

"Broader economic trends" are not forcing other states to bankrupt themselves. Trends have not called into question the constitutionality of low education funding in other states, at least not yet.

It's true that Kansas has a relatively low unemployment rate, however fewer people are actually paying taxes because Governor Sam Brownback eliminated all income taxes for business. That decision led to a wave of individuals declaring themselves businesses so they can avoid paying taxes.

The nomination of Donald Trump hasn't changed anything. Bringing the Sam Brownback model to all 50 states is still the goal of the Republican party. Trump is expected to endorse Paul Ryan's Path to Poverty budget in the coming weeks.

  • Aynwrong

    If Putin’s Poodle™ gets into the White House this will be America’s economy. This is what the Bernie or Bust dead enders are risking because of Hillary Clinton’s lack of lefty purity. This, and minorities of all kind living under and being targeted by an oppressive, bigoted government.

    Spoiled, entitled children.

  • muselet

    The S&P report cites the state’s ongoing diversion funds for highway projects to general government programs and says the state continues to underfund pensions for teachers and government workers.

    State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan said he takes issues with both criticisms but acknowledged during an interview that Kansas must do more to bring spending and revenues in line with each other. He also said the state needs to build up cash reserves that have been depleted by shortfalls in tax collections.

    “The administration doesn’t want to keep continuing the cycle that we’re in now,” Sullivan told The Associated Press. “I feel like we need to fix this and put ourselves on a better financial footing.”

    Just wait for the tax-cut fairy to wave her magic wand and jump-start the Kansas economy the way Arthur Laffer says will happen. Who’ll be laughing then, huh?

    The level of delusion on public display from the Sam Brownback administration is astonishing.


    • JMAshby

      There’s a malfunction in their brains somewhere. There’s a screw loose. They’re physically incapable of connecting two dots. It’s not as if shortfalls in tax collections are going to disappear next month or even next year. It’s only going to get worse.

      • muselet

        Unfortunately, I can’t disagree with a word of that. The people of Kansas are seriously boned if they don’t change their state government as soon as possible.


    • gescove

      Delusion? Ha! The Magic Tax-Cut Fairy cannot fail… it can only be failed! A little more time and a few more tax cuts are all that’s needed. And perhaps trim the fat and eliminate waste & fraud from schools, pensions, police, fire protection, roads, health care… Jesus H. Christ.