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.