The KC Star has a fantastic piece up about Sam Brownback, the Governor of Kansas, and the tax plan he hatched with his fellow Republicans after the 2010 election. The basis of it was enormous tax cuts on the wealthy and small business owners, coupled with fee increases that were designed to hit the poor hardest. The whole thing has, predictably, ended in tears and massive deficits as these things usually do.
What makes this piece art is this simple section which fully spells out the massive failure that is Republican Ideological Economics…
Weigel, a politically active moderate Republican, explained his situation in an email: “My high-income nonbusiness owner clients paid state income taxes in 2013 totaling $8,000 to $10,000 while I and 333,000 other Kansans paid none,” he said. “My office assistant and all of our wage earners in the office paid more tax than any of the business owners in our company, and that is just wrong.”
Weigel said he has no plans to hire anyone.
“You don’t hire because of taxes,” he said. “You hire when your business grows.”
Brownback had promised in 2012 that the tax breaks would cause Kansas to “hit the accelerator” on job creation. But job growth has trailed the national average over Brownback’s first four years in office.
That one line from one small business owner sums up neatly why this recession and recovery were so painful. At a time when we should have been stimulating demand through government spending, we were doing the exact opposite. So, you have the public and the private sector pull back at the same time. In that environment, you can cut taxes to zero and it still won’t increase aggregate demand enough to stimulate employment because the tax cuts overwhelmingly go to those who are relatively affluent and more likely to save than spend.
The economic reality of the United States is that the economy rises from the bottom up. Look at areas where the minimum wage has already increased… you’re seeing growth far higher than in lower wage areas. And then there’s Minnesota where Governor Dayton increased taxes on the wealthy, cut them on the poor, spent money on schools and other needs and raised the minimum wage. That’s why MN is the second fastest growing Midwest state.
Maybe the citizens of Kansas want to rethink their decision? While Brownback may share their hatred of President Obama, he clearly doesn’t know how to run a modern economy and it’s to the detriment of the people who elected him. So, voters need to go to the polls in 2016 and think seriously about whether they would rather vote for someone who hates as they do or vote for a better future.
If past performance is any guide, I’m going with hate.