Kansas Is Going Broke Due To The Republican Plan Of Cutting Taxes For the Rich


By now, most Americans have heard the infamous line from Albert Einstein that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. A reasonable person would think that doing the same thing with full knowledge it will not give the same results is just stupid. One cannot fathom the Republican mindset that drives them to believe if they continue their thirty year experiment in trickle down economics, it will create jobs and be an economic bonanza that is both stupid and insane because it is always a monumental failure.

It is puzzling really, that if the so-called supply-side economic theory has been a failure on the national level, why Kansas Republicans thought if they started with a budget surplus, squandered it on huge tax cuts for the rich, the state’s coffers would be flush with money and a job creation explosion would follow. It has not been that many years since George W. Bush squandered a budget surplus on tax cuts for the rich that failed to produce the storied economic benefits of trickle down economics, but apparently Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) and the Republican legislature were asleep during Bush’s tenure. Kansas is going broke and predicted to be bankrupt within two years, job creation is lagging the entire nation, and it is all down to giving tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the state’s economic life and the people the Republicans were elected to serve.

The latest news from trickle down Kansas is that the state is so broke after Governor Brownback signed a package of nearly $1.1 billion in tax breaks for the rich last year, there are insufficient funds to keep homeless shelters open. A homeless shelter specifically for families in southeastern Kansas will have to close its doors starting next week, and it is all down to the increasing state budget shortfall that is a direct result of tax cuts for the rich. The CHOICES Family Emergency Shelter provides a place to live for 350 homeless people every year most of whom are children. The closure is another victim of the state budget shortfall that is so severe that even after cutting the funding by half for all of 2014, $100,000 was not enough to keep the shelter open past next week.

According to Steve Lohr, the Executive Director of Southeast Kansas Community Action Partnership, which runs the family shelter, “this is the first time in our 48-year history that it hadn’t received enough state funding to continue operating. We were defunded 50 percent.” Homeless families and children should not feel particularly singled out as expendable to make sure the rich received their tax cuts. Since squandering the surplus he inherited and giving over a billion in new tax cuts, the state is facing a serious revenue shortfall that prompted funding cuts for poor school districts and poor people who rely on food stamps to survive.

When Brownback signed the tax cuts, Democrats and some Republicans were intelligent enough to predict it would create a revenue shortfall not unlike during the Bush-Republican tax-cutting frenzy. At the time, former state GOP chair Rochelle Chronister opposed Brownback’s gift to the rich because “It bankrupts the state within two years.” The House Democratic leader, Paul Davis said, “There is no feasible way that private-sector growth can accommodate the price tag of this tax cut. Our $600 million surplus will become a $2.5 billion deficit within just five years.” Brownback was unfazed and said that his tax cuts would lead to even more success; “I firmly believe these reforms will set the stage for strong economic growth in Kansas,” and despite the unfunded $800-million price-tag, “I’m gonna sign this bill, I’m excited about the prospects for it, and I’m very thankful for how God has blessed our state.”

Likely, Brownback was also thankful to trickle-down economist Arthur Laffer, who guaranteed that increased economic growth would deliver more revenue and create jobs that thus far has the “State general fund revenue down over $700 million from last year” according to Duane Goossen, a former state budget director. Goossen also said the revenue drop is “a bigger drop than the state had in the whole three years of the recession,” and that the budget surplus that had been replenished since the recession “is now being spent at an alarming, amazing rate.” It was just a little over a month ago that the revenue shortfall was nearing the $500 million mark.

Of course, Brownback reverted to the typical Republican response when their economic malfeasance blows up in their faces and blamed President Obama for Kansas’s revenue shortfall and non-existing job creation bonanza from giving so-called “job creators” tax cuts. Brownback said, “This is an undeniable result of President Obama’s failed economic policies of increasing taxes and overregulation,” and “the uncertainty over the fiscal cliff of 2012” that was, like Brownback’s unfunded tax cuts for the rich, inspired by Republicans. If, as Brownback claims, Kansas Republican’s economic malfeasance is President Obama’s fault, the national job creation numbers would not be on the upswing and the overall economic picture would not be stronger; Brownback’s assertion is patently false.

None of the “trickle-down” economic benefits have materialized and Kansas’s job growth lags behind the rest of the nation “especially in the years following the first round of Brownback tax cuts.” The revenue shortfall prompted credit rating agency Moody’s cut the state’s credit rating in May, and it is entirely because of tax cuts for the rich; not President Obama’s economic policies, tax hikes, or overregulation. The travesty of another failed experiment in trickle-down economics is that Kansas legislators will have to make seriously deeper cuts to domestic programs with no plans to repeal the wealthy job creators’ tax cuts.

If the Bush-Republican tax cuts for the rich, and thirty years of failed trickle down economics, is not a cautionary tale for America under Republican governance, then the state of Kansas’s economy certainly is. Brownback’s failed economic strategy is minimal compared to the annual Path to Prosperity budget House Republicans pass with claims it will lead to economic growth and incredible job creation all at the expense of the poor and middle class.

It is a sad commentary that Kansas cannot afford $200,000 to keep a homeless shelter for families with children open, is cutting education funding drastically, is cutting food assistance for Kansas residents that cannot find jobs, and is still facing a devastating revenue shortfall all to give the rich over a $1 billion in tax cuts. It is not insane or stupid to do the same thing Republicans think will deliver a different economic result; it is typically Republican and informs that Kansas Republican loyalties, and raison d’être, is to enrich the already wealthy at the expense of the people, including families with children being thrown out on the streets; something Sam Brownback is likely “very thankful for how God has blessed our state.”



41 Replies to “Kansas Is Going Broke Due To The Republican Plan Of Cutting Taxes For the Rich”

  1. Just click your jack boots together Sam and say three times, There’s no place like solvency, there’s no place like solvency!..etc.

  2. sad thing is the people in Kansas probably believe what he is saying about Obama and will vote him back into office….

  3. Surely you do not still believe that they still believe in “trickle down.”. They don’t. It’s all about strangling government now. As long as they get theirs, to hell with everyone else.

  4. Not to worry! The Koch Brothers and their billionaire and millionaire friends will take care of the problem after they get another tax cut. Give me one good reason why they should care about the “pee-ons” in Kansas.

  5. Until you destroy people’s lives, you can’t enslave them. The bankruptcy of the Red states is designed to provide corporations to morph into monarchs.

    King Bobby Jindal is trying the ‘keep the peasants stupid’ method.

    The entire GOP is disenfranchising women, Latinos, blacks, Gays and the rest of the rabble. Give a mob an enemy and they won’t attack you.

    “The Communist Manifesto” is forbidden reading in america for good reason.

  6. It’s quite ridiculous actually that people will still promote and support Reagan’s trickle down policies, just because of conservative “values.”

  7. These stories scare me. I fear America is on the path to becoming a country with no middle class. The rich have it all. The poor live in slums, no clean water, no food, dirty and begging in the streets. Why are we allowing this to happen? Why are we having such a difficult time voting these people out of office? God help us.

  8. Pretty difficult to have any sympathy at all for anyone in Kansas. You voted this creep in and you knew how extreme he was when you did it.

  9. My thoughts exactly. The chain of events (as they have happened before) will be as follows:

    1) The governor (and his party) will be run out of office on a rail; he will take a high-paying job with a powerful lobbying firm in DC.

    2) The Democrats will come to power but won’t be able to get anything done due to obstruction by the Republicans.

    3) The state’s economy will be a smoldering crater for 4 or 8 years.

    4) Eventually, the voters will get sick of the mess — and forget who caused it in the first place — and bring the GOP back into office.

  10. I think this way:
    1. As Brownbeck thanks god, this proves there is no god, and
    2. There is no such thing as trickle down. It was never the intention of anything trickling down. The difference in wage growth since the great traitor Reagan proves that was never an intention

  11. I could be wrong, but I think Reagan at least believed what he was told to do would work. I can’t remember exactly when he realized it wouldn’t work, but I seem to remember that he did.

    As for Republicans who continue to tout this completely failed economic policy, I believe they know it only enriches the wealthy, and that is the way they want it.

    Unfortunately for the rest of us, they have a base that is willfully ignorant and can be manipulated into voting against their own best interest.

  12. This is what happens when people vote against their best interests and believe in voodoo economics.

  13. I think Reagan, who was rich himself, knew the outcomes and why they were doing it. He knew this was nothing more then making the rich richer which is exactly what happened. I think he knew exactly what the program was. Just my opinion though

  14. I hope that the people in Kansas are listening and get rid of the “give to the rich and take away from the poor” politicians.

  15. Unfortunately, you have observed the pattern of America. We allowed the Reaganomics doctrine to circulate for over 30 years. Then we want change, but we want it asap. So, we become impatient with the changing process, rant & critique the change, then quickly vote it out by voting against our interest. We shoot ourselves in the foot & blame everybody but our own impatience.

  16. Just wait a couple of years for the expenses of your anti-Abortion platform to start kicking in.

    Each child born, besides possibly coming into a household that could need financial assistance and birth, food, housing, daycare expenses… will start to incur expenses of around $16K per year for their education, starting at around the age of 5.

    Yes, each 10,000 kids will ADD $160 Million to the state’s budget (just for education alone). That’s a $160 Million bill you will have to eat for the next 12 years after that!

    Then, the second year of 10,000 kids will start going to school, making the state’s Ed expenses double to $320 Million, the third year, the state’s budget increases to $480 Million, and so on for the next 10 years after that. Those 10,000 kids, compounded each year will hit the state with another $2 Billion in expenses each and every year. By then, some of those first 10K kids will start having children of their own and Kentucky will be royally…

  17. agree with you. Reagen knew and did not care. I seem to remember the poor of Washington were keeping warm on the grates out side the White House. Nancy, did not like the sight and demanded they be removed. They were. No matter how the rethugs try to polish his image, he will still never be considered a great Pres. They can rewrite history all they want, the truth will win.

  18. Reagan knew.

    That was the same time businesses were really looking at offshoring jobs… now changed to the modern term ‘globalization’.

    If you hear that a business wants to globalize, or is globalized, they are using that term as a replacement to offshoring (which has a really negative connotation to it). Soon, people will catch onto this new phrase too and something else will be fabricated to mean the same thing, while it sounds harmless.

  19. I am currently reading that book now. It’s called What’s The Matter With Kansas, written by Thomas Frank. It was written in 2004, when Brownbeck was still a senator.

    The way the Republican machine keeps people voting against their own best interests is they encourage them go go after the abortion clinics and putting Jesus in the schools. As long as the people are engaged in the fruitless culture wars, they don’t bother the super rich at all.

    In fact, the super rich are laughing at their stupidity.

    Believe it.

    Smarten the flip up, Kansas.

  20. “A reasonable person would think that doing the same thing with full knowledge it will NOT give the same results is just stupid.”

    Are you sure this is what you meant to say?

  21. You’re giving Reagan credit for intelligence he never had. He was a puppet of the rich, doing whatever he was told to do.

  22. For rich people who continually receive tax cuts, is it worth destroying the live of those who are not rich for a couple of more dollars?

  23. Tax breaks for the Rich is protection payouts from there rich Mafia State owners like maybe” The Koch Mafia?

  24. Sammy, apparently it is. That is where GREED come in. They are rich, they will always be rich; however, it is never enough, and they cannot stand the thought that someone else may have a few extra crumbs. Pure, unadulterated greed.

  25. You hit it right on the head democratinny. GREED to these people like a drug or alcohol addiction. 20 million,150 million,150 billion is never enough. On paper trickle down does not look to bad. But it does not take in account human nature. GREED.

  26. Everything that’s happening to Brownback and the RW majority in the KS legislature, they brought upon themselves with their belief that if they made the very rich in KS happy, they would share their riches with the middle and lower classes. This has never been true. Even though large corporations have made huge profits since 2008, they didn’t take them and create jobs in America, they deposited it in foreign banks! The situation in KS shows that these politicians’ main concern isn’t satisfying/serving the 99%, it’s serving the desires of the wealthy. It wasn’t enough for Brownback and his buddies to give billions in tax cuts to the wealthy families of KS once, they did it two years in a row. Brownback and his cronies used KS as a ‘laboratory of democracy’ in how to make trickle-down economics successful in spite of its history of failure, and it backfired on them, making KS the poster state for how NOT to create economic prosperity by using RW economic ideas.

  27. It’s a shame that nearly all the red southern states are full of uninformed voters who vote the same people into office every time. All the republican have to do to be elected in these states is to send out several dog whistles and their base gets motivated. The POTUS has been preaching this message for five years now of their attempt to wipe out the middle class. We see it happening from state to state and yet few believe the preacher, and the majority blame the preacher. I pray for the poor and homeless of Kansas and other states with republican governors, because if you are not broke, you soon will be. Note the pattern, tax cuts for the rich, cut education, deregulation, block the vote, cut food and other programs for the poor, deny women their rights, bust unions, fire teachers, police and fire fighters, give themselves pay raises while denying others fair pay, well you get the point, and if anyone notice what they are doing then they “BLAME IT ON THE PRESIDENT”

  28. democratinny, you said exactly what I would have started my comment with. apparently! Greed is good! The rich always, think of the $$$ that will benefit them first. Few are different and I thank them for the difference.

  29. By now, it should be obvious that the Republican plan to drive government into near-bankruptcy is deliberate. As David Stockman admitted in 1983 when speaking of Reagan’s first round of tax cutting, the whole point is to get to a point where social services are starved for money — but the government doesn’t have any, so ‘reluctantly’ has to close homeless shelters, has to eliminate mass transit subsidies, has to move to charter schools.

    Brownback’s plan is working perfectly. The Republican Party of Kansas knows the voters won’t vote to shut government down, but as long as they’re assured that won’t happen but that their taxes will be cut, Kansas voters will continue to pull the wool over their own eyes.

  30. Ahh the French revolution had the right idea… Let the heads roll…. Maybe we should do it politically this time…

  31. Massive tax cuts leading to closure of homeless shelters and all of the many aids for the lesser IS the entire Republican/Tea Party point. They reason their lives will be greatly enhanced should all the unfortunates be forced to leave Kansas. It will become a true nanny-less State.

  32. The policy hurts most of Kansas’ people, but it’s a real boon to the Koch brothers!!! The entire GOP is only interested in the desires of the rich, the rest of us can go sh*t in out hats!

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