GOP’s First Step To Inflict Kansas Economic Woes On America

McConnell BrownbackThere is nothing as evil, mean-spirited, and pathetic as a mature adult who sees firsthand that something is inherently dangerous to other human beings and should be prevented at all costs, and yet wishes they could do the same thing.

Last year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, like all Republicans, witnessed the complete economic devastation Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the Republican legislature wrought on the state budget, schools, government, and social programs and told Brownback that “this is exactly what we want to do here in Washington, but we can’t yet until we control Congress.”

Before even being sworn in just five days ago to control Congress, Republicans took the first major step necessary to repeat, exactly, what Brownback did to Kansas’ economy. Something several high-ranking Kansas Republicans complained will “bankrupt the state in less than two years.” It is also something the proponents of Brownback’s devastation admitted openly was for the sole purpose of “chopping the government down to size” by starving it of revenue. Remember, Mitch McConnell pledged to the Koch brothers last June that if they bought Republicans control of Congress, the GOP would “go after the federal government; all of it.” Anti-government champion Grover Norquist must be cheering wildly and trickle down god Laffer is celebrating that Congressional Republicans are embracing his trickle down scam to decimate America based on his Kansas trickle down model.

Brownback brought Laffer to Kansas to prove to Republicans that by using what is known as “dynamic scoring,” the state could take a healthy budget surplus and add in a billion or so dollars for give the tax cuts for the rich and the state would be awash in revenue and a job creation boom. The results are that Kansas’ credit has been downgraded several times, the state is hemorrhaging revenue, and the state’s schools are broke. In two courts have ruled against Brownback’s education cuts he made to partially fund the tax cuts for the rich. The details of Brownback’s trickle down disaster have been reported here, here, and here for a rough idea of the economic ruin Congressional Republicans are about to wreak on America by using Laffer’s failed “dynamic scoring” to justify trickle down tax cuts for the rich.

Dynamic scoring is a conservative economists’ scam that predicts the magical impact of trickle down fiscal policy changes by forecasting the beneficial economic reactions to incentives for the wealthy created by slashing their taxes and domestic programs. Before this week, when the Congressional Budget Office published a piece of tax or spending cuts “score,” it offered an official price tag to make it perfectly clear what a tax cutting or spending proposal will cost, how much it will affect the deficit or cost the government, how much it will reduce revenue, and how it adversely affects unemployment. Any American with a memory could tell the CBO exactly what trickle down tax cuts do to increase the deficit, adversely affect the economy, or failed to create jobs for thirty years, but that entails acknowledging reality; something Republicans are ill-inclined to accept.

Republicans, particularly math-challenged Paul Ryan, absolutely hated the way the CBO has calculated its scores on tax cuts for the rich using real data and real mathematics. Likely because, until this week, all non-partisan economists disagree with Republicans’ magic and lies that trickle down tax cuts for the rich create millions of jobs and increase government revenue. For the past three years the CBO used real mathematics to score Paul Ryan’s outrageous tax cuts in the Path To Prosperity budget as killing jobs and blowing up the deficit due to the loss in revenue inherent in Bush-like unfunded tax cuts. According to the CBO and real economists, Ryan’s math in projecting that slashing taxes for the so-called “job creators” was off-the rails errant, a guaranteed recipe for economic disaster, and an unsustainable deficit driver now and long into the future.

So Republicans being Republicans, they changed the Congressional Budget Office rules to fit their magical concept that slashing revenue streams with unfunded tax cuts for the rich will automatically produce more federal revenue and create millions of jobs. Something that has not happened in 30-plus years of trickle down “magic.”

Republicans insist, and passed a new rule on the day they were sworn in directing the CBO to verify, that epic tax cuts for the wealthy will produce incredible trickle down economic growth, create millions of jobs, generate mountains of federal revenue, and will not cost anything; ten years of Bush tax cuts for the rich belie the “trickle down” magic. What makes the Republican directive that the CBO use faulty dynamic scoring to approve tax cuts for the rich more despicable is a provision banning the CBO from scoring anything proposed by Democrats; particularly any measure remotely related to “economic stimulus such as infrastructure improvements that really create jobs and increase revenue.”

America is finally done clawing its way out of the economic morass caused by “trickle down” tax cuts enacted by Bush-Republicans and is on the road to a healthy recovery; with an increase in taxes for the richest Americans. The country is enjoying a four-plus year monthly job growth, increased revenue is paying down the debt and deficit, and GDP growth is leading the entire world. In fact, a similar situation is under way in California where voters approved a small tax increase and the state is rapidly paying down a crushing Republican-created deficit, creating jobs, and investing in infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Contrast California or the nation’s economy with Kansas that embraced magical “trickle down” tax cuts due to Laffer’s ‘dynamic scoring’ scam and it is beyond comprehension that Republicans intend on following through with what Mitch McConnell promised economic failure Sam Brownback even as Kansas’ economy was dying; “we want to do exactly the same thing here in Washington.”

The only hope for America’s economic salvation is Barack Obama who may not be a noted economist, or a mathematical genius, but he has witnessed 30 years of trickle down failure including the devastation in Kansas and he has shown no reluctance to use his veto pen. If any American is too stupid to understand that trickle down economics is failed economics, they can simply look at what economic havoc Brownback and Laffer have wrought on Kansas. Then they can anticipate the Koch brothers’ vision for a nation too broke to fund education, retirement accounts, homeless shelters, healthcare, road repair, or maintain crucial infrastructure because that is, as McConnell said, “exactly what  Republicans will do in Washington;” go after the federal government, all of it.


Copyright PoliticusUSA LLC 2008-2023