Kansas Republicans Finally Admit That Their Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Have Failed

Kansas budget squeeze
With the state budget forecast to have a 400 million dollar shortfall, Kansas Republicans are finally acknowledging that the massive GOP tax cuts approved under Governor Sam Brownback have not generated the revenue Republican lawmakers promised. The right-wing Kansas Legislature is now contemplating the unthinkable — raising taxes to plug the budget hole.

The legislature which passed drastic tax cuts in 2012 is now scrambling to find ways to undo the damage their shortsighted approach has inflicted upon the state’s economy and its services. Republicans are acknowledging that they can no longer cut their way to growth, having already taken the budget ax to state pensions, public schools, and government programs.


Republican Senator Les Donovan (Wichita) admitted the failure of the GOP’s tax cuts, stating:

We hoped they would just be a magic lantern and everybody would react to it. But, eh, it’s hard to get a company to uproot their business when they’re established and move to another place just because of this difference in tax policy.

Expecting the tax cuts to work like rubbing a magic lantern reveals the faith-based nature of the Republican Party’s dogmatic adherence to cutting taxes for the wealthy to stimulate economic growth and bring in revenue. They believe in the policy, not because it has worked before, but because they hope it will work like a “magic lantern”. Yet, in Kansas, Republicans are now discovering that there is no such thing as magic when it comes to operating the state’s budget.


The Kansas legislature is working overtime trying to find a fix for the state’s budget crisis. Ironically, each extra day the legislature is in session, an additional 40,000 dollars is added to the financial burden shouldered by Kansas taxpayers. On Saturday, the legislature entered its tenth day over the normal 90-day legislative session, and lawmakers were still trying to work out a solution to the state’s financial emergency.

Republican Governor Sam Brownback and his Tea Party sycophants in the Kansas legislature have insisted for the past several years that tax cuts for the rich would usher in an economic utopia. They envisioned businesses flocking to the state to take advantage of low taxes spurring an economic boom. Instead, the state has fallen on hard times, with massive budget shortfalls triggering savage cuts to education and social services. Even many Republicans are now acknowledging that their policy has been an economic disaster. With much reluctance, those Republicans are now putting tax increases on the table, having exhausted all other options to fill the massive budget hole their shortsighted policies created.

61 Replies to “Kansas Republicans Finally Admit That Their Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Have Failed”

  1. They have to reap what the sowed. It’s a good thing, if the people of Kansas will see through their hatred of President Obama and force the GOP politicians to stop kissing up to the rich and think about them.

  2. Raise taxes on the takers, Kansas R’s! That’ll teach ’em! /s

    Did Grover Norquist have a comment?

  3. Not only that, those two will do everything in their power to make sure any tax increase gets Koch-blocked.

  4. It’s an even BETTER thing if 49 other states realize what a massive failure it was and end the joke that is “Reaganomics”.

  5. KS GOP will continue the wastefulness of social programs, despite only a sliver of the total budget is dedicated to feeding the poor / housing them.
    They’ll fill the whole by burdening the middle-class….AGAIN…cut credits to low income earners and the wealthy citizens of KS will remain untouched by the entire fiasco of failed trickle-sh&t economics.

  6. Republicans admitting that Reality trumps ideology?

    Now, I am concerned that the Law of Gravity will be repealed.

    Currently Velcroing myself to the planet…

  7. please don’t include the state that foisted the Ronnie on the country…

    we actually voted for a tax increase a couple years ago and now have a monetary surplus… the discipline now is to keep people from running out and spending the new money… and teaching them restraint to avoid the mess we had a few years ago…

    and even Carpetbagger Rick Perry couldn’t talk companies into moving to that corporate wonderland of Texas…

    now if we could just get some rain..

    oh well… as someone once said… in the West whiskey is for drinkin’… water is for fightin’ over…

  8. Well it would be only (il)logical to raise taxes…on the shrinking middle class and poor leaving the rich alone, my guess as to the result of any future legislation by the current sitting representatives of the last election cycle. These folks were re-elected just last november and whose fault is that?

  9. I’ve taken many graduate-level econ courses. There wasn’t one instance in any econ course I took where tax cuts alone were found to create economic growth. Not one. This is a fallacy many RW politicians have pushed to get lower and middle class Americans’ support for increasing the wealth of the 1&2 percent. One doesn’t have to be an economist to understand that if the government has less revenue, there will be cuts to education and other services. It’s immature for adults to think that education, healthcare, and other services which have traditionally been provided by the state, won’t be cut if state revenue decreases. Lawmakers like Les Donovan have no business being involved in government if they’re expecting tax cuts to be like a magic lantern that creates jobs. The predicament they now find themselves in is one of their own choosing due to their refusal to study economic research and to acknowledge the 1st principle of economics–there is NO such thing as a free lunch.

  10. like, ya know California is just a totally tubular place now :) :)

    Democrats love running a surplus
    California $6.7 billion surplus
    Minnesota $1 billion surplus

    And to think we’ve almost recovered from ’67-’76 governor Ronny’s trickle-down piss who began our downfall

    With state revenues running $6.7 billion more than predicted in January’s preliminary budget…

  11. Republicans love running state deficits.
    Wisconsin – $2.2 billion budget deficit
    New Jersey – $7.25 billion deficit
    Pennsylvania – $1.8 billion deficit
    Kansas – $1 billion deficit
    Arizona – $1.5 billion deficit
    Alaska – $3.5 billion deficit
    Alabama – $950 million deficit
    Louisiana – $1.6 billion deficit
    Alabama – $700 million deficit
    Michigan – $454 million deficit
    North Carolina – $445 million deficit
    Oklahoma – $600 million deficit
    Maryland – $1.2 billion deficit

    Democrats love running a surplus
    California $6.7 billion surplus
    Minnesota $1 billion surplus

    With state revenues running $6.7 billion more than predicted in January’s preliminary budget…

  12. The mess GOP/TP pols have created in KS won’t change the way most of them feel about PBO, even though he has ties to the state and relatives still living there. These are people who will take everything they can get from someone in one hand and have a knife poised to stick in the person’s back with the other one. Although many in the GOP/TP claim otherwise, most of the animus their party members have toward this president is race-based. I can understand someone opposing another on political issues, but how do they explain the searing, ongoing hatred they have toward him? There’s more than just a difference in political ideology going on here, and they know it. Also, when one sees pics of them at events, it’s extremely difficult to spy one Person of Color in the entire group. It’s like playing the game, “Where’s Waldo?” You have to look really hard to find one POC among them. To many in the GOP/TP, PsOC are an “alien species,” and those of us who are PsOC know this.

  13. They haven’t learned since Reagan, both as governor and president. Both CA and the US are STILL recovering from his 48 year old rein of terror.


  14. We hoped they would just be a magic lantern and everybody would react to it. But, eh, it’s hard to get a company to uproot their business when they’re established and move to another place just because of this difference in tax policy.
    The most stupidest thing said
    Magic lantern?

  15. It’s ridiculously easy for politicians to bamboozle their constituents about economic matters because the vast majority of people haven’t a clue about domestic economy, and even fewer know anything about the global economy. The false meme of “tax and spend liberals” took hold years ago, and the Democrats did too damned little to counteract it.

    It isn’t until those tax cuts start affecting their own well-being that people even start to take notice. School closings, bridges collapsing, roads full of potholes and Obamacare insurance being taken away are probably the only things that will make a dent. Oh yeah, teaching economic theory in high school sure would help.

  16. Yet, Republican won’t believe us.

    FOX Lies By Omission: FOX won’t even mention Hastert! (omission)

    Must Read:
    “The Great Kansas Tea Party Disaster”

    Extremist Republicans turned their government into a lab experiment of tax cuts and privatization. And now they may be losing control of one of the reddest states in the nation

    Fantastic Brownback Graphic!


  17. Oklahoma is a balanced budget state. A proposed budget fits into the projected funds, what’s actually spent is what is actually received. Oklahoma cannot deficit spend so I don’t know where you got your data, but it’s wrong.

  18. The Kansas economy was tanking over 2 years ago but they still elected the holier than thou Brownback. There were even more than 100 repub pols who endorsed democrat Paul Davis. But he still won. I thought then the fix was in, especially with that lying jerk Chris Kobach, Secretary of State, in charge.

  19. I think the powers that be in the republican party and states know this is the inevitable outcome, but in the short term the wealthy have tax cuts, the state cuts funding to programs to the bare bones, they sell off state owned property that benifits wealthy developers. They privatise as much as they can of state programs. Much money is made.

    Then they raise taxes when it fails, but will it be the taxes they cut for the wealth? I highly doubt it, it will be across the board tax increases.

  20. Do you know they’ve gone so far as to privatize the state foster care programs? The states get federal funding and dole it out to private contract companies that line up fostercare familes and place children.

    Some of these placement companies have dismal tract records of choosing horrible foster familes with little oversight or vetting.

    These poor kids!

  21. Morons!

    1) Texas already poached the companies that were would have relocated in the first place.

    2) No one else wants to move to a land-locked backwoods state that is run by a bunch of fools. They will move there, educate their kids in a regressive and broke school system that lost all of the best educators… No Thanks.

    If you guys weren’t so stupid, you would have thought this through.

  22. Republican Senator Les Donovan (Wichita) admitted the failure of the GOP’s tax cuts, stating: We hoped they would just be a magic lantern and everybody would react to it. But, eh, it’s hard to get a company to uproot their business when they’re established and move to another place just because of this difference in tax policy.

    I am sure companies and businesses saw the potential dangers and stupidity of the whole idea, knew that the state couldn’t meet its fiscal obligations and further anticipated that taxes would be back on the books negating any saving in moving to Kansas, or disrupting their entire business.

    Companies need stability, knowing investments made today will be profitable in the future. The republican’s economic polices are erratic and defy all common sense.

  23. To look at reality the GOP would need a special pair of eye glasses for all their right wing members. They have been screwing up the whole country with their same tack-ticks. Tax cuts for the rich then cuts in funding of schools roads anything that is new. They want to place this whole country in jeopardy just to prove their policies work even if it means not spending a dime on anything other than tax cuts for the rich. They need someone in their party that know simple basic math that can figure out that you can cut taxes until there are no taxes and it will add up to zero no matter how cutting you do. No one remembers that Ronnie Raygun said that it does not work as he started raising taxes. He found that you can not cut taxes and pay the bills the only benefit is for the rich when they don’t have to pay tax.

  24. OK balanced budget state? Then why we were in the hole $610M and legislature had to rob from accounts which has now left County Commissioners without funds to repair roads/bridges which is just a small sample of what they raided and still kept the tax cut for January ’16 which was stupid. OK is going to be more in the hole in 2016 then this year after raiding other accounts but they approved a bond for a Pop Culture Museum in Tulsa the President Pro Tem of the Senate wanted.

    Mark my word – OK is headed toward KS territory with all the social issues that end up in court and an AG that keeps suing the Feds. OK spends a fortune on lawyers defending unconstitutional bills and suing the Feds because AG Pruitt is trying to brandish his hard right credentials to run for another job in 2018.

  25. Since this seems to be a case of unrequited love for the republicans for the rich, I think a word or several from Loudon Wainwright would be apropos:

    Ha ha ha ha, ho ho ho ho
    Chuckle chuckle chuckle chuckle
    Snigger snigger snigger snigger
    Guffaw Guffaw Guffaw Guffaw Guffaw Guffaw
    Yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk

  26. We all know the taxes that will be increased will be one that hurt poor,disabled and working class families the MOST!! NOT THE RICH OR THE CORPORATIONS that have been pocketing buckets full of MONEY!!!! JUST LIKE SCOTT WALKER IN WISCONSIN!!!

  27. No matter what happens, they’ll never raise taxes on the rich. Any new taxes will put the burden on the working poor & middle class to make up the budget deficits. Only they won;t call them tax increases; they’ll be called revenue enhancements to try to fool the suckers who voted for them.

  28. They don’t know it yet (or if they do, they won’t admit it), but they’ve imperiled Kansas for another 4-8 more years unfortunately. Raising revenue (probably through taxes) will be necessary, but it won’t mean back to normal as raising taxes while in a deep, deep trough will cause a whole host of new problems. Additionally, the toxic climate with education and infrastructure failures will cause people to leave the state.

  29. Fair enough. He is spot on in his assessment of them.

    But what has the ‘other’ Koch done to stymie them?

  30. Technically- Trickle Down, HAS worked.

    But only for the Rich. Which has been the intended result from the beginning.

  31. Meanwhile- in Georgia:
    Gov. Paul LePage tore into Democratic lawmakers during an animated news conference at the Blaine House on Friday, lashing out at them for opposing two of his tax initiatives and threatening to veto all Democratic-sponsored bills until they pass his plan to eliminate the state income tax.

    What’s the definition of insanity, again?

    Feel free to discount the above ‘liberal media’ site.

  32. Oklahoma is a balanced budget state just like Kansas and most of the others. Which means only that Oklahoma resorts to the same sort of accounting tricks that Kansas uses to make the budget appear balanced on paper even though it’s millions of dollars in the red.

    They simply ignore payments that need to be made, ‘estimate’ earnings far in excess of what they’ll actually received, or sell bonds to create immediate revenue without bothering to consider the need to pay those bonds in the future.

  33. It sounds to me like Brownback still believed in the magic of tax cuts. Even if the legislature passes tax increases to reduce the deficit do they have the votes to override a veto by Brownback?

  34. You got it KC. They will raise taxes increase fees and eliminate breaks and credits on the 99%. They will be regressive until they are voted out.

  35. In NC they cut corporate taxes and then pretended that was what created a supposed $400million surplus, when in fact they simultaneously eliminated a lot of deductions for the poor and middle class (like the Earned Income Tax Credit and medical deductions) and raised taxes on things like sports and entertainment to make up the difference.

  36. sheer incompence and stupitity they should all be fired. they ought to go back to school and learn basic math.
    Tax cuts for the rich have neve benefited anyone but the rich and the rich don’t spend money unless is if high tichet items like manions, yatchs, vacations etc.The proof is in the pudding so to speak. So who gets taxd now to offset the dbebt/deficit.

  37. Well, it ain’t all about low taxes. There’s a economic and educational infrastructure you got to think about. If there aren’t many businesses to work with and everyone is dumb as fuck in that state, I doubt that businesses would want to move their companies to Kansas. Moreover, their people wouldn’t want to collectively move there if the state isn’t livable, low taxes or not! (Disclaimer: I live in a state with no state income tax)

  38. I could have told them and the others that fact years ago and have.

    Now that they know they have to raise taxes, who are they going to raise them on?

    Austerity coming home to roost.

  39. Actually North Carolina says we are running $445 million SURPLUS. Accomplished on the backs of the poor by cutting education, food stamps and letting the poor go without medical insurance.

    The key report says: “The anticipated surplus is predominately due to higher income tax payments and lower refunds from the 2014 tax year.”

    The news has prompted plenty of reaction. Here’s a sample from Twitter, news releases and interviews:

    Gov. Pat McCrory: “We have a growing economy in North Carolina for the first time in five or six years. It shows that fiscal responsibility does work.”

    Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article20365413.html#storylink=cpy

  40. Every time you hear a Bagger tout the benefits of low taxes ask him/her where it has EVER worked.

  41. They get what they voted for!!! No sympathy here. Quit watching and believing the propagandists Fox news!! They get paid millions to blame all of the countries problems on minorities and poor people !!!!!!

  42. This story is right-on. We need to have more stories like this – based upon realities – so that it sinks in to the brainwashed neocons that their Emperor had no clothes.

  43. Normal people who pay their bills were smart enough to know ahead of those tax cuts that you have to have the money to pay the bills. Creditors don’t wait on the coulda – woulda – shoulda plan for them. So,
    the politicians should stop and actually think before they cut taxes. If they cut all those programs they could have cut taxes as the economy grew rather than cutting first and having to desperately look for ways to make up the loss later. They have no right to gamble with the state’s money and gamble they did.

  44. When the article starts out with a progressive talking point, everything you need to know ends there.

    Tax cuts in and of themselves do not produce more revenue for the state. The boost to the economy is where the increased tax revenue would come from. The problem here is that the progressive movement, that includes the current federal administration, have been doing everything in their power to prevent private sector growth while increasing the burden on local and state governments.

    When Reagan cuts taxes and closed loopholes, the revenue increase took 3 years to equal where it was before the tax cuts. But then revenue went far beyond that – doubling in 6 years. But Reagan had economic growth. Obama’s government only gives the economy lip service while standing on everything job-centric.

    Have you seen the latest GDP numbers? -0.7 (http://goo.gl/NhCFX) It looks like we are going into another recession. Tax revenue goes down and expenditures go up during a recession.

  45. The same businesses who were expected to ‘flock to the state’ also want decent services for their employees (i.e. schools, roads, infrastructure). Why would you move your business to a state when they don’t value education? Businesses need an educated workforce!

  46. Given the monumental failures of Kansas, Louisiana & Wisconsin (states which instituted the policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy & shifting consumption taxes to the poor, hoping that revenue would “magically” appear), I wonder if the GOP clown car will admit that “trickle down” economics doesn’t work. Probably not.

    What these idiots don’t understand is that a company won’t expand (adding on jobs) just because taxes are lower. They’ll take that extra savings & put it in the bank for a rainy day. No, a company expands when it sees an opportunity in the marketplace to grow, and to increase its revenue/profits. That’s it. These morons would have known this if they’d had a background in business, but none of them has one. Instead, they followed a debunked, discredited economic policy that’s bankrupted their states. If they’re up for re-election, VOTE THEM OUT!!!

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