Thursday, June 26, 2014

WSJ: "Sam Brownback's Tax-Cut Push Puts Kansas Out on Its Own"

By Duane Goossen

If you missed the recent Wall Street Journal on the Kansas budget "experiment," it's worth a close read: Fellow Republican Governors Are Slow to Follow Governor's Example Given Kansas Finances (June 10, 2014)(PDF). Here is an excerpt:
"Two years ago, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback laid out an aggressive program of tax cuts to turn this slow-growing state into a Texas-like economic powerhouse—and serve as a model for Republican leaders in other states.
So far, the results are serving as more of a warning than a beacon. Employment growth is below the national average, while Kansas faces plunging revenue, dwindling reserves and a rare debt downgrade.
The Republican governor says his policies need time to trickle through the economy and that other states should use his example to show how lower income taxes can spur private-sector expansion. But neighboring states that once thought of keeping pace with Mr. Brownback aren't mimicking the cuts—and are enjoying about the same job growth. Those that have cut taxes have done so more slowly and often with an eye on keeping tax revenue from slipping.
All of that has left Kansas, and Mr. Brownback, as the leading national experiment in using state-level tax cuts to stimulate economic growth.
"Sometimes ideological experiments bring unintended outcomes," said Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller, a Republican. "I think Kansas is seeing that, and it serves as a reminder for the rest of us."
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