Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tax Cut "Experiment" in Kansas Ends in Dismal Failure

An experiment into "free market" economics has provided evidence to the idea that the "free market" is NOT actually salvation for us all, sorry libertarians.

In 2012, Kansas decided to launch a program of massive tax cuts, I guess based on the idea that if people didn't fund their government, everything would turn out great. Nobody said a hypothesis had to be good, right?

Yesterday, the Kansas stage legislature overturned a veto by the governor on a bill to end this horrid experiment. This is based on the fact that, surprise surprise, not getting any tax revenue created a budget shortfall!

Today, the state’s budget hole is $345 million and threatens the foundation of this state, which was supposed to be the setting for a grand economic expansion but now more closely resembles a battleground, with accusations and lawsuits flying over how to get the state’s finances in order. 
The yawning deficits were caused by huge tax cuts, championed by Brownback and the Republican-dominated Legislature, that were supposed set the economy roaring. They didn’t.

No kidding.

Even the Kansas legislature, which is heavily skewed to the far right, has overwhelmingly come to the conclusion that not taxing people is not a good policy. The state attempted to fill the budget gaps by cutting every essential service they could, including education, highway maintenance, and Medicaid. Things only got worse every year. And now it's the most vulnerable people of Kansas who will suffer the consequences.

How many times does reality have to demonstrate that just cutting taxes is a terrible idea that only ever hurts the economy? If you want to have public services, they need to be funded. End of story.

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