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Kansas: A Conservative Utopia

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Major, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Major

    Major Member

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    It's interesting to see a state finally implement everything conservatives have ever dreamed of. And then fail massively, both compared to the rest of the nation and to all it's neighbors.

    Over the years:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_...licies_the_kansas_governor_s_experiments.html



    ...

    Brownback didn’t just keep his promise, he embarked on a radical “real live experiment” in conservative governance. As he later explained to the Wall Street Journal, “My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, ‘See, we’ve got a different way, and it works.’ ”

    With advice from Arthur Laffer—the long-discredited guru for supply-side economics—and support from a new band of conservative lawmakers in the Kansas statehouse, the newly minted governor pursued a path of rigid orthodoxy. His signature move was a massive tax cut: He eliminated the top income bracket of 6.45 percent, reduced the middle bracket from 6.25 percent to 4.9 percent, reduced the lowest bracket from 3.5 percent to 3 percent, and ended taxes on certain kinds of small-business income. This, he promised, would increase disposable income and create thousands of jobs.

    Brownback’s experiments turned Kansas into one of the most dysfunctional states in the country.

    In reality, however, Kansas’ job growth stagnated in 2012 and income growth fell. Far from a stimulus plan, Brownback’s tax cuts were a massive program of redistribution for the rich. According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the bottom 20 percent of Kansas taxpayers saw their tax burden increase by more than half a percent as a result of the Brownback plan, while the wealthiest Kansans saw their taxes decrease by 1 percent.

    Indeed, these tax cuts were followed by harsh new welfare requirements (including drug tests and stricter work provisions), and tighter eligibility for food stamps. He rejected new federal funding for Medicaid (and privatized its functions, prompting an FBI investigation), slashed thousands of state jobs, and made large cuts to education funding.

    ...

    With his power secured, Brownback turned up the heat. In 2013 he proposed another round of tax cuts that would eliminate income taxes and maintain a high sales tax. Critics blasted the plan, noting the extent to which it was a massive tax increase on the poorest Kansans: For instance, replacing 50 percent of income tax losses with a sales tax would raise taxes on the lowest earners by 2.5 percent. But Brownback promised new revenue ($777 million in state earnings) and broad prosperity. “We’re on a path of growth and job creation, so I say, ‘Come to Kansas,’ ” he said. “We’re paving the way to make Kansas the best place in America to raise a family and run a business.”

    A year later Kansas is among the most dysfunctional states in the country. Even after cuts in schools, colleges, libraries, and social services, Kansas can’t keep up with expenses. This year, it faced a huge shortfall in personal income tax receipts, and had to end tax rebates for food and child care to help fill the hole. And overall, it faces a $900 million budget shortfall by 2019, even as the top income tax rate is scheduled to decline to 3.9 percent by 2018. Both Moody’s and S&P have downgraded the state’s bond rating, and economic growth has been poor. Far from giving Kansas a bright new future, Brownback plunged it into chaos.

    ...


    Today:

    Sam Brownback’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 31 hours

    http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article5332056.html


    Gov. Sam Brownback promised Kansans that his deep income tax cuts favoring the wealthy would bring lots of great new things to the state.

    Instead, Brownback — and residents — have been enduring a steady drumbeat of bad news after the cuts took effect.

    This week, a 31-hour stretch brought three different body blows to Brownback’s administration.

    ▪ At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing how jobs had grown in metropolitan areas across America.

    Unfortunately for Brownback, the report showed that the Missouri side of the state line had gained jobs at four times the rate of the Kansas side. And yes, that’s after including new employment in Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

    So much for Brownback’s promise that jobs would be fleeing Missouri-side cities for Kansas after the tax cuts.

    ▪ Shortly after noon Tuesday, a judicial panel in Shawnee County released a ruling that Kansas was inadequately funding K-12 education.

    That could mean the state would need to pump in $500 million extra a year or more to bring schools up to par.

    That’s extremely concerning news for Brownback. He already will have to suggest how to slash the state budget in the coming months because the income tax cuts are on pace to help cause a $1.1 billion hole in revenues in this and the next fiscal year.

    The ruling was a victory for schoolchildren and educators, one that Brownback and his allies quickly tried to deflect by saying they would further study the matter.

    ▪ Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, Kansas officials released figures showing the state had collected $15 million less than expected in December.

    And that was after the state in November had dramatically lowered revenue expectations for the rest of this fiscal year.

    Now that 2015 has started, the governor and the Legislature need to avoid repeat bouts of bad news on jobs and revenues.

    The best way to do that is to repeal the excessive tax cuts.
     
  2. dumbartonbass

    dumbartonbass Contributing Member
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    Yet, Brownback was still reelected because people would rather sink with the ship than vote for a Democrat or Independent in certain states.
     
  3. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    trickle down into the gutter my people
     
  4. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Sounds a bit like California and New York.
     
  5. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    At least this utopian experiment is confined to Kansas.
     
  6. Steve_Francis_rules

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    There's a lot to be said for federalism.
     
  7. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    California has actually been doing fairly well.
     
  8. Mr.Scarface

    Mr.Scarface Member

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    Both those states are running Budget surpluses. Oops........
     
  9. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member
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    Not sure if a more embarrassing response could have been made on so many levels.
     
  10. Steve_Francis_rules

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    They also rank 29th (NY) and 48th (CA) in unemployment, while Kansas is 10th.
     
  11. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    What about factors such as quality of jobs?
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member
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    Oh snap.......Except that Sammy Brownbacks Kansas is among the very worst in the country in terms of job growth during his tenure. New York, California, and even other crappy great plains states blow them away; that's kind of the reason why this thread exists.

    Honestly your post above is such a huge fail it's hard to even begin to note it's wrongitude. It's like "hey let's trade Harden now while he's an MVP candidate " level of suck.
     
  13. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    The whole point of the supply side scam, is to create deficits so the choice is to have increasingly unpopular crappy government services or have sudden large tax increases -- preferably on the working class. It is always possible that Laffer actually believes the supply side or "voodoo" economics as Bush I called it. Of course his devotion to the failed theory might be that the billionaires and their followers pay him handsomely to promote this tax reduction scam.
     
  14. Orange

    Orange Member

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    It's crazy that in 2014 people are still falling for this ****. Especially. Poor people.
     
  15. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    Actually, at least in America, they have never fallen for this nonsense as much as they do today. For instance, around 100 years ago, Kansas used to be a hot bed for populist and socialist radicalism.

    There is a good book on the topic actually (one that could use a new edition in light of recent developments) called What's The Matter With Kansas. It talks about how the Republicans used wedge issues like abortion to convince the poor to vote against their own economic interests.
     
  16. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    Seems that would be true for a large majority of the south and midwest.
     
  17. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    Kansas is actually an interesting example. Really until 2010, the Republican Party there was very different. Kansas has historically had a large moderate wing of the Republican Party that served as a check against these types of policies. So when others proposed it, Democrats and Moderate Republicans could usually form a coalition and vote against this type of stuff.

    However, in 2012, Sam Brownback basically turned on all of them and took the unprecedented step of not campaigning for incumbent Republicans who weren't conservative enough. He and others in the Republican Party basically let the moderates get purged and as a result, Kansas now has an extremely conservative Republican party that has lost any semblence of moderation.

    When Brownback won in 2010, he tried to pass all of these insane tax policies and was stopped when the Moderate Republicans revolted and voted with Democrats. Brownback basically lied to them and ended up breaking a promise to not push the bill through conference. The Moderates responded by basically blocking education cuts, redistricting and other changes.

    So Brownback and the Koch Brothers (who are based in Kansas) engineered a total purge of moderates from the Senate. More than half of the Republican caucus in the Senate were moderate Republicans. Now they're extinct and in 2 years, Brownback has basically obliterated the state budget and thrown basic services into disarray.

    The bigger story isn't how crazy Brownback's agenda is. It's that in order to achieve that agenda he had to purge the Republican Party of all moderates. And that is the more devastating long term act. Budgets and taxes can be changed but what he did fundamentally changed the Kansas Republican Party which for a long time was the party of moderates like Bob Dole. Bob Dole no longer has a place in the Kansas Republican Party which is now firmly in the control of maniacs like Sam Brownback.
     
  18. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    Yeah, that tension between moderates and conservative republicans has been going on in Kansas for a while. That book I mentioned was actually published in 2004, and it talked about the tension between moderates and conservatives, and the increasing marginalization of "Bob Dole Republicans" in Kansas.

    The Great Conservative Experiment started over a decade ago in Kansas -- 2012 was just the most recent development of the Koch brothers and Brownback RE-taking control of the state from the moderates (who themselves had gained in popularity because of the failure of the conservative policies in the middle of the last decade).
     
  19. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    We deserve the people we elect, be it good or bad.
     
  20. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    You could say it's by Intelligent Design.
     

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