Republican Tax Cut Disaster: Kansas’ Economy Continues to Sink After Governor Promised Growth

SAM-BROWNBACK-1It’s no secret that the Republican party’s economic ideology is based on tax cuts, commonly referred to as “trickle-down economics.” It’s generally the belief that the more the rich have, the better off the rest of us will be via more jobs, higher wages and a stimulated economy.


Except, that’s not at all what’s happened. Over the last 30+ years the rich have gotten richer while the rest of us have fallen further and further behind.

Then again, that’s what we should have expected. To believe tax cuts would create jobs is ludicrous. Businesses create jobs when demand dictates that they’re needed. No business is going to create jobs it doesn’t need just because their taxes were cut. Hell, most businesses continue to prove that their main goal when it comes to wages is to pay their employees as little as possible. I think if you ask most people they’ll tell you their pay increases, benefits and overall perks at their job(s) have gotten worse, not better, over the last three decades.

Well, perhaps no other state in the country exemplifies what a scam trickle-down economics is better than Kansas. Back in 2012, Governor Sam Brownback promised that his “new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.”

Since then, the Kansas economy has been an absolute mess. The state has been saddled with a massive deficit, creating a situation so dire that just a few months ago even some Republicans in Kansas were admitting that taxes needed to be raised. You know things are getting bad when Republicans are talking about raising taxes.

Well, things just keep getting worse as jobs numbers in the state continue to disappoint. According to The Kansas City Star

This has been a bad week for Gov. Sam Brownback and others who believe his massive income tax cuts are going to dramatically boost employment in the state.

A new report Friday showed that Kansas had lost a whopping 4,300 jobs in July from a month earlier.

The unemployment rate climbed for the fourth straight month, up to 4.6 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And look at this disastrous note: The Sunflower State now has 1,700 fewer jobs than it did at the start of 2015.

One more fact from the latest report shows that Kansas has added a puny 5,600 total jobs in the last year — from July 2014 to July 2015.

The new information shows that the tax cuts that have drained the Kansas treasury of hundreds of millions of dollars the past two years are not working to attract employers and jobs.

I would like to take this time to remind everyone that while Kansas struggles, we’ve seen historic economic growth and job creation in the last 12-18 months nationally. In fact, 2014 was the best year for job creation since the 90’s.


So, Kansas passes these massive tax cuts, then proceeds to see their deficits skyrocket and job creation weaken. If that scenario sounds familiar, it should – that’s basically what George W. Bush did as well

When does this wealth start to trickle down? Even now, Republicans will admit that income inequality is an issue, but their “solution” is more of the same policies that caused it in the first place.

The bottom line is, these tax cuts do nothing but make the rich even wealthier at the expense of everyone else.

It’s just sad that even with all of these examples showing where tax cuts have been an absolute economic disaster every single time they’re implemented, millions of conservatives still continue to cling to these failed economic policies.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Garibaldi

    I’m no apologist for Sam Brownback, but a 4.6% unemployment rate is nothing to sneeze at.

    • jacjm313

      4.6% doesn’t sound bad, but did you read the part about the monthly job losses??,, that rate will definitely continue upwards.

      • Garibaldi

        Yes, I did. 4.6% is full employment with prospects for higher wages. I’m sure there’s something behind this number. For instance, we don’t know what the rate of underemployment or low paying is.

      • MarcoZandrini

        Then why does the state of Kansas have a budget shortfall, a deficit so large that the rwnjs on the legislature have to raise taxes? Btw, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report in 2005 that showed that gwb’s tax cuts added a mere 0.2% to the GDP. Hell, a good snowstorm can have the same impact.

      • Garibaldi

        I think that I wasn’t clear. I agree that Kansas is in a free fall. It’s fiscal condition is abominable. I agree with the article. What I pointing out (and didn’t state clearly) that the unemployment figure is very low.

      • David Ewers

        unemployment is judged by how many people are actively looking for a job. A better way to judge how many new people have joined the welfare roles.

    • Markthetog

      True, except that it does not reflect those who are no longer looking or who have left the state.

    • rg9rts

      There aren’t that many people left in Kansas….right Toto??

    • Jim Valley

      There are several ways to measure unemployment. It is the trend line for any given statistic that is important. For Sam, the unemployment trend line is up.

      • David Ewers

        the reason the us unemployment rate is up, is that people have started looking for jobs. Most of statea have job expansion, kansas is going through contraction.

      • Stocks in a free fall, Obama out playing golf. His economic policy of artificially lowering interest rates is no longer having any effect.

      • Jim Valley

        It’s not his economic policy, it’s the Fed’s. They are independent. What exactly do you expect him to do right now about a correction in the stock market? Race home from vacation and…..what? I thought government was not supposed to interfere with business and was powerless to accomplish anything anyway. Which is it?

        When bush was president, HIS policies brought on a global economic collapse whose effects we are still feeling. Did you whine about THAT?

  • wendy

    great news for rich folks

  • mister_g43

    Not to mention these tax cuts have all but devastated the education system, which along with draconian “reforms”, have made it impossible to keep teachers in the state.

    • rg9rts

      ho kneds edjukashun

  • rg9rts

    Judging by those stats….The gopee will proclaim it a complete success

  • Eg Kbbs

    Yet, here in MO, the politicos are still touting the KS economic miracle.

  • FD Brian

    If you give tax cuts, the idea is that people will spend the money or invest that money which in turn will help create demand and then create jobs. But what they don’t tell you is that rich people have already bought everything they want and don’t really need to buy anything more, they also will tend not to invest that money into an economy that is not doing well, so it just goes into their pocket and the debt gets deeper and some Hilton type kid will just get a bigger inheritance. Another thing they tell you is that taxes are considered an expense by corporations and making their taxes go up will just make things more expensive, then if taxes go down, wouldn’t that make things less expensive? Name something that you paid less for during the Bush tax cut years than you did before.

  • LibsSuck!

    Keep voting democratic! You deserve this for being so stupid!
    What do the top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?
    Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
    Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954;
    Cincinnati, OH (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984;
    Cleveland, OH (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989;
    Miami, FL. (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;
    St. Louis, MO (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949;
    El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;
    Milwaukee, WI (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908;
    Philadelphia, PA (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952;
    Newark, NJ (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

    • Nathan Frigerio

      Look, moron, “liberals” don’t suck. Don’t you want liberal gun laws? Don’t you want liberal portions of food? Point is, you can’t group everyone you disagree with as a liberal. I’m liberal, but I don’t care for mexicans flooding across our border, corporate welfare is just as big (if not bigger) an evil as welfare cheats. I think everyone ought to have a gun(idiots would weed themselves out quickly)Abortion, all forms should be legal, So the fuck what, if gays want to marry, who gives a shit? Put down the kool-aid, think for yourself. Dems are stupid, but republicans are evil, oligarchs, that are reeling in the fools that believe stopping gay marriage and abortions will benefit society. Meanwhile, they are sucking the life blood out of the middle class so they can create a 2 class system of rich and poor. Get your head out of the sand.

      • UseOfFarce

        Good luck trying to reason with a CONservative cretin.

    • jacjm313

      Quick- google the “Ten richest cities”…

  • LibsSuck!

    Keep voting democratic! You deserve this for being so stupid!
    What do the top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?
    Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
    Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954;
    Cincinnati, OH (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984;
    Cleveland, OH (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989;
    Miami, FL. (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;
    St. Louis, MO (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949;
    El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;
    Milwaukee, WI (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908;
    Philadelphia, PA (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952;
    Newark, NJ (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

    The best part is that we can get rid of our used cars and old crap in these cities. Thanks for voting for the people that have made you broke.

    • Jim Valley

      “What do the top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?”

      That’s an easy one. They are all suffering the consequences of republican policies designed to keep the middle class and poor down and to exacerbate the gap between rich and poor.

      • LibsSuck!

        Jim Valley,
        Typical Democraps. You brain is like cement, throughly mixed and permanently set.
        Keep voting for the people that have made you poor and stupid…
        You blame republicans and they haven’t been in these cities for generations.

        I’m going the Democraps for my nice safe rich republican town I live and I don’t have to see gates pulled down in front of our stores at night.

        That would be racial profiling….but a moron only blames other people for their miserable life!

      • Jim Valley

        Many people in our cities have no jobs or sub-standard jobs because of republican policies that continuously transfer money from the poor and middle class to the top 1%, and big corporations that are sitting on trillions of dollars instead of providing jobs that pay a living wage. One result of this is the sad state of many of our urban areas. (Did you know that there is currently NO PLACE in America where a person with a minimum-wage job can afford to rent a one-room apartment? NO PLACE.)

        Being a conservative (and thus shallow and immature), you simple-mindedly blame ALL of this on the “Demoncraps”. This unfair, unbalanced, dumbed-down viewpoint is what results when uneducated, uninformed people sit in front of Fox “News” all day.

      • LibsSuck!

        Jim

        You are suffering because you invincible ignorant. You blame the republicans bc they transfer wealth. Yet you vote for the same idiots that haven’t improved you life. If expect the same results by voting the same way for years and you got exactly what you asked for.

        Blame blame blame! Typical Democrap who’s mind is like cement. Thoroughly mixed and permanently set! So either keep blaming the republicans and struggling or vote for the winners!!!!

    • Nathan Frigerio

      That’s right, change the subject. Where are your cogent arguments in favor of the oligarchical, phony religious right? Have none? Seriously, you’ve been drinking the kool-aid.

  • It’s no secret that the Republican party’s economic ideology is based on tax cuts, commonly referred to as “trickle-down economics.”

    That’s a flat-out lie. It’s not commonly referred to as “trickle-down economics”.

    Only liberals and Democrats refer to tax cuts as trickle down. And the do so dishonestly. No Republicans do and no school of economics refer to it as an economic theory.

    Four Pinnochios.

    • Nathan Frigerio

      Sorry, what do you call it?

      • I could argue Obama’s artificial zero-interest rate ‘wealth effect’ policy is designed as trickle-down, because it is. Get more wealth in the hands of equity holders and they will spend more, which will help the middle and lower classes. But it didn’t work. And now we have the stock market diving on China fears and a Fed with few options remaining and debt out the wazoo, and what is Mr. Wealth Effect Trickle-Down Obama doing right now? Right, he’s out playing golf.

      • Nathan Frigerio

        Good thing you are being so unbiased and honest. When you refer to the “out playing golf’ bit, well, you lose all credibility. Really, as if Ike, JFK, and most assuredly W (watch this drive) Bush didn’t spend more time on the links. That’s just disingenuous, man. In response to the theory of the name “trickle down” well whatever you want to call it, it works, for the already rich to maintain and even grow their net worth. For a good example of how responsible taxation and wage growth are successful, see the results of Minnesota’s republican Governor’s policies.

      • rokidtoo

        ‘I could argue Obama’s artificial zero-interest rate ‘wealth effect’ policy is designed as trickle-down…”

        You could. However, the argument wouldn’t make any sense. Obama is not the head of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen is. Furthermore, Yellen doesn’t work for the President.

        The President, and economists not shilling for the Koch brothers and AEI, advocated a fiscal stimulus, not a monetary stimulus, to increase economic demand. Unfortunately, Republicans repeatedly blocked the President and insisted on fiscal consolidation, i.e. the discredited economic policy that has failed in Europe.

        Bernanke/Yellen did what they could, i.e. monetary stimulus. However, fiscal stimulus was what was needed and Republicans refused to support it.

        The only “stimulus” Republicans favor is tax cuts and more tax cuts for big business and the rich.

      • Obama had a supermajority and opted for fiscal stimulus for close to a trillion dollars. If he didn’t push for more, it was because he couldn’t sell it to more Dems. And he did promising job gains immediately that didn’t materialize, such that we’re still stuck in one of the worst recoveries in our nation’s history. Liberals blame Republicans. That’s what they do. This blog post is another in a long line of dishonest articles by Clifford Allen about the economy for which he knows nothing about. I’d call it intellectual dishonesty but that wouldn’t be accurate. It’s just dishonesty.

      • rokidtoo

        The President requested a stimulus package that proved to be too small. Romer wanted $1.7-1.8T. Summers didn’t think that would fly politically. So they went in with a smaller number. Therefore, economically, the package was too small. Right policy, too little. Could they have gotten a bigger package through Congress? Maybe, maybe not.

        However, you have to admit, that the Republicans did everything in their power to block the President’s policies.

        “…we’re still stuck in one of the worst recoveries in our nation’s history.” You don’t want to go with Scott Walker’s assertion that this is the worst?

        Anyway, it depends on what metric you’re using. Employment? In terms of employment, the 1980 and 2001 recession recoveries were worse than the 2007 recession recovery.

        Economic growth? In terms of GDP growth the 2007 recession was worse.

        However, the universal opinion is that the 2007 recession – which occurred during a Republican administration – was the worse since the Great Depression.

        https://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications/special-studies/rip/recession-in-perspective

      • Yeah, it happened at the end of GWB’s term, but it was a combination of many factors and not all due to Bush’s policies or Allen’s hobby horse, ‘trickle-down economics’. Democrats and Republicans alike share in that blame. And it’s just like Obama and Dems to weasel when they say they wanted more stimulus but the didn’t know if they could get it through Congress so therefore the slow recovery is Republicans’ fault.

      • rokidtoo

        CBO’s Elmendorf: “CBO’s own analysis found that the [stimulus] package added as many as 3.3 million
        jobs to the economy during the second quarter of 2010, and may have prevented the nation from lapsing back into recession.” Of course, the Republicans opposed it.

        “And it’s just like Obama and Dems to weasel when they say they wanted more stimulus but the didn’t know if they could get it through Congress so therefore the slow recovery is Republicans’ fault.”

        The Republicans filibustered the President’s $447B “Americans Job Act” in 2011, i.e. follow-on stimulus. So, yes, the Republicans voted against American jobs and a stimulus package. Incidentally, the CBO estimated that the American Jobs Act would have reduced the deficit by $6B over ten years.

        More jobs, lower deficits. Republican answer: “NO!”

      • Economics and politics are both about ten thousand times more complicated than merely posting little factoids to support a case you copied and pasted from a Krugman column, rokidtoo. If you want to play those kids games, go find someone else to do it with. Better yet, go to one of Krugman’s columns and find an economist who disagrees with his partisan analytics and argue with him online.

      • rokidtoo

        I wondered how long it would take you to abandon the issue debate and resort to ad hominem attacks.

        Incidentally, if economics and politics are so darn complicated, maybe you should stop posting to progressive websites and submit articles to peer reviewed economic and political journals.

      • noah vail

        if you can’t attack the message attack the messenger…#1 in the tea party handbook

      • UseOfFarce

        “Economics and politics are both about ten thousand times more complicated than merely posting little factoids to support a case you copied and pasted…”

        Then stop copying and pasting simpleminded delusions and lies, or “non-factoids”, culled from Glenn Beck “University” and its diseducation for morons, lmao.

      • noah vail

        Right wing alert….EVERTHING is Obama’s fault

      • Yeah, didn’t say that, noah. Try being honest for once, like you mom told you to be.

      • noah vail

        honest? you should try it some time…it wasn’t the dems that blocked every attempt to improve the state of the country …it was the pukes, republican all, that swore allegiance to norquist over that of their country…norQUISt..QUISling…notice the similarity…for you TPrs , look it up

    • noah vail

      and what did Reagan call this policy? TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS…and he’s the one that started it