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What’s the matter with Kansas?

They don’t have enough money. This notion that you can cut your way to prosperity continues to do damage, and Kansas is the latest victim. In 2012, Kansas cut taxes on the theory that it would boost the economy and that would more than make up for the lost revenue. Nope. Job growth in Kansas hasn’t kept up with the national average, and the state took in less in tax revenue than expected in the latest fiscal year.

The plan was to boost those job-creating small businesses we hear about all the time. You don’t have to be an economist to see the flaw in the plan. What helps any business is demand, not necessarily lower taxes. If I owned a small business that made widgets, and suddenly my taxes went to zero, I’m not going to hire more people or buy new equipment to make widgets that will just sit in a warehouse. The same principal applies no matter how big or small the tax cut is.

I hope politicians who are wedded to this ideology that lower taxes solve all problems will get the message that economics is complicated, and simplistic solutions never work.

On a brighter note, at least we can credit Kansas Gov. Sam Brownbeck with uniting the left and right. Analysts with the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the-right leaning Tax Foundation agree the Kansas tax reform plan is the worst in the nation.


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