Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kansas example of ‘crazy’ obsession with tax cuts

A recent USA Today editorial took aim at the “‘supply-side’ free-lunch dream – that big tax cuts will pay for themselves” – as it is playing out in Kansas and Louisiana. It noted that Gov. Sam Brownback had vowed his 2012 income tax cuts would be like a “shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” And “in the two years since the tax cuts went into effect, private-sector job growth in Kansas has badly lagged the overall U.S. rate – 3 percent in Kansas vs. almost 5 percent nationwide. Meanwhile, the tax cuts have caused revenue to fall far short of expectations, and the shortage has caused Brownback to pursue damaging cuts in education and spend virtually all of the state’s operating surplus. Some shot of adrenaline.” Tax cuts took Louisiana from a nearly $1 billion surplus in 2007-08 to a projected $1.6 billion shortfall for the upcoming budget year. USA Today opined that “the obsession with slashing taxes, budget be damned, is crazy.” – Rhonda Holman