Opinion Columns & Blogs

Commentary disconnected from Kansas economic reality

An e-mail last week from Gov. Sam Brownback’s office praised an Investor’s Business Daily commentary by economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore as “reporting Kansas as it really is.” The commentary, which is peppered with revisionist history and political spin, declares Kansas’ tax policy a success. That’s not too surprising, given that Laffer and Moore helped craft that policy (for which Laffer was paid $75,000). Still, the disconnect with reality is stunning. Yael Abouhalkah of the Kansas City Star noted how Laffer and Moore failed to mention last year’s record tax increase or the more than $1 billion transferred from the state highway fund to cover budget shortfalls. And how their claim that sales taxes, not state income taxes, are the “prime culprit of revenue shortfall” is a real howler, given that the loss of income tax receipts was 11 times larger than the loss of sales tax revenue. – Phillip Brownlee