Still waiting for that supply-side magic … still waiting….

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (AP)

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (AP)

Let’s pay a return visit to the beautiful state of Kansas, the state that had been cited repeatedly by GOP intellectual leaders as a showground for their low-tax, high-growth ideology.

In 2012, under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback and right-wing economist Arthur Laffer, the Kansas Legislature cut income taxes by $3.7 billion over five years, with the cuts projected to “pay for themselves” by generating tens of thousands of new jobs that in turn would fill the state’s coffers with new tax revenue.

“My faith is in the people of Kansas, not its government,” Brownback said in signing the tax cuts. “The best thing we can do for individuals in this state, and particularly for somebody that’s struggling, is to provide jobs and job opportunities. That’s what this does.”

In 2013 and 2014, when initial job growth proved to be slow to non-existent, Brownback, Laffer and their supporters counseled patience. The promised boom wouldn’t come overnight; the supply-side theory had to be given time to work its magic.

Well, next month will be four years since Brownback signed the tax package into law. And as of March 2016, Kansas could brag that it had 1,398,800 jobs. The problem is that as of March 2015, it could also brag of having 1,398,800 jobs. Yup — that’s zero job growth in the last 12 months, a period in which the national economy added 2.8 million jobs.

If you look back two years, Kansas has added a grand total of 12,000 jobs since March 2014, compared to job growth of almost 5 million nationally. Since May 2012, when the tax cuts were signed, the state has seen 3 percent job growth, compared to 7.4 percent job growth nationally.

Meanwhile, state government has been forced to dramatically slash spending on higher education, K-12 education, transportation and other necessities. And the shortfalls haven’t ceased:

“Last month, Brownback ordered $17 million in immediate reductions to universities and earlier this month delayed $93 million in contributions to pensions for school teachers and community college employees,” the AP reports. “The state has also siphoned off more than $750 million from highway projects to other parts of the budget over the past two years.”

A new revenue forecast, expected to be released today, could further darken an already dire situation. In short, thanks to Brownback and his fellow supply-side cultists, Kansas has been reduced to eating its seed corn, undermining the future prosperity of its people in order to survive the current GOP-mandated famine. (Programs to help the disadvantaged have also had to be gutted in order to finance the tax cuts, which were pocketed largely by business and upper-income Kansans.)

A very similar narrative is playing out in Louisiana, where former Gov. Bobby Jindal also engineered significant cuts in state taxes that were supposed to generate a major economic boom and — not coincidentally — elevate Jindal into the first tier of Republican presidential candidates.

None of that happened. Jobs are leaking from Louisiana, the state budget is in a terrible mess, with major cuts to education and “temporary” tax increases already enacted and the state still facing hundreds of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls. As you also may have noticed, Jindal is nowhere to be found in national politics, and he has become a despised figure even back home in Louisiana.

He left office with a 20 percent approval rating, with 55 percent of his fellow Republicans disapproving of his performance, and he was replaced by a Democrat now trying to clean up his mess.

The most amazing part of such stories is the impact that they have had on standard Republican ideology, which is no impact whatsoever. The same was true of the failure of economic policy implemented by the George W. Bush administration, which enacted a series of major tax cuts early in its term with the expectation that a boom would follow.

As you may recall, it did not.

Even if you cherry-pick the time frame, judging the Bush plan from his inauguration to peak, pre-recession employment in January 2008, the U.S. economy added fewer than six million jobs under the Bush plan, which is very slow growth. And by the time he left office, fewer Americans were working private-sector jobs than when he became president.  So under no conceivable measurement could his supply-side approach be judged a success. (For comparison’s sake, the economy has added 11 million jobs under President Obama.)

Yet the faith remains undisturbed; the ideology must remain fixed regardless of what experience tells you. Even now, Brownback is stubbornly refusing to consider undoing the income-tax cuts that have proved so ruinous to Kansas; even now, House Speaker Paul Ryan continues to champion supply-side tax cuts as the foundation of his “new” GOP approach to 21st century economic challenges.

The durability of that faith is reminiscent in a way of those cult members instructed to believe that the world is coming to an end. At the designated time they go to the mountaintop to await their glorious ascension into heaven, and when the world doesn’t end, they turn around and trudge home. They don’t wonder whether they were duped; they tell each other that their leaders just interpreted the signs wrong, that the next time will be the time they are proved correct.

It’s never this time. Always next time.

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

992 comments
Corey
Corey

White men with less than a college education are the very people that the Republican Party relies upon to keep destroying the economy. Now it turns out that they are hurt the worst by every downturn.

Get this:

Every Republican President for the last half century have a couple things in common:

1 - They never leave office with an unemployment rate less than 5%
2 - They average nearly one recession per 4 year term.

Nixon - 2 recessions (one term, then resigned)
Reagan - 1 recession (two terms)
Bush 1 1 - recession (one term)
Bush 2 2 - recession (two terms)

Jimmy Carter did have 2 quarters of recession during his administration. But that was the shortest recession in the last 50 years.
 

RantNRave
RantNRave

"Sanders will not be the nominee."


@Hedley


Politics is a lot of serendipity. You're in the right place and the right time and you've got the right message, and it either connects for you or, or it doesn't. !



gotalife
gotalife

trump showed his lib today on North Carolina law..


Too early trump.


A transgender running for congress was a Navy Seal.

td1234
td1234

"

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apparently isn’t especially popular with Black Lives Matter protesters.

Audio of the disruption was difficult to discern on camera, but reporters on the ground tweeted what they were shouting.

“Don’t vote for Hillary, she’s killing black people!” they shouted during her appearance in Philadelphia."


Supporters reacted by chanting “Hillary! Hillary!” while the protesters were escorted out of the event. Clinton chided the protesters for failing to be polite."



KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 Funny how BLM to our Trumpeteers and RWers when they are anti-Hillary. 

honested
honested

@td1234 

Thanks tiny dog.

Every time you post something against Hillary, it guarantees her another ten votes!

honested
honested

@rimsky 

Wait, I thought the warming was on 'hiatus'?

Could that be another cleverly constructed LIE?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 You might want to curb your arrogance. 


You would do well to take that advice yourself.


It won't include an essay answer, but it might include a write-in for a certain name with the initials 'BS'.


I've mentioned before that I am a Sanders supporter. I have a Sanders for President sign on my front lawn. If it was up to me he would be the nominee.


But looking at it pragmatically I have to support Hillary over whatever the GOP puts forth. Sanders will not be the nominee.


And as I have mentioned. Sometime in the next 10 years a younger more photogenic version of Bernie is going to come along. Saying the same things he is saying now


And he or she may very well win.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Hedley_Lammar


It was stated on a cable news program this morning that Bernie, as an Independent, is not used to campaigning for other Democrats (nor is Trump for Republicans), but that if he does not get the nomination this year, he could speak out for, and lend his support to, not only Hillary immediately, but in the next 4 years to all Democrats who may think about throwing their (young) hats into the political arena and running for public office throughout our nation.  He would have a tremendous impact, quite pragmatically politically, as well as in terms of furthering his vision for America into the future, if he were to commit himself to that, soon, as well as for the years that follow.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Here is a mysterious coincidence which occurred on my blog this morning.  The anonymous reader of my blog also read the following entry I had made in 2011, entitled "A Wind Is Rising. . ." which I could have dedicated to my deceased father because he is the person who had introduced me to novelist Thomas Wolfe's words, which I post in this entry.


With my innately mystical leanings, I could not help but speculate if my own father's spirit is the anonymous reader of my blog, who keeps one step ahead of me with my former writings.  My father was blessed with a photographic memory, which I do not have, and he could contain all of my writings on my blog in his head at once, unlike myself.  If that anonymous reader of my blog is my own father, I give you a public tip of the hat from the other side, Dad, with my thanks!


https://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/a-wind-is-rising/

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

 In fact, that video showed how authentically egalitarian in her spirit Hillary is.  (In a point of irony missed by most people, Bernie Sanders, being so egocentric, has shown himself to psychologically be less than egalitarian and somewhat authoritarian.)  ... For those who may desire reading my thoughts on the growing egalitarianism in our nation (and world) which Hillary Clinton embodies, please hit the below link.

--

Comedy gold.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

So I got called an "elitist " over at Kyle's joint. So there's that.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Yep, two posts in two days. The one about Kasich was an eye opener, yesterday.

honested
honested

@Visual_Cortex 

Yeah, the developers that cause the 'impacts' hate that.

They are supposed to scrape theirs off the top and move on to ruin another neighborhood with no interference.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@honested @Visual_Cortex They knows what they knows.  And its just unfair to make them pay these impact costs or to deal with runoff too.  ;)

Kamchak
Kamchak

@KUTGF

They knows what they knows.

After the 2009 flooding of Austell, I'm thinking what they knows about the old flood plain studies is gonna need updating.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

...because I think new housing development of the sprawl variety ought to foot the bill for the sprawly side effects via impact fees.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Visual_Cortex Its the basic argument of "cheaper" -- meaning its cheaper to pass the costs on to others like taxpayers or propertyowners already in the area. 

honested
honested

@KUTGF @Kamchak 

I don't know if they have that in the current edition of "How To Buy Off Underfunded Municipalities".

KUTGF
KUTGF

@honested @KUTGF @Kamchak Most of them don't need much in the "buy off" column.  They generally just collapse with a slight push. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Well see, they are just trying to keep housing "affordable ", and I'm the elitist for piling on a few grand to the purchase price of a new home.

I'm sure it's cheaper to just retrofit everything later.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Kamchak @KUTGF Ahhh you want them to read the Flood Map edition of ConstructionKnowledgeforoutoftheirassica.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Hey, lemme try that "nuance" business with Lil Barry...

foo2u
foo2u

@Visual_Cortex a few grand on a 900,000 house is... "statistically insignificant"...

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Hedley 

Which party do you think is fighting to raise the minimum wage. Among other things. 

-

It's a valid question, but just recall how far things have come in just 2-3 yrs. Just a few short years ago the Democratic Party was essentially opposed to anything more than a very piddling $1-2 increase, but under increasing pressure from forces on the street and outside the part, the party was forced, dragging its feet all the way, to respond to the energy behind the min. wage increase push and take it on as its own. 

We will see. The increase now under discussion, with pressure from socialist-led success such as the one in Seattle with Kshama Sawant, and of course Bernie Sanders, now it appears there is momentum for a raise to $15. (Keep in mind, the figure we should be talking about is in the low 20s, if we were indexing it to productivity to be on par with the MW in the 1960s for ex.)

But this is hardly a done deal and even so, again, the energy has come from outside the Democratic Party and has only tentatively been adopted by the party very grudgingly. We'll see how far this goes.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@honested @Donnie_Pinko 

You get one vote and it won't include an essay question for nitpicking.

-

You might want to curb your arrogance. It won't include an essay answer, but it might include a write-in for a certain name with the initials 'BS'.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@honested @Donnie_Pinko

Yes! We need to remind them again and again about the misery we went through during the Bush years, all because Ralph Nader convinced a few thousand Floridians that Al Gore wasn't pure enough.

honested
honested

@Donnie_Pinko 

If it were a 'valid question' it has been asked and answered.

I get that you don't like the answer but frankly I don't care.

There will be two names on the Ballot in Novmeber.

One gives the United States a chance to continue the slog to return to prosperity.

The other puts us in reverse.

You get one vote and it won't include an essay question for nitpicking.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The anonymous reader of my blog seems to keep one step ahead of me.  This reader read this post of mine this morning, written in 2012.  The post is entitled, "The Growing Egalitarianism. . ."

---------------------------------


Last evening, after I had come home from seeing the very impacting, "Eye in the Sky" film in local theaters, I wrote for this blog a piece called, "Public Announcement," in which I strongly urged readers to see that film which would magnify the need for Hillary Clinton to become our next President. XXXYYY posted thereafter a video of Hillary Clinton, which he got from Breitbart's blog which he thought mocked Hillary.  In fact, that video showed how authentically egalitarian in her spirit Hillary is.  (In a point of irony missed by most people, Bernie Sanders, being so egocentric, has shown himself to psychologically be less than egalitarian and somewhat authoritarian.)


For those who may desire reading my thoughts on the growing egalitarianism in our nation (and world) which Hillary Clinton embodies, please hit the below link:  (Btw. I would equate, today, Obama with JFK and Hillary as LBJ, as the implementer of the prior President's vision.)


https://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/the-growing-egalitarianism-14-2/

KUTGF
KUTGF

Breitbart News national security editor Sebastian Gorka received an $8,000 payment from the Donald Trump campaign for "policy consulting" last year.  http://crooksandliars.com/2016/04/breitbarts-sebastian-gorka-advised-trump
_______________
Hmmmm.....  tell me again about the leftist media.

And why Breitbart is considered a "legitimate news organization" by RWers.  LOL.  Not all websites are equal. 

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

How can you be a foreign policy editor and not know what a soccer jersey is?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF Both Breitbart and Drudge take money to back a particular candidate.  This has been known a while.


In a bombshell allegation, three Breitbart staffers have told Buzzfeed they believe their website is being paid by Donald Trump to provide positive coverage for his presidential campaign.

Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins reports that many staffers at the conservative website have privately complained about the website’s relentlessly positive coverage of Trump. “One current editor… said he was told by an executive last year that the company had a financial arrangement with Trump,” Coppins writes. “A second Breitbart staffer said he had heard a similar description of the site’s relationship with the billionaire but didn’t know the details; and a third source at the company said he knew of several instances when managers had overruled editors at Trump’s behest.”

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Answers to the question, why support Hillary Clinton and the Democrats? 

Our liberals:

As long as we have an option to keep the religious freaks at bay, I'm cool. 

one stunning abiliteh I've noticed is that she frustrates the cons to insanity  

--

I see, so basically it's all culture war-identify politics stuff that gets you going. 

When it comes to economic questions, apparently you could care less. 

That's very revealing, liberals. Thanks!

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@honested @Donnie_Pinko 

Is it a question of 'purity' to point out that there's something problematic about claiming we should support a walking symbol of Wall St. cronyism and neoliberal third-way voodoo economics after 3 decades of assault on working people's standard of living? 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko When it comes to economic questions, apparently you could care less. 


Which party do you think is fighting to raise the minimum wage. Among other things. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Donnie_Pinko Perhaps no one wants to play the repeat of the repeat of the repeat of the repeat of the repeat of the repeat of the repeat of the "What's Hillary's abilities" game.  We have done it before with you and others and you just can't see it.  Oh and we did it with Obama too. 

honested
honested

@Donnie_Pinko 

Are we electing a President or playing ideological purity?

Since only one is valid, can we stick to it?