I don’t know which is more surprising, the fact that the the Kansas State House and Senate have overridden Governor Sam Brownback’s veto of their bill raising taxes, or the fact that even the most die-hard of Kansans Republicans are ecstatic over the the fact that taxes are being raised, because they actually want the Government services, and they recognize that the fairy dust of the Laffer curve doesn’t work:
The five men, most retirees, had been friends far too long to hold back.
“Brownback? That dumb…,” Larry Craig, 68, exclaimed, laying into Kansas’ Republican governor, Sam Brownback, now in the third year of his second and final term. “He screwed up everything since he became governor.”
Craig, a Republican, was sipping coffee at 7 a.m. Thursday at Mom’s Kitchen in Olathe with his buddies — another Republican, two independents, one Democrat. A lawyer, a business owner, a retired truck driver among them. They’ve been meeting up for 20 years.
“No Brownback fans in here,” declared Larry Hurt, 68, the lone Democrat and a retired Teamster.
The topic on the table: the governor’s 2012 tax plan, the most sweeping tax cut in state history. The governor called the cuts a “real live experiment” of the principle that slashing taxes and cutting government spending would spur economic growth that would power the state.
But over the last five fiscal years, that plan has failed to create enough jobs and businesses, leaving Kansas’ overall revenue — the money it spends on the mass of state services from fixing roads to schools to social services — down by some $3.6 billion.
The Republican-led Legislature, weary of severe budget shortfalls, handed Brownback a new tax plan aimed at reversing the state’s sinking fortunes by raising $1.2 billion more over two years. Income tax rates would go up, and 330,000 owners of “pass-through” businesses such as law firms and family farms would start paying taxes again.
The governor vetoed the plan. But on Tuesday, in a stunning rebuke, the Legislature overrode the veto, wiping away the centerpiece of Brownback’s conservative agenda.
If the voices of these Kansans are any indication, the mood of many people seems to be one of relief. The overall sentiment: “What took so long?”
It appears that everyone in the state realizes that Sam Brownback’s experiment, where he suggested that tax cuts would trigger economic growth to outpace the loss in tax revenues, has been an abject failure.
Only the truly delusional, for example one Samuel Dale Brownback, haven’t yet realized this.