Editorials

August 18, 2014

Ignore Sam Brownback’s misleading hype about jobs

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s first term has provided little evidence that he can come close to making good on his pledge to help create 100,000 private-sector jobs if he’s re-elected this fall.

Here’s the hype from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback: Last week he announced a goal to help create 100,000 private-sector jobs over a new four-year term if he’s re-elected this fall.

Here’s the sobering reality: Brownback’s first term has provided little evidence that he can come close to making good on that pledge.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Monday showed Kansas gained only 900 private-sector jobs in July. For 2014, the state is averaging just 1,000 new private-sector jobs a month. And since Brownback took office in 2011, the average increase in that employment is 1,300 a month.

Unfortunately for the governor, Kansas would have to create 2,083 new jobs a month over four years to reach the 100,000 figure Brownback wants to pursue.

The new, sluggish jobs figures provide yet another repudiation of the costly tax cuts that the governor said would act as magnets for employees. Instead, they have badly damaged the state’s finances by draining hundreds of millions of dollars in needed revenue for basic services such as education.

Meanwhile, Missouri Republicans who are all eager to follow their GOP Kansas colleagues in slashing taxes ought to take notice of something else in the new jobs report.

It shows that Missouri — which has twice the size of Kansas’ work force — added 12,700 private-sector jobs in June and has averaged 4,500 new jobs a month in 2014. Both figures are far ahead of the Sunflower State.

They also provide more proof that Missouri doesn’t need to put in place the selective tax breaks that the General Assembly approved earlier this year. Gov. Jay Nixon fortunately vetoed them, and legislators should sustain his action in a September session.

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