The Buzz

The Grey Lady slaps at Kansas, Brownback

The folks in Manhattan — the one with the Knicks, not the one with the Wildcats — weighed in last weekend on Kansas’ grand economic experience.

The New York Times’ editorial was not flattering:

“There was a windstorm of hasty excuses in recent weeks after Kansas reported that it took in $338 million less than expected in the 2014 fiscal year and would have to dip heavily into a reserve fund. “Spending wasn’t cut enough, said conservatives. Too many rich people sold off stock in the previous year, state officials said. It’s the price of creating jobs, said Gov. Sam Brownback.

None of those reasons were correct. There was only one reason for the state’s plummeting revenues, and that was the spectacularly ill-advised income tax cuts that Mr. Brownback and his fellow Republicans engineered in 2012 and 2013.”

The editorial paints the financial program as a give-away to the rich that’s put state governments in crisis. It challenges, particularly, supply-side economics projections that government revenue will climb with prosperity kick-started with lower taxes.

“The growth didn’t show up,” wrote the Times. “Kansas, in fact, was one of only five states to lose employment over the last six months, while the rest of the country was improving.”