Gov. Sam Brownback remains ebullient — and totally unrealistic — in claiming his income tax cuts are creating jobs in Kansas.
The latest evidence emerged today.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures for annual employment growth in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Kansas ranked 4th worst on that list, with a “growth” rate of minus 0.6 percent from August 2015 to this August, actually losing 8,300 jobs in that span.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
At the bottom of the list today in annual job gains were Wyoming (minus 3.3 percent) and North Dakota (minus 1.7 percent). The top job producers were Idaho and Oregon, both at a positive 3.3 percent. Missouri was up 1.0 percent.
More bad news: August was the 14th straight month the Sunflower State fell into the bottom 10 of annual growth rates around the nation.
For example, it was 5th worst in July, 6th worst in May, 7th worst in March and January, 8th worst in November 2015, 8th worst in September 2015 and 4th worst in July 2015, when this current depressing streak began.
OK, enough facts and figures.
The real problem with Brownback’s administration is that he won’t admit reality and do something about it.
For example, last January the governor said Kansas couldn’t really grow jobs quickly because it had such a low unemployment rate.
At the time, the video I recorded pointed out how he was dead wrong: Most other states with even lower unemployment rates than Kansas were adding jobs more quickly.
The real problem today remains the fact that, while the 2012 income tax cuts have not led to the job growth he promised, they have decimated public services in Kansas.
The state can’t make pension contributions on time. It can’t repair its highways on schedule. Funding for universities is being cut. And K-12 schools were almost shut down in the summer over lack of state money.
Most of Brownback’s growing number of opponents — including many moderate Republicans in his own party — offer the same solutions for trying to fix these problems.
The very first is to repeal some or all of the tax cuts. The prime goal is ditching the unfair LLC reductions that allow small business owners to not pay any taxes. Even some recipients think that’s absurd.
The 2017 Kansas Legislature, with plenty of new members elected in November, will need to move in that direction as quickly and smartly as possible.
Brownback, who created this economic disaster for no good reason, will need to stay out of the way.