Yael T. Abouhalkah

New, whopping loss of jobs sabotages Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax-cut strategy

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said three years ago that aggressive income tax cuts would create plenty of jobs. The state is still waiting for that to happen.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said three years ago that aggressive income tax cuts would create plenty of jobs. The state is still waiting for that to happen. AP

That giant sucking sound Kansans heard in May was the loss of a whopping 3,800 jobs from the Sunflower State economy.

The monthly employment report released Friday brought especially grim news to Gov. Sam Brownback and all the sycophants who believe in the trickle-down theory.

The news could hardly have been worse for the governor or for Kansans. It came right on the heels of the just-concluded, 113-day legislative session in which the governor claimed his 2012 tax cuts for business owners were bringing more employment to Kansas.

Brownback bullied the Legislature into keeping the income tax reductions, even though some of his Republican colleagues were questioning how well they were working and whether it was fair that some business owners paid no taxes to the state.

And this all occurred in a session where the Legislature — with Brownback’s ardent support — hiked the regressive state sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.5 percent.

In short, the jobs explosion that Brownback has been championing clearly is not happening.

The state Department of Labor reported that the number of jobs in May was 1.398.5 million, down from 1.402.3 million in April.

By the way, the state of Missouri gained 6,600 jobs in May, and did that without destructive tax cuts.

Now look at this:

Overall, Kansas has gained only 6,500 jobs since May of 2014, a growth rate of only .5 percent.

Missouri has added 22,000 jobs in the last year, a growth rate of .8 percent.

The 6,500 figure for the Sunflower State over the last year works out to 550 new jobs a month. That’s far off the mark of a 2,000-a-month gain in employment that Brownback said during his successful re-election campaign he wanted the state to hit during his second term in office.

Another fact: The state actually has lost a total of 1,100 jobs since reaching the 1.399.6 million mark in October.

In another piece of bad news, the state’s unemployment rate — which Brownback loves to tout — increased for the second month in a row.

In May it was at 4.4 percent, after being just 4.2 percent in March.

The tax cuts aren’t working as promised, and the state sales tax is headed higher.

That’s a double-barreled piece of bad news for the state of Kansas on this Friday.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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