Yael T. Abouhalkah

New, disastrous Kansas job loss exposes pure folly of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has been waiting in vain for a string of months of strong job creation to supply new revenue to the state treasury.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has been waiting in vain for a string of months of strong job creation to supply new revenue to the state treasury. along@kcstar.com

Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax-cut plan to spur job growth in Kansas has become a full-time disaster.

On Friday, the state announced it had lost 3,000 total jobs in August. That’s on top of the 5,100 jobs lost in July.

Here’s even more dire news: The Sunflower State in the past 12 months gained a total of a puny 1,000 new jobs.

That’s the fourth worst record in the entire United States, at .1 percent employment growth for the entire last year.

 

Only West Virginia, North Dakota and Alaska are worse, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other states, meanwhile, that didn’t slash taxes and give up hundreds of millions of dollars in public revenues are enjoying robust job additions.

Just look at Missouri: It has gained 30,800 jobs in the last 12 months — almost 31 times more than Kansas has.

Of other close-by states, Nebraska is up 8,700 jobs, Oklahoma up 4,300 and Colorado up 47,000.

Brownback backers already are pushing back and saying, gosh, looking at the last year is just one measuring point.

But check this out:

Kansas in August had the 4th worst year-over-year growth rate in the country, and was 6th worst year-over-year in July, 11th worst in June and 3rd worst in May.

Point being, the woeful employment numbers in Kansas are now a horrible long-term trend.

Brownback pushed through the excessive and unfair income tax cuts in 2012, contending at the time they would help woo new jobs to Kansas. In turn, businesses would create more revenue to fill in the money that was being lost through the tax cuts.

That plan has not worked.

The Legislature this year had to pass the largest tax increase in state history just to balance the books.

Meanwhile, the state is borrowing $1 billion to shore up pensions and diverting road funds to other uses.

The stunning new employment numbers provide new evidence that the jobs are not flocking to Kansas.

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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