Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) tea party tax experiment is failing badly. It’s so bad that state Republicans no longer support his tax mission, and the governor is considering raising taxes, reported The Washington Post.
Brownback was elected to office while both chambers of the state legislature are packed with Republicans. He had the support needed to implement his conservative “tax experiment.” That experiment consisted of cutting any and every tax and expenditure, including education and infrastructure, possible with the intent of strengthening supply-side economics.
Forbes reported that the state’s supply-side benefits didn’t take shape, and Kansas found itself in a $400 million budget shortfall. State Republicans have scrambled for a solution, anything except for raising taxes. Brownback cut state spending by four percent and “slowed contributions to the state pension system.”
Now that Republicans have backed themselves into a corner, Republican legislators and Gov. Brownback are considering raising taxes in Kansas.
Kansas state Sen. Les Donovan (R), the state’s chief taxwriter, proposed raising the state sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.65 percent.
During Brownback’s term, he signed bills that shifted the tax burden onto the lower- and middle-class. In April, The Washington Post reported that “the proposals that look most likely to [pass] are sales and excise taxes that would be paid disproportionately by Kansas’s poor and working class.”
Brownback signed a bill that bans Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients from withdrawing more than $25 from an ATM at one time. He also cut the education budget so much that schools couldn’t stay open for the entire school year.
What’s more surprising than Brownback proposing a tax increase is that some hard-nosed conservatives want to make even more budget cuts.
This is the conservative tax experiment. Brownback and the GOP-controlled state legislature have put Kansans in a rough financial position. When the system is designed to reward the top one percent instead of the working class, only the wealthy will flourish.