By now, we all know that Governor Sam Brownback’s Tea Party “experiment” in Kansas has been an abject failure.
Actually, scratch that: There is someone who still thinks Brownback’s Kansas disaster has been a smashing success, and he happens to be a Heritage Foundation economist who is one of Donald Trump’s top economic advisers.
As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities documents, top Trump economics adviser Stephen Moore has been instrumental in pushing Brownback to implement budget-busting tax cuts that have perpetually crippled his state’s finances.
Even more damning, Moore has been completely oblivious to this reality and has continued to insist that the Brownback tax cuts are working exactly as advertised.
First, the CBPP outlines the case that Brownback’s tax cuts have been a fiscal calamity for the state that also haven’t spurred a promised economic growth explosion.
Among other things, “total employment in Kansas has risen only 2.4 percent, compared to 6.5 percent nationally” since the tax cuts went into effect. Additionally, “the state’s economy has grown less than half as fast as the national economy; Kansas’ gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.3 percent from the end of 2012 through the end of 2015, while national GDP rose 11.5 percent.”
Despite this, however, Moore has advised that Brownback go “full speed on the tax cuts” and even said that “if Kansas can continue to get the rate close to zero, we would expect to see some strong growth effects.”
This past spring, Trump asked Moore and fellow Brownback booster Larry Kudlow for help in re-writing his tax reform proposals, which he will presumably unveil on Monday afternoon. Similarly, legendary supply-side crank Arthur Laffer talked with Trump about tax policies earlier this year and said that the candidate struck him as “presidential.”
So when you watch Trump’s big speech on economics on Monday and you hear a lot about the magical effects that supply-side tax cuts have on the economy, just take a look at what’s happened in Kansas and imagine it playing out on a national level.