July 22, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Why Did Tax Cuts Work In NC, IN, and TN But Not in Kansas?

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The question that Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert raises in his new book, “What Was Really the Matter with the Kansas Tax Plan – The Undoing of a Good Idea,” is a relatively simple one: why did tax cuts work in North Carolina, Indiana, and Tennessee but not in Kansas?

The state was broken, but the fix wasn’t quite right.

The media were delighted that the Kansas plan did not work as planned. A quick Google search of “Kansas,” ‘tax cuts,” and “disaster” nets 160,000 results. Here are some headlines right off the top of the Google list.

“Republicans are about to repeat Kansas’ tax cut disaster”–Slate.

“What Trump and the GOP need to learn from Kansas’ tax cut disaster”–CNBC.

“As Trump Proposes Tax Cuts, Kansas Deals With Aftermath Of Experiment”–NPR.

North Carolina, Indiana, and Tennessee combined did not get half the attention Kansas did. This was to be expected. What the media thought national Republicans should take away from the Kansas experiment, however, had nothing to do with what they should have taken away. Happily, national Republicans, enough of them anyhow, chose to ignore the media.

Unlike journalists from afar, Trabert was able to watch the “experiment” unfold from the veritable catbird seat. He followed the tax cutting plan from its conception in 2011, to its passage in 2012, and to its ultimate undoing in 2017 when the RINO-heavy Kansas legislature passed the largest tax hike in state history.

In six words or less, Trabert’s takeaway message is this: “Don’t cut revenue and increase spending.” There is obviously much more to be said, much of which the Sentinel will be sharing in the future.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, nicely sums up the book: “Kansas has had high taxes and slow growth for fifty years. Trabert tells the truth about the Left’s effort to blame Kansas’s longstanding challenges on Gov. Brownback’s efforts to rein in spending and taxes, a battle the tax-and-spenders of both parties won. There are important lessons to be learned from Kansas – just not those the New York Times is selling.”

What Was Really the Matter with the Kansas Tax Plan is published by Jameson Books, Inc. Ordering information is available here.

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