Sam Brownback's trickle down "experiment" has officially failed

Marcus Newton
June 12, 2017

The conservative governor refused to take questions Wednesday from reporters after publicly decrying lawmakers' votes the night before as harmful to the state's economy.

"Raising taxes should never be a cause for celebration, but eventually we came to the conclusion that it had to be done to correct the fiscal imbalance in state government", said Kansas House Majority Leader Don Hineman, a moderate Republican from western Kansas. "I think it's the wrong philosophy to implement".

He continued to praise his 2012 tax cuts, blaming "global forces" for economic troubles in Kansas. "All of a sudden they're going to increase taxes or increase something somewhere else", said Friesen.

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, standing, R-Louisburg, speaks during Senate debate Tuesday night against a motion to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill repealing his signature tax policies from 2012. The state is facing a $900 million budget shortfall by 2019.

The tax increase was created to also cover extra aid to the state's 286 local public school districts because the state Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.

Rooker, the Republican representative, lived in Los Angeles for 18 years but moved back home to Kansas in 2004 because she wanted the affordable education offered by the state's respected public schools in the Kansas City suburbs.

When lawmakers passed the bill early Tuesday morning, supporters were short of two-thirds majorities in both chambers.

It was the second time this session the governor sought to block legislation that would unravel 2012 tax reforms and raise revenue through a three-bracket income tax structure.

Shortfalls, economic problems and budget cuts have followed. Those who rose to comment rejected conservative's claims that increasing taxes defies common sense.

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"Now you're going to see small businesses taxed at 5.7 percent income tax rates, and you're going to see the creation and the number of them go down substantially and you're going to see the migration from other, neighboring states into Kansas go down substantially", Brownback says. "I've made many, many bad decisions in my business career, as many bad as good, but I've always backed up and mopped up my mess". "But it's not about me. It's about Kansas. It's about the future of this state".

Now as Trump attempts to pass the same failed plan through a Republican-controlled Congress, Republicans in Kansas are finally willing to bite the bullet and pass the largest tax increase in state history in order to fund a public education system that the state Supreme Court recently ruled is inadequately funded.

"I think the governor has made himself irrelevant", House Minority Leader Jim Ward said.

Burdett Loomis, a professor of political science at the University of Kansas, said the elections gave "a lot of energy" to Brownback's opponents.

"What we're doing is fleecing our constituents", said Sen.

Moderate Republicans rebelled against the ultra-conservative wing of the party in last summer's GOP primary and now have a major legislative accomplishment to their name.

Kansas state Rep. K.C. Ohaebosim, left, D-Wichita, makes a point in a conversation with Rep. Boog Highberger, right, D-Lawrence, before a House vote on overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a tax increase to fix the state budget, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Topeka, Kan.

"Respect to me does not mean blind agreement", Longbine said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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