Kansas is a cautionary tale for Arizona: there’s hope for us yet


Holy shit! Pigs really do fly!

Something remarkable, truly amazing happened in Brownbackistan fna the state of Kansas this week.

A Tea-Publican controlled legislature overrode the veto of its Tea-Publican governor to increase taxes and to reverse Gov. Sam Brownback’s failed “trickle down tax cuts” eutopian experiment in Kansas.

The Wichita Eagle reports, Lawmakers override Brownback veto of tax increases, rolling back 2012 cuts:

Lawmakers rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy over his objections Tuesday night, forcing into law tax increases to fix a budget shortfall and provide more money for schools.

The legislation ends the “march to zero” income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor.

(Sound familiar? Our own Koch-bot Governor Doug Ducey also promises to reduce taxes every year with the goal to drive income tax rates to “as close to zero as possible.”)

Income taxes will rise across the board but most tax rates will remain lower than they were before the 2012 tax cuts. The increases are expected to generate more than $1.2 billion for the state over the next two years.

The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto. The action took place on the 109th day of the legislative session and paves the way for lawmakers to wrap up their work quickly, potentially this week.

The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.

Lawmakers who supported the bill and the override said the 2012 policy was a mistake that had drained the state of revenue, leading to rounds of budget cuts and harming investments in roads and other priorities.

“It’s hard to celebrate because Kansas is in such shambles. The magnitude of the problems that we have to correct is so great,” Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, said.

Kansas faces a projected budget shortfall of roughly $900 million over the next two years. Lawmakers also have approved hundreds of millions in new spending on schools, though Brownback has yet to take action on the legislation.

* * *

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, said the Legislature should have acted earlier to roll back the 2012 tax cuts.

“We could’ve done it the easy way, but by God, now we’ve got to do it the hard way,” Denning said. “We had the opportunities to do it. It was right in front of us.”

Denning said he wasn’t voting to override to spite Brownback.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to the governor. He still believes in this (the 2012 tax plan),” Denning said. “That’s OK. I don’t.”

The Legislature passed Senate Bill 30 just after midnight on Tuesday. Brownback immediately promised to veto the bill and fulfilled his promise on Tuesday afternoon.

The tax plan was the first to pass the Legislature since February, when lawmakers passed a similar plan. Brownback also vetoed that bill, but the override effort fell three votes short in the Senate.

Lawmakers had been gridlocked over taxes since May, however. Various plans had failed, at one point because many House Democrats withheld their support because a plan wasn’t large enough.

Democrats supported the override on Tuesday. That, along with support from some conservative Republicans, was enough to take the bill over the line.

“We’re moving back to the fiscally responsibly path that allows us to meet our core needs as a state,” House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, said.

Ward said the override was a repudiation of Brownback for being an “obstructionist” for much of the session.

“Tonight, we said ‘enough is enough,'” Ward said. “We’re moving on without you.”

Rep. Larry Hibbard, R-Toronto, said the state had become a national laughing stock for its recent fiscal troubles, including a tax system that allowed situations where “the employee was paying the taxes and the employer wasn’t.”

“This tax bill starts us on the road to recovery,” he said.

Gov. SamBrownback may soon join Donald Trump’s administration and skip the remainder of his second term in Kansas. Tea-Publicans always fail up somehow.

Steve Benen adds:

Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are on a similar course, trying to duplicate Brownback’s failures at the federal level. In April, the Kansas City Star’s editorial board offered some worthwhile advice to federal policymakers, encouraging them to watch developments in Topeka.

The president’s tax plan, unveiled by the White House Wednesday, strongly resembles the disastrous tax plan passed in Kansas in 2012.

Trump wants to consolidate individual tax brackets and lower the top rate. He would eliminate some deductions and, most crucially, dramatically reduce taxes for business owners, including millions of people who own businesses but pay taxes on their profits as individuals.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2012 tax reform blueprint was quite similar, and we know why. The same worn-out supply-side “experts” helped write both proposals.

As we discussed at the time, the difference is, we know how things worked out in Kansas. There’s no need to wonder how this agenda would work on a national scale because Kansas has already flunked the proof-of-concept test.

Pay attention Arizona! There’s hope for us yet.


  1. John, thanks for the link, however obtuse it was. I enjoyed reading much of the information there since I had to dig around for while to locate article relative to what you were referencing. It would support your story better if you provided specific links to support your point but that is fine, this sight supports both views, conservative and liberal if you read enough. I still have this one problem in understanding how Arizona is going to benefit by cutting taxes to bring in industry and business, which so far doesn’t seem to hold a candle to the state of New York. So you mention this, “It is then very simple to extract the job growth for both groups from the Saint Louis Federal Reserve data base over that same 4 decades.” So are you trying to make us believe job growth in Republican dominated Arizona is in a booming growth period? Your reference helps but in my opinion does little to support you position. If your going to support the Governor’s cuts then you need to explain yourself to those who are damaged the most by it as to why such support is a good idea. Personally I don’t like a lot of what I see. Substantial number of items being shifted to the counties and the Governor taking credit like Trump does for things he did not do. This whole dog and pony show with school vouchers is thin on substance. If you truly want to help less advantaged families then A system for making up the difference the vouchers don’t cover needs to be put into place for those living in lower economic situations. In short, state vouchers are going to benefit those who can pay and it will cost those who can’t. This will help to guarantee future jobs for a desired demographic. It’s so obvious. Beside, with less effort to research than your example the failures of such systems are abundant. Greed can be widely noted too.

    The purpose of a governing body is to represent the people. Having that premise distorted by induction of dollars which will in the long run be paid back in benefits is always going to challenged. If your Ideas for a better Arizona are so great then you need to be honest and convincing, not conniving to everybody. Do one thing with a spin that hurts the majority and the damage is done permanently all you have earned is distrust. Something you seem to have much of at this point.

  2. John,,,John you really need to get some help for that bad case of Dunning-Kroger syndrome you are touting. And in the future if you want to bring on some of your thoughts you should do it the smart way, supply the data to back it up. Not Rhetorical BS, or fake facts, just undisputable facts with references. Until then you really don’t stand a chance to gain credibility. You just make people feel sorry for you and your short comings.

    • Here are some facts for you. The tax foundation has tracked tax burden of states for four decades, http://www.taxfoundation.org. From that, we can select the states that have continuously been in the bottom ten for tax burden and those that have been continuously in the top ten. It is then very simple to extract the job growth for both groups from the Saint Louis Federal Reserve data base over that same 4 decades.

      Bottom line? The most cost efficient states started with half the jobs of the least cost effective and ended up with more jobs.

      Consistent frugality is the number one asset that state policy makers can offer to their constituents. No other single policy can do as much to make life better for young people seeking jobs.

      It’s not enough to cut taxes hoping for a quick bang like Kansas, you have to keep them low for years.

  3. brownback is another trump. douche bag is evil not stupid. kansas does not have an ever growing latino population to keep docile. feared by republican and establishment old white democrats alike!

  4. Kansas is not now nor has it ever been a low tax state.

    Consistently low tax states blow away consistently high tax states at creating jobs and growing their economies.

    • FFS, STFU.

      California, New York, high taxes, multi-cultural, all the stuff you hate, you racist half-wit, and they have the highest property values and OMG you should see what you get paid in tech in Silicon Valley

      I’ve hired on people for entry level jobs that pay more than 60K a year. What’s the average household income in AZ?

      Entry level jobs that make more than most Arizona HOUSEHOLDS.

      And the Blue States, because they are so much more successful than Red States, are subsidizing the Red States. They give more in taxes than they get, and the Red States get more than they give.

      Those bible belt folks are mooching off the liberal elite in them dirty liberal states.

      STFU you racist, ignorant, lying POS, Kansas was a Koch brothers wet dream and much like you, IT FAILED.

      • I use to think that you just swam in the sewage. Now you’ve descended to the point that you are the sewage. Cut it out, it doesn’t serve you well. The more you call other people names, the more we realize what a raging ball of bigotry and racism you are.

        Of course California and New York are doing well. $17 trillion in untaxed capital gains at the expense of the small businessman goes a long way to generate jobs. We no longer tax people who create jobs for rich people, just the Republicans who create jobs for poor people.

        All these rich democrats: Zuckerberg, Bezos, the Google boys and Buffet don’t have to pay any taxes at all. This whole group is creating lots of jobs in California and New York for rich people. They realize that as long as they bundle tens of millions for liberals, its like paying off the mob, you get protected.

        And, then you all pretend to speak for the poor.

        • I go swamp level to give you the home field, I’ve explained this before.

          Zuckerberg and Besos are not liberals, idiot. The Google boys are not liberals.

          Some of them may play Democrats on TV, but their moral philosophies are far, far from progressive.

          Silicon Valley is split between progressives and hard core Libertarians.

          But you wouldn’t know, considering you’ve never held a job in the private sector.

          I’m demoting you to Falcon8 for promoting false narratives.

          Keep it up and I’ll knock you down to Falcon1 so fast it will make your head spin!

    • You need to take Economics 101. Gold was down $6 on today’s market. Using your logic this means Arizona charter schools Are failures and should be closed..

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