Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.
….“My critics, which are many, they only want to look at the budget,” Mr. Brownback said in an interview. “They won’t look with any depth or detail at the impact on small-business growth or private-sector job growth. That’s the target, that’s what we’re after.”
….Mr. Brownback said a number of states face budget problems and said Kansas has “never had more private-sector jobs.”
It’s technically true that Kansas has “never had more private-sector jobs.” What that really means, however, is that despite five years of population growth and economic expansion under Sam Brownback, Kansas has only barely passed its previous peak from 2008—while the rest of the country passed that mark long ago. The chart on the right shows total Kansas private-sector employment vs. US private-sector employment starting in January 2011, when Brownback took office. His tax-cutting policies didn’t work from the start, and the longer he’s stayed in office the worse they’ve done. Kansas is the poster child for the failure of betting on tax cuts for the rich to supercharge the economy.
If you want a more sophisticated analysis that takes into account all the excuses people will toss at you (drought, airplane manufacturing, etc. etc.), check out Menzie Chinn. His latest is here, and you can search Econbrowser for all the gory details you want. Spoiler alert: None of them change the picture on the right.