Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback slashed taxes when he took office five years ago, and since then the state’s economy has, for lack of a better word, sucked. The state legislature, which eagerly supported Brownback at first, has finally gotten tired of the obvious problems the tax cuts have produced, and tried this month to raise more revenue. It almost worked, but Brownback vetoed the bill and the state senate fell just short of overturning it. So the tax cuts stay in place for now, and the Kansas budget remains enormously in the hole.
Allow me to illustrate how this has worked out using my new favorite toy, GeoFRED. Here is employment growth over the past year:
Woot! Kansas isn’t in last place. It’s fourth from last. Here’s growth of gross state product in 2015 (the most recent year available):
Better! Kansas is 8th from last (counting Alaska, not shown). When the 2016 figures are available, maybe Kansas will move up to ninth or tenth from last.
There you have it. A picture is worth a thousand words, so that’s 2,000 words I’ve just saved you. You’re welcome.