Stimulus bill

The yardstick for the Kansas experiment

The yardstick for the Kansas experiment

A politician's boasting should not be the yardstick for policy. As noted by Ed Flentje in the Wichita Eagle: As a newly elected governor in 2011 Brownback embraced the discredited, tax-cut dogma of Arthur Laffer in the belief that tax cuts would dramatically stimulate economic growth. He told a friendly audience that cutting income tax rates would generate even more revenue for government. Soon after, the governor elevated the bluster. His tax cuts would give “a shot of adrenaline in the heart of the Kansas economy.” “We’ll have a real live experiment.” “Look out Texas. Here comes Kansas!” “Glide path…
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Lessons from Kansas tax reform

Lessons from Kansas tax reform

What can the rest of the nation learn from our experience in Kansas? Come to think of it, why haven't we learned much? Economists from American Legislative Exchange Council have looked at Kansas and derived some lessons from our state's struggle with tax reform. The document is titled Lessons from Kansas: A Behind the Scenes Look at America’s Most Discussed Tax Reform Effort. A few remarks and quotations: It may be difficult for us in Kansas to see how the rest of the country views our state. But it's all about the struggle between those who want more government, and…
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How would higher Kansas taxes help?

How would higher Kansas taxes help?

Candidates in Kansas who promise more spending ought to explain just how higher taxes will -- purportedly -- help the Kansas economy. Are low taxes important to an economy, especially a state economy? When the Tax Foundation looked at the issue, it concluded this: "In this review of the literature, I find twenty-six such studies going back to 1983, and all but three of those studies, and every study in the last fifteen years, find a negative effect of taxes on growth."[1. McBride, William. What Is the Evidence on Taxes and Growth? Tax Foundation, 2012. http://taxfoundation.org/article/what-evidence-taxes-and-growth.] Many of these studies…
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Kerr’s attacks on Pompeo’s energy policies fall short

We often see criticism of politicians for sensing "which way the wind blows," that is, shifting their policies to pander to the prevailing interests of important special interest groups. The associated negative connotation is that politicians do this without regard to whether these policies are wise and beneficial for everyone. So when a Member of Congress takes a position that is literally going against the wind in the home district and state, we ought to take notice. Someone has some strong convictions. This is the case with U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican representing the Kansas fourth district (Wichita metropolitan…
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The Obama tax cuts

In the presidential debate last week, President Barack Obama spoke of his tax cuts: "So at the same time that my tax plan has already lowered taxes for 98 percent of families, I also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times. And what I want to do is continue the tax rate -- the tax cuts that we put into place for small businesses and families." Are these Obama tax cuts "real" cuts that will lead to economic growth, or just government spending programs in disguise? For tax cuts to be productive in growing the economy, they have to be…
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