Sarah K. Burris
September 26, 2016
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback enacted his grand “tea party experiment” of Republican government, where he and his Republican-led legislature cut taxes and significantly reduced spending. The result has been catastrophic for the state’s economy and for jobs, but a report that would detail just how catastrophic is now being censored by the Brownback administration.
According to a shocking Kansas City Star report, Brownback set up a group in 2011 that would put out quarterly reports showing the impact of Brownback’s economic laws. His problem, of course, is that the reports don’t show what he hoped they would. Instead, they reflect the downward spiral of the Kansas economy thanks to Brownback’s failed policies.
Last January, Brownback tried to hide the report when it showed something he didn’t like. Now, they’re going a different route and killing the report entirely. Brownback had hoped that the report would reflect a sudden jolt of economic excitement with the tax cuts. Now, they show that “Kansas sometimes was faring worse than it had before Brownback became governor.”
The administration flatly rejects this account of where the report went, claiming it was always too complicated for people to understand.
“A lot of people found them helpful, but a lot of people were confused by them,” said Nicole Randall, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The Topeka Capitol Journal reports, the council will instead focus on a report authored by the U.S. Federal Reserve for information.
But some see it as a coverup for Brownback’s failure.
“He specifically asked the council to hold him accountable through rigorous performance metrics,” said Heidi Holliday, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. “Five years later, the metrics clearly show his tax experiment has failed while business leaders and local chambers of commerce across the state openly ask him to change course.”
According to House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs, Brownback has missed every benchmark the council set to determine the success of the policies.
“The missed revenue marks, missed job reports, missed projections shed light on his failed policies. I kind of find it a little ironic they chose to go to a federal government report after they blamed President Obama for our economic problems,” Burroughs said.
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