Rural America Knows GOP Tax Plan: It was Tried and Failed in Kansas

What’s the easiest way to tell if any major government “reform” plan is a sham? If it isn’t rolled out with members of both parties at the microphone touting bipartisanship you probably need to be worried.

We saw it with the GOP’s failed “repeal and replace” health care reform bills and now we are seeing it again with the Republicans’ just announced corporate giveaway tax reform plan (which should really be called “the GOP lacks reform plan”).

So, Rural America, you want to see how the GOP “tax reform” plays out? Just look in our own backyard at the disaster in Kansas, since it’s the model for the newly proposed Republican tax cuts in Congress.

The true, real life horror stories as a result of the budget deficit in Kansas caused by the tax plan imposed on that state  in 2012 would be too scary for even Hollywood to make up. Prison riots, a state worker shot in cold blood, children gone missing and a halt in testing for radioactivity around a nuclear power plant are all blamed on cuts resulting from the GOP tax scheme in Kansas.

To pull off the scam, Kansas GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer teamed up with ultra-conservative state legislators to implement what is known as the “failed Art Laffer tax experiment.” Like the Republicans now running Congress, Brownback claimed the economy would get a jolt, spurring new jobs and new private investment.

Brownback concocted a ridiculous swindle that pretty much gave more than 330,000 rich Kansans and corporations free rein to utilize state services without paying any state income taxes by exempting pass-through income; making royalties and rental income tax free; and eliminating the top bracket of the three-tiered income tax system in Kansas.

Businesses and wealthy Kansans simply gamed the system by reclassifying their entities to avoid paying taxes. In the end there was no new job creation, and there was no great expansion of growth.

Kansas had approximately a $1 billion budget hole within a year, forcing draconian cuts to road and bridge projects; schools; colleges and universities; hospitals; and had to spend all its rainy-day fund. Kansas even had to stop making payments to retirement plans!  Needless to say, the state’s credit rating took a dive.

The Kansas tax deception was so bad that it was GOP state legislators in Kansas who eventually killed it. Yet the Washington Republicans so blinded by their political need and greed are now adopting the same plan — and Art Laffer again is a chief architect, shepherding his flock of disciples named Trump, Ryan, McConnell and Brady.

The Republicans’ failed Art Laffer experiment became a real laugher for the rich and corporate types in Kansas. Now the Republicans in Congress are trying to play that same joke on all of America. The problem is it isn’t funny. It’s scary.

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