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A Failed Experiment And A Republican Revolt In Kansas

This article is more than 5 years old.

Kansas lawmakers – Republicans – revolt and undo their own austere tax cuts. We’ll unpack what happened to the GOP’s “Kansas Experiment.”

The Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (Charlie Riedel/AP)
The Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

The state of Kansas was supposed to be the great Republican model. Cut taxes deeply, said Governor Sam Brownback, and it would be “like a shot of adrenaline in the heart of the Kansas economy.” The taxes were cut. The adrenaline never showed. Things fell apart. Last week, Kansas Republicans revolted against their hardline governor, overrode his veto, and ditched the model. This hour On Point: The Kansas Republican revolt against supply side economics, and what it means. -- Tom Ashbrook


Jim McLean, managing director of the Kansas News Service. (@jmcleanks)

Patrick Miller, assistant professor of political science at The University of Kansas, where he focuses on local government. (@pmiller1693)

Rep. Melissa Rooker, Kansas Republican representative for the 25th district. (@MelissaRooker)

Max Ehrenfreund, policy reporter for the Washington Post. (@MaxEhrenfreund)

From Tom's Reading List

Kansas News Service: Kansas Lawmakers Raise Taxes And Spending Before Ending Session — "Their final act was to approve a two-year budget plan that supporters say will start the process of repairing damage done by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts. But the session’s climatic moment occurred a week earlier when lawmakers overrode Brownback’s veto of a bill that largely reversed those cuts. A group of moderate Republicans and Democrats elected since the passage of the tax cuts in 2012 helped lead the charge, but even some lawmakers who initially supported the cuts joined the override effort."

New York Times: Brownback Tax Cuts Set Off a Revolt by Kansas Republicans — "Gov. Sam Brownback’s leadership of Kansas came to be synonymous with a single, unyielding philosophy: Cut taxes, cut the size of government, and the state will thrive. But this week, Mr. Brownback’s deeply conservative state turned on him and his austere approach. Fed up with gaping budget shortfalls, inadequate education funding and insufficient revenue, the Republican-controlled Legislature capped months of turmoil by overriding the governor’s veto of a bill that would undo some of his tax cuts and raise $1.2 billion over two years."

Washington Post: Republicans are predicting the beginning of the end of the tea party in Kansas — "Kansas was at the heart of the tea party revolution, a red state where, six years ago, a deeply conservative group of Republicans took the state for a hard right turn. Now, after their policies failed to produce the results GOP politicians promised, the state has become host to another revolution: a resurgence of moderate Republicans."

This program aired on June 13, 2017.


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