Just ask Kansans: Trump’s new ‘tax cuts lead to growth’ plan is a sham

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday again pushed the deeply flawed idea that massive U.S. tax cuts will lead to economic growth.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that the new plan “will pay for itself with growth.”

As Kansans can tell the rest of America, that’s a bunch of bunk.

You see, Thursday also was the same day that officials in Kansas — which slashed income taxes at the start of 2013 — announced that the state faces at least a $900 million budget deficit the next two fiscal years. Oh, and it could be far worse if K-12 funding has to be boosted by hundreds of millions a year to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

The lesson is clear.

Congress should not follow Trump and his team into the abyss that Kansans find themselves in today, mostly because of the reckless tax reductions Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law in 2012. They have damaged investments in K-12 education, higher education, roads, social services and state pensions.

If Mnuchin’s words sound familiar to some in Kansas, they should.

Let’s rewind the tape of what Brownback said on June 19, 2012, when he was promoting his recently signed income tax cuts in the Sunflower State.

“On taxes, you need to get your overall rates down, and you need to get your social manipulation out of it, in my estimation, to create growth. We’ll see how it works. We’ll have a real live experiment,” Brownback said.

But since then, Kansas has become the bright red, warning light example of how cutting taxes does not lead to economic growth, no matter how much Republican politicians claim it will.

Recently, the Legislature almost repealed the 2012 tax reductions to generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in desperately needed revenue. Unfortunately, Brownback vetoed the bill, and the Senate narrowly sustained it.

On May 1, the Legislature will be back in session. Based on the fiscal numbers released Thursday, it’s more obvious than ever that tax increases will be required to balance the state budget and provide strong public services to Kansans.

In Washington, members of Congress should pay attention to what’s happened in Kansas. They must not repeat the same, huge mistakes that will adversely affect the Sunflower State for years to come.