Brownback’s Economic Performance: Nothing But Negative

Brownback’s Economic Performance: Nothing But NegativeKansas Dems

Governor Sam Brownback talks a good game on economic growth. According to Sam, Kansas is turning the corner thanks to his supply-side, trickle down policies that put money back in the hands of “job creators”, spurring the Kansas economy and bringing jobs to Kansas.

Unfortunately for Kansas and the governor, the negative economic news keeps rolling in, undercutting Brownback’s false promises of economic revitalization.

Over the past seven days we saw just how bad things really are: Kansas unemployment is up, Kansans’ incomes are down, child poverty is up, Kansas jobs numbers are below average, and state bonds took a huge hit with a super downgrade brought on by Brownback’s tax break giveaways.

May’s unemployment report showed unemployment rising to 5.7%, well above the historical average for Kansas. While Brownback likes to call the 2000s the “lost decade”, Kansas annually averaged sub-5% unemployment in the 2000s, well below today’s 5.7% level.

We also learned today that personal incomes in Kansas are falling, down 1.2% for the first quarter of 2013. This loss of income adds insult to injury for working Kansans who will also see their taxes go up thanks to Brownback’s tax plan that permanently raises sales taxes and drastically reduces income tax deductions like the home mortgage interest deduction.

News for Kansas kids isn’t any better. One in five Kansas children now live in poverty while more Kansas parents find themselves with no consistent employment. What’s more, hundreds of Kansas kids are being kicked out of Head Start and millions of dollars in childhood initiative funds are being used by the governor to pay for even more tax breaks for billionaires and big business.

Kansas workers aren’t fairing well under Governor Brownback either. A report released by the Wichita Business Journal found that Brownback ranks 25th (out of 45) for job creation by governors. In the two-plus years Brownback has steered the Kansas economy, job growth has trailed the national average, sitting at an anemic 1.7% per year. To put that in perspective, If we had maintained merely average growth since Brownback took office, there would be over 6,700 new jobs in Kansas today.

Finally, Kansas government bonds were subjected to a “super downgrade” thanks to Brownback’s unsustainable tax and budget policies. The governor’s policies have led Kansas to a position of “inadequate financial strength”, scaring off investors and increasing economic uncertainty.

What then is certain? With Sam Brownback at the helm, the only thing that is certain is that working Kansans will continue to lose out with higher taxes, less income, and fewer job opportunities.

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