conservative economic failure

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David Atkins looks at what happens when conservative ideologues run their own states and observes that "in spite of conservatism's seeming upswing, there are signs at a statewide level that its ideology is coming apart at the seams. Even conservatives are starting to take notice and worry:"

First and foremost is the laughingstock that extremist Republican Sam Brownback has made of Kansas. Brownback slashed social welfare spending and implemented steep regressive income tax cuts, promising that his Laffer curve-based supply-side economic experiment would bring jobs and prosperity to Kansas while increasing government revenue.

In fact, the opposite has happened. Revenue projections in Kansas are in freefall...

The failure of Brownback's experiment is also being replicated in New Jersey, where governor Chris Christie slashed pensions, cut taxes for the rich, laid off public employees and gave away $2 billion of tax incentives, only to watch New Jersey rank next-to-last in job growth.

He snarks that, "One remarkable result of the failed supply-side experiments is that many Republicans' belief in the Laffer curve has been severely shaken," to which I would add: it only took 35 years! Atkins notes that these recognitions of failure "are earth-shaking admissions:"

Conservatives have been asserting ever since Reagan's first presidential campaign that lower taxes would not only grow the economy, they would ultimately increase government revenues as well. It's difficult to campaign for tax breaks for billionaires if you're also blithely asserting that teachers will be laid off to pay for them. Retreating from the Laffer curve deception will make it much harder for Republicans to pass regressive tax cuts in the future without paying a steep political price.

The failures of Republican economics in Kansas and New Jersey also have worrying electoral implications for Republicans across the country as progressives use them as object lessons and warning signs of what could happen their own states--and the country--if conservative economic ideologues are allowed to gain too much power.

The fact that "Republicans with actual experience in state governance are trying to walk back from the more unpalatable aspects of the Republican economic agenda" is encouraging:

Economic and social realities are exposing the failure of the conservative agenda on a variety of fronts, and Republicans are still being forced to confront those failures and deal with the consequences.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 17, 2015 7:51 PM.

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