The GOP’s state budget disaster is the best case for Big Government

By Jeff Spross


The Republican Party is cutting a swath of destruction through state budgets.

In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback’s experiment in income and business tax cuts has blown a $344 million hole in the budget for this fiscal year, and a projected $600 million hole for the next fiscal year. Part of his plan to close it is to cut $44.5 million from public schools and universities.

Illinois needs to cut over $6 billion to balance its books. So Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling for a $1.5 billion cut to the state’s Medicaid program, plus $600 million in cuts to local government finances and $387 million in cuts to higher education (though he may have trouble getting those ideas past the Democrats in the Illinois legislature).

Wisconsin’s state budget, meanwhile, faces a $238 million deficit, thanks in small part to tax cuts Gov. Scott Walker pushed through after taking office in 2011. That wiped out a $759 million budget surplus in 2013. Now Walker is looking to cut $300 million from higher education over the next two years, along with cuts to the state park system and its recycling programs, among other things, and to restructure about $100 million in debt payments the state already owes.

These three examples show the GOP’s “tax cuts now, tax cuts forever” ideology remains utterly unconcerned with economic reality. But more deeply, they’re a lesson in some bad choices America made in how to design its national social safety net, which set the stage for the current crises.

In not one of these three cases do the projected budget gaps rise above 1 percent of the income generated annually by the state’s economy. The idea that taxes couldn’t be raised, starting on high earners, to close these holes is risible.

Read more at The Week

Categories: Economic policy, Economics, Education, Health Care, Opinion/Editorial, Political commentary, Politics, Public Health, Tax policy

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3 replies

  1. And as if the deeply flawed economic notions of the Republicans haven’t done enough damage to America at the state level, they now want to force a U.S. constitutional convention to enshrine their stupidity as the law of the land and fulfill their apparent goal of completely destroying America in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do not understand why the American citizens are not standing up to this abuse and fighting back? So many GOP controlled states are being robbed. The party talks about personal responsibility yet they go after workers pensions and our children. Their ideology is flawed and crushing our future.

      I am beginning to wonder if everyone is moving so fast today. Too many are listening to what others say when they should be doing their own research and thinking. Americans appear to be blind to what is happening around them.


  2. My motto: If you like your societies government, pay taxes to support it. 🙂


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