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Justin Fox

Kansas Tried Tax Cuts. Its Neighbor Didn't. Guess Which Worked.

The state is not experiencing a jobs miracle.
Experimenter-in-chief Sam Brownback.

Experimenter-in-chief Sam Brownback.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

For the past few years, Kansas's Republican Governor Sam Brownback and his allies in the state's legislature have been conducting a fiscal experiment involving big cuts in income taxes for individuals and businesses. The theory was that this "march to zero income taxes," as Brownback has called it, would spur entrepreneurship, economic growth and lots of job creation -- 25,000 new jobs in each of the next four years, Brownback pledged during his successful re-election campaign in 2014.

There have been repeated budget shortfalls since Brownback first took office in January 2011, which have led to repeated proclamations in the national news media that the Kansas experiment has failed. In the sense that the tax cuts haven't paid for themselves, that's true.