“WE HAVE gone too far to the right and are now swinging back to the centre,” says Melissa Rooker, a Republican state representative. Ms Rooker was one of the moderate Republicans who on June 6th joined forces with Democrats in the state house to override a veto by Governor Sam Brownback. The bill in question aims to raise $1.2 billion over two years by increasing income taxes and repealing a tax exemption for small businesses. In votes only a few hours apart, 49 of the 85 Republican members of the state house and 18 of the state’s 31 Republican senators voted against the Republican governor.
The veto override’s significance goes far beyond a tussle over the finances of an agrarian midwestern state. Mr Brownback is the poster boy for Laffer-curve enthusiasts who believe that lower taxes always boost growth. His radical business- and income-tax cuts, launched in 2012 and 2013, were a political and economic test of how far…Continue reading