The Spectacle Blog

The Kansas Miracle

By on 5.30.14 | 11:35AM

When discussing job growth, Texas is usually the first state mentioned, and for good reason. Politico has written about Governor Rick Perry’s ability to poach jobs from blue states and a home for them in his red state. One famous example is Glenn Beck’s decision to move his Blaze headquarters from New York to Texas. Lost in all this Texas talk, however, is another miracle taking place under Republican Governor Sam Brownback.

At a recent Heritage Foundation panel discussing the book An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States, one of the authors, economist Stephen Moore, introduced Brownback to discuss how the governor's policy decisions were creating an economic powerhouse in Kansas.

“It’s time for us to start to start prepping for an American Revolution,” Brownback stated, “and it must be led by the states.” He went on to excoriate the big government policies that many blue states and many in D.C. advocate: “We don’t need to be Europe, and D.C. shouldn’t be Brussels."

“When I came to office, we leveled off state spending and reduced taxes,” he said. Back then the pass-through rate on small businesses was 6.45 percent. “I cut it down to 0 percent." Brownback explained how this and across-the-board cuts on all income levels have affected job expansion in Kansas: “Seventy-seven percent of all businesses in Kansas employ one to ten employees. With these tax cuts, Kansas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.” According to the Kansas Department of Labor, unemployment has dropped from 5.5 percent in April 2013 to an adjusted 4.8 percent in April 2014. “We’ve also had a record number of new business filings,” Brownback said. “We are fourth in the country percentage-wise on new construction.”

Brownback also spoke on the importance of education in influencing his state's economy. “We need technical training,” he said, “to make sure that these students have a skill that they can use.” He concluded, “There are three ways out of poverty: education, a job, and a stable family structure.”

To read more about the panel and the book, check out John Fund’s piece from the National Review here.

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