Sam Brownback Officially Leaves Kansas With the Worst Economy in the Plains

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has decided to step down from the governorship of Kansas in order to assume the vital post of ambassador at large for international religious freedom. If you’ve never heard of this position, you’re not alone.

Anyway, this marks the official end of the Brownback era in Kansas. As you may recall, he took office at the start of 2011, declaring that Kansas would be ground zero for a true test of conservative economic principles: slashing taxes on the rich and then making up for it by slashing spending on everyone else. It didn’t work out. To commemorate the full Brownback era, here is employment growth in Kansas compared to its neighboring states:

Brownback had a chance to beat one neighboring state, but at the last minute Oklahoma pulled out of a tie and recorded employment growth a little better than Kansas—despite a brutal recession caused by falling oil prices.

So that’s that. Over the course of the entire Brownback era, Kansas had the worst employment growth of any state in the region. Ditto for GDP growth. I don’t expect this to change any minds, though. Cutting taxes on the rich has never been about economic growth anyway.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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