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The Kansas Economic Miracle



As most of you know, Kansas was provided an excellent test case for supply-side economics. The answer is that upper-class tax cuts have utterly failed to deliver the promised economic growth and caused state revenues to crater, threatening valuable state services. Brad DeLong provides an exhaustive collection of links, concluding:

Let me, for one, say that I am surprised that the economic results of Laffer-Moore grifter tax cuts in Brownbackistan have been so bad. I expected them to be bad. But I expected big tax cuts to steal at least some of the tax base from neighboring Missouri: south of the Missouri River the Kansas-Missouri border is State Line Road, and the state border bisects the two million person Kansas City metroplex. But no: worse than I would have imagined likely, even for Brownback, even for Laffer and Moore.

Moving money from the state budget where it is spent in-state into the pockets of the rich whose marginal propensity to spend in-state is low has consequences. Add in the effects of not expanding Medicaid and the tax cuts, and $1 billion/year of government-funded spending that would be happening were Kansas part of Colorado is not happening. If the in-state multiplier is two, then the simple Keynesian model all by itself accounts for the post-2012 divergence between Brownbackistan and the U.S. average–you don’t need any resort to “uncertainty” generated by the Brownback trainwreck.

And it’s not as if Kansans haven’t noticed what a catastrophe this is — Brownback is enormously unpopular. Which, of course, is why Republicans want elections in which 1)as few people as possible vote and 2)the wealthy minority that actually benefits from policies that are disastrous for everyone else can spend huge amounts of money in election campaigns. It seems worth noting as well that Paul Ryan is fully committed to Brownbacknomics, which might be worth keeping in mind the next time someone tells you that being indifferent about the results of the next federal election is a self-affirming consumer choice and refusing to support Hillary Clinton will really stick it to BIG NEOLIBERAL.

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  • I do have to wonder what we would do if we found ourselves with an honest-to-god failed state on our hands.

    • Warren Terra

      Traditionally we’ve ignored them except to mock their accents. But Kansans don’t even have a remarkable accent …

      • DAS

        The chair of my uni’s biological sciences department is from Kansas. He sounds just like Bob Dole.

        My relatives from Kansas are from the KC suburbs, though, and do not have any sort of distinctive accent (although the relatives that stayed in MO, and moved to Poplar Bluff, have southern accents).

        • Linnaeus

          A retired faculty member in my department (and a very good historian of science) is a native Kansan. His accent sounds very, for lack of a better word, generic. He speaks in a very calm and understated fashion; his vocal inflections are minimal and I can’t even imagine what he would sound like if he were sad or angry.

    • CaptainBringdown

      Welcome to Kansas, America’s Somalia.

    • Denverite

      Feds would agree to pay for basic government services for an interim period and the state would agree to transition to paying for those services itself with an appropriate revenue source.

      • Under what vehicle, though? Would we declare the entire state of Kansas a disaster area? Would we demand a ‘regime change’ in order to release the funds? True, some people are free to leave Kansas and go elsewhere, but many are tied to the land as farmers and homeowners. Is it possible for a U.S. state government to actually fail, as in democracy ceases to exist for the population and it turns to alternatives? Would the federal government even tolerate an non-democratic state in it’s midst? Kansas will probably be marginally saved when the voters toss out Brownback, but I wonder what would happen if he got reelected (or someone just like him) and Kansas kept spiraling down. How far down could it possible go?

        • Denverite

          You’re asking two different questions.

          As far as a non-democratic state, at some point, the feds would go to court and invoke Article IV. (Or a private citizen would, though it’s questionable whether that is an actionable right.)

          As far as a “failed” state (in the sense that the state no longer can provide basic government services), I assume that the assistance would be triggered by a request from the sitting government. Whether that takes the form of disaster relief or whatnot, I don’t know.

          • DAS

            If the failures of the state result in an inability for due process of law to occur, then whomever didn’t receive due process could sue, couldn’t they? The issue is whom they would sue, considering how sovereign immunity gets abused.

            I don’t think the authors of the constitution imagined a state being governed by a political party hell bent on destroying the government they ran.

          • Article IV simply states that each state shall be some form of republican (small r) government. This would prevent the citizens of Kansas from rewriting the state constitution to a monarchy, but also, interestingly enough, to a direct democracy, too.

            From a failed state perspective, if Kansas ever found itself in a position of not being able to enforce a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, it would undoubtedly call in the Feds (as you stated) to help enforce it, in the same way that Kansas would be called in if the same happened within one of its cities. If the Kansas government refused help, I suspect that the Feds would just step in to restore order and let the courts fight it out when said and done.

            Interestingly, there seems to be little information on the Internet as to the scenario by which a state purposely drove itself into the ground. I guess the feeling is that, being a republican form of government, the people would at some point step in and kick out the bad actors before things got too dire, but I think Kansas is definitely pushing the envelope.

            • Michael Cain

              This would prevent the citizens of Kansas from rewriting the state constitution to a monarchy, but also, interestingly enough, to a direct democracy, too.

              Although last term’s Arizona v. Arizona decision allows for a parallel direct democracy for legislative purposes in the form of citizen ballot initiatives. Such are generally immune to a governor’s veto, as well. Here in Colorado, many of the “tough” decisions are being settled by initiative, not the regular legislature and governor: taking away the legislature’s ability to impose tax rate increases, renewable electricity mandates, legal marijuana. This November there’s a single-payer health insurance amendment to the state constitution on the ballot.

              • Probably Congress, even if we had a Congress that actually worked, would not interfere as long as it didn’t hurt the union. It would be hard to say “sorry folks, we don’t allow too much democracy in the U.S.”

          • Mark Field

            I doubt the courts would enforce the “republican form of government” clause, given Luther v Borden. I think it’s up to Congress on its own. Obviously, that won’t happen as long as the Rs control House or Senate.

            • Hogan

              Could Kansas be relegated to National League territorial status?

              • LosGatosCA

                If government was run like a business, there would be a lot of consolidation in the Plains and Mountain states.

                Montana/Idaho/Wyoming would be a single state, same for the Dakotas, Nebraska/Kansas/Oklahoma, the four corner states.

                That would be 12 states down to 4. All those red state senators gone – about 16.

                That would do a lot to restore representative democracy as well as lower government OH.

        • ColBatGuano

          Would we demand a ‘regime change’ in order to release the funds?

          Maybe the feds could find evidence of mythical WMD’s and just invade?

    • ThrottleJockey

      Why wonder? We just gave Puerto Rico bankruptcy protection didn’t we?

      • Puerto Rico is not a state. It can be treated differently.

        • ThrottleJockey

          How would that play politically? I can hear Limbaugh now, “The Feds bailed out them Mexicans in Puerto Rico but won’t bail out the natural born red blooded Americans in Kansas!”

          And do you think the progressives who supported the Puerto Rico restructuring would be any less likely to do so in Kansas case? Take a look at Sotomayor’s dissent in Puerto Rico’s recent case. She basically said, screw the explicit text of the statute Puerto Rico needs help now. I doubt her feelings would differ in Kansas’ case. I think she’s representative of the typical progressive on issues like this.

          • At one time I used to think that the Feds would do whatever it took to preserve the union. Now, I’m not so sure. If Kansas were to actually enter ‘failed state’ status, I think the Republicans in Congress would use that as yet another claim that gubmint don’t work, that Kansas should be able to pass a monarchy/dictatorship if it wants too, etc., etc.

            • Colin Day

              But the republican-state-government clause mandates that the Federal government act.

              • Craigo

                The problem with that clause is that it’s been litigated so seldom that nobody really knows what it means. Or more precisely, it means whatever you want it to mean.

          • Linnaeus

            I can hear Limbaugh now, “The Feds bailed out them Mexicans in Puerto Rico but won’t bail out the natural born red blooded Americans in Kansas!”

            Eh, I’m not sure that Limbaugh would use the case of Puerto Rico as an argument for a Kansas bailout. More likely, he’d say that no place, Puerto Rico, Kansas or wherever, should be bailed out.

            • Pseudonym

              No, see, it’s not a bailout in Kansas’s case, it’s just releasing them from the unconstitutionally heavy burden of, say, having to pay corporate income taxes.

    • Yankee

      Pretty much like what happened to Detroit, I imagine.

      • efgoldman

        Well, states have placed cities under receivership. Some have worked (Chelsea, MA) and some are failures (Anycity, MI). It really depends who’s running the state and whether the action is made out of good will, to restore the city, or malice, to destroy Democratic city government.

        • Linnaeus

          some are failures (Anycity, MI)

          Ouch. That’s cold, man.

          • John Revolta

            Naw. That’s goldman.

          • Colin Day

            Hey, it’s Michigan. And the lake-effect snow doesn’t help.

    • Ahuitzotl

      Call it Florida and send a felon to govern it, is the traditional approach

    • zoomar

      Rick Schneider for governor of Kansas!

  • postmodulator

    Do the Republicans even need to cheat that bad? Brownback was unpopular in the runup to 2014. Were he not term-limited out, I would bet money on him to retain the seat in 2018. (For some perspective, I have never bet on an election, a sporting event, or even a lottery ticket before. I don’t gamble.)

    • Pat

      One of my friends, who is a Trump supporter, explained to me that it was necessary to completely destroy the government of Kansas in order to get the public unions to give up their pensions.

      • jmauro

        Sigh. Without the pensions the cost of labor for the state will go through the roof. So it’ll wind up being more expensive than before.

        I mean, who do they expect to be a teacher in the state at minimum wage with no benefits of when other states have shortages and are offering more money/benefits.

        • Davis X. Machina

          The psychic wage, though, is hyuuuuuge.

        • postmodulator

          Like the map a couple of months ago, showing South Dakota teachers making an average of about $7k less a year than in all the surrounding states, accompanied by quotes from South Dakotans mystified by their teacher shortage.

          • Linnaeus

            Not only that, but fewer people are entering teacher education programs. I read an article recently about how teachers from Michigan have long been in demand in other states because, apparently, Michigan’s teacher training and certification is very good (seems that’s one thing so far that the lege and its rubber stamp Snyder have not managed to destroy). Enrollments in teacher ed in Michigan are down, though, and it has some recruiters worried about what they will do next.

            • Kurzleg

              I heard a program on NPR several months ago about Michigan’s teacher certification program, and it’s far more rigorous in terms of in-class experience. If I recall correctly, teachers spend something like 2 years student teaching.

            • Pseudonym

              So would you say that Michigan’s normal schools are abnormally good?

            • Ahuitzotl

              its rubber stamp Snyder

              What? I thought he was eaten by a giant snake/demon? Do we need to dig up Richard Wilkins III again?

        • DAS

          They expect people who lost their jobs in other economic sectors because the GOP has tanked the economy to teach for minimum wage because, hey, it’s more money than no income at all!

      • advocatethis

        I was going to ask “and then what?”, but then I realized that for these people screwing public employees is a sufficient goal by itself. As screwing people who have something that you don’t have (in this case, a pension) is also usually a sufficient goal for these people, this is a double win.

        • so-in-so

          Some of them are probably minorities as well – hat trick!

        • Emmryss

          If the politicians who just took Britain out of the EU never asked themselves “then what” why should Kansas?

          • NonyNony

            To be fair – most of the politicians who just took Britain out of the EU seemed to think that they didn’t need to plan for it because it wasn’t going to happen. That’s why they’re standing down now – because they thought they were performing some cheap political theater and didn’t realize that there would be actual consequences!

        • Linnaeus

          It’s really striking. Here in Washington, we voted to privatize liquor sales about four years ago (prior to that, you could only get beer and wine in grocery stores and the like). When I’d read the comment sections of various online news articles about it (yeah, I know it’s a self-selected population), so many commenters were focused not so much on the supposed lower prices and better selection, but on the fact that liquor store employees would be losing their jobs as state employees and how awesome that would be.

          Now, it’s fine to argue whether the state should be in the business of liquor sales, but it’s almost as if these folks didn’t even care about the economic fundamentals of the issue. They just wanted state employees gone.

          • so-in-so

            So, Kansas could solve their budget crisis by having having state employees sit out in front or the capitol with a sign “Kick me! $1.00 per kick.”

            • Caepan

              If Brownback did that, he’d erase his state’s $1.1 billion deficit in a month!

              Even if you were only allowed one kick per dollar, and if you wanted to do it again you’d have to go to the back of the line.

              • Colin Day

                Sorry to drag math into this, but at 1 kick per second, 86,400 seconds perday, and 31 days per month, that’s only about 2.6 million dollars a month. You would need approximately 400 months (33 years and change) to get $1.1 billion.

                • Ahuitzotl

                  $2.6m per state employee!

      • Domino

        Do these people honestly not think about where exactly those people are supposed to get their retirement?

        “Sorry, that monthly check that you depend on won’t be coming anymore, go get another job to make up for it you moocher”.

        • Pat

          That’s what I asked my friend, who just shrugged and said it had to be done. Logic didn’t really have a home in that conversation.

        • DAS

          I think one answer you’d hear is “you should have realized that your pension was too good to be true and saved your own money for retirement”.

          • Malaclypse

            Flounder, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can help.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          This has already happened to some people who had pension plans which went bankrupt. There’s a federal insurance plan that under some conditions can kick in, but it’s almost broke and it doesn’t come close to fully funding the lost pension money, either.

    • NewishLawyer

      Yeah, the big issue with Kansas is that they have always been an ardently Republican state. They haven’t had a Democratic Senator since 1939! The last time they voted Democratic in a Presidential election was 1964.

      The question is whether they could have done this destruction in any other state. Or how many states are so ardently Republican than they would keep voting GOP no matter the disaster?

      • Even Louisiana voted in a Democratic governor.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Kansas is Republican in Federal elections but state politics is competitive. Sebelius was Kansas’ governor before she was Obama’s Secretary of Obamacare… From what I hear Brownback is a true believer. And don’t forget the Koch’s are headquartered in Kansas.

        • postmodulator

          From what I hear Brownback is a true believer.

          Yeah, you gotta give him that, he didn’t blink on his disastrous policies even when it looked like he might have to face some consequences for them. Of course, when he won reelection, he doubled down; for instance, he’s basically attempting to dissolve the judiciary.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          KS state politics used to be competitive, but Dems are down to 22% of the House and less in the Senate. And Brownback has led a purge of the “moderate” Republicans so basically the majority are all RWNJs or anti-abortion/anti-gay militants (if you see them as being different groups.)

    • Yeah, I was gonna say, Brownback is so wildly unpopular that he was easily re-elected.

      • postmodulator

        In fairness, he’s more unpopular now, and the race was tighter than you would expect. I just don’t think it would matter — the race wasn’t as tight as all that. (4% or so, I think.)

        • ThrottleJockey
          • witlesschum

            If it took effect in 2012, then some of that tax cut went to one Charles Weiss, card-carrying supergenius, who was until recently being paid to not coach football at both Kansas and Notre Dame. Self is at least competent, though Bill Snyder ought to be the highest-paid coach in college sports if we were going by a ratio of difficulty to achievement.

            • Domino

              Of note politically: Kansas State University had to publicly criticize him after he shot a short video supporting Pat Roberts for re-election, with the university football stadium behind him in the shot.

              As someone who has had a parent go to both KU and KSU, I’ve actually tended to always pull for KSU football and basketball. Snyder’s revival has been mentioned numerous times, but it is the kind of story that almost can’t be told enough.

              All that said, I’d hate to work for him – the man is a notorious micromanager that works 80 hour weeks and expect his staff to also put in a lot of hours. So much so that when Stoops left for OU, he did not want his staff to work the hours he was under Snyder.

      • Domino

        There was a NY Times article roughly a month ago that starts off chronicling a suburban mother who voted for Brownback, but now that education cuts are really hitting home now, she’s running for office and no longer a supporter of his.

        When I read it, I went “well that’s nice, but what exactly did you think Bronwback was going to do?” I suppose it’s a combination of “Won’t happen to me, it’ll be those moochers” and true belief in Republican talking points.

        • postmodulator

          “well that’s nice, but what exactly did you think Bronwback was going to do?”

          There have been a number of studies where pollsters read the GOP platform to loyal GOP voters, and they either don’t believe it or state that it must not have been meant seriously.

          Or, to use an Internet Tradition: you know who else said exactly what he would do when he got into office?

          • so-in-so

            I’ve known a couple of otherwise seemingly reasonable people who came out with “my family has ALWAYS voted GOP, I simply can’t imagine doing anything else…”. Which kinda works against using logic or explaining policy as an argument.

      • Peterr

        What do you mean, “easily”?

        There was nothing easy about it. He was running behind for most of the campaign, and won because he kept saying “This turn-around will take time” and the hardcore GOP that was turning out for down-ticket races put Brownback over the top. To borrow from an old SNL skit, Dems sounded like faux-Dukasis: “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

        Brownback was running scared, and even so barely eked out a win.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          He still runs strong among the anti-abortion/anti-gay folks who dominate KS Republican politics. My sense is that if you gave most of them the trade off of totaling banning abortion and gays in exchange for a total economic collapse they’d take it on the grounds that “God will provide” or “God will reward our being faithful” or even “God is punishing us for not having banned abortion and gays sooner”.

          These people are almost as dogmatic as those other famous KS religionists, the Phelps followers.

      • efgoldman

        Brownback is so wildly unpopular that he was easily re-elected.

        Didn’t they get something like only ~40% of voters? He was so unpopular that some Republiklown legislators were against him. But people couldn’t be assed to go to the polls. They suppressed their own votes.

  • rachelmap

    I expected big tax cuts to steal at least some of the tax base from neighboring Missouri: south of the Missouri River the Kansas-Missouri border is State Line Road, and the state border bisects the two million person Kansas City metroplex.

    I guess the job creators don’t want to live or work in a no-services shithole.

    • Warren Terra

      Or even to visit their money there.

      Though I seem to recall Erik writing a book about wealthy people being perfectly happy investing in no-services sh!tholes much worse than Kansas. Maybe Kansas just needs to be even worse, and it can capture the sweatshop market!

      • rachelmap

        Aren’t the shitholes Erik wrote about more difficult to leave than Kansas?

        • Warren Terra

          Not according to Donald Trump!

        • postmodulator

          For a wealthy person, no place is difficult to leave unless they nail your feet to the ground.

          • For a wealthy person, no place is difficult to leave unless they nail your feet to the ground.

            Sounds like a good plan to me!

            • N__B

              Dimmsdale Pirhana’s day in the sun draws near.

    • Michael Cain

      Someone further upstream mentioned the Kochs being based in Kansas. Note that of the four brothers, one lives in Massachusetts and two in New York. Only Charles, who is apparently the nuts-and-bolts guy running the core businesses, lives in Wichita.

  • c u n d gulag

    “Toto, something tells me we’re not in Kansas anymore…”

    “Arf-arf (‘Thank fucking God’ – in dog language)!!!

  • Boots Day

    One way in which the Kansas experiment laid bare the GOP’s priorities: The initial policy was a massive slashing of taxes on the wealthy. When that made the state’s revenues collapse, rather than reversing those tax cuts, the GOP raised regressive taxes on ordinary working people.

    The GOP isn’t focused on cutting taxes for everyone. It’s more than happy to raise taxes on regular folk. The focus is exclusively on cutting taxes for the wealthy.

    • postmodulator

      See above. The rhetoric trumps the reality, every time. A distressingly large number of people believed Obama raised their taxes, and that’s despite the fact that most people see their own tax bill every year. Has anyone polled the people whose taxes Brownback raised? Do they know he did it?

      • NonyNony

        I would assume that this:

        A distressingly large number of people believed Obama raised their taxes

        Gives you the answer to this:

        Has anyone polled the people whose taxes Brownback raised? Do they know he did it?

        Obviously Brownback lowered their taxes and Obama raised them which is why they have less money now than they did before Obama took office.

        I’m afraid that the assumption that people are creatures of empiricism will be the downfall of our democracy in the end.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I’ve given up hope of their embracing empiricism and would now be delighted if they’d merely embrace facts.

    • ThrottleJockey

      This, this and this.

    • witlesschum

      It’s the playbook, though Brownback has executed it pretty badly. Michigan is the grownups’ version of the same ideas, though they aren’t carried quite as far.

      • rea

        Apart from poisoning the poor.

        • so-in-so

          Apart from getting caught poisoning the poor.

          Easy fix, no need to thank me.

        • witlesschum

          “Relentless positive action” does sound kind of like a threat, now that I think about it.

    • AMK

      See also “flat tax.”

  • slothrop1

    Oh. Nicely nested “card-carrying neoliberal” Brad DeLong in the post ostensibly refuting HRC’s neoliberalism.

    • Anon21

      He’s not “refuting” HRC’s neoliberalism. He’s saying it’s obviously better than what the GOP is offering, so it’s irresponsible to take actions that make it more likely that the GOP will be in power. And he’s right.

      • slothrop1

        You don’t know that, because she lies about everything.

        We do know that she digs free-trade agreements that completely screw labor. But don’t worry, her biggest donors are champions of American workers.

        • random

          I can’t figure out if this is a right-wing troll pretending to be a left-wing troll or just an abnormally-stupid left-wing troll.

          • Warren Terra

            Let’s be generous and assume sincerity.

            • witlesschum

              People usually become what they pretend to be, so it probably doesn’t matter much.

          • so-in-so

            He has to talk himself into pulling the lever for Der Drumpf somehow.

          • Rob in CT

            It’s the latter, though your confusion is understandable. Poe’s law remains harsh but fair.

          • NonyNony

            For all trolls on the internet you can make a safe assumption:

            They are people who are trying to make the audience on the site they are posting react.

            slothrop1 may be an idiot who believes what they’re posting. They may also be a right-wing idiot who believes the opposite. Or they may be a precocious 8th grader who doesn’t know what they believe yet but knows that they get a laugh by winding up liberals on LGM so they’ll keep doing it until it stops being funny.

            On the Internet you can pretend to be whatever you want to be and no one will ever know. The best way to combat it really not care about their sincerity or not and, when it becomes apparent that they’re not actually here for discussion but instead just to wind people up, stop taking to them.

            • slothrop1

              Brilliant rejoinder. You must have aced your Dale Carnegie course.

              • The Dark God of Time

                I can see you as a sort of Leninist Toastmaster.

                • DAS

                  The Leninist Toastmasters were my favorite band … until they sold out.

                • Warren Terra

                  Ah, yes, the band’s New Economic Policy!

                • John Revolta

                  They were better before they got Populist.

            • John not McCain

              The Dale Carnegie reference indicates someone at least an order of magnitude older than an 8th grader. I’d go with cranky cracker jackass just this side of shouting at clouds.

              • NonyNony

                It’s nice of him to respond in a way that just proves he’s here only to wind people up and not actually engage in honest discussion, though, isn’t it?

                Really I don’t know why so many people insist on responding to people who are clearly here to do nothing more than try to pick fights.

                • slothrop1

                  Yes – You are as substantive as the invisible man, naked.

                • DrS

                  Hey, dumbass, the invisible man has substance. He’s invisible, but he has a body.

                  Get your shit together, you inane, chicken-fingered half-wit.

              • vic rattlehead

                So, slothrop is ~140 years old?

                Gasp! That makes him about the same age as…Albert Einstein!

          • slothrop1

            Well, Gee whiz, I wonder what the Walmarts expect for their massive campaign donations to the Victory fund?

            No doubt, nothing.

            • tsam


              If you’d care to catch up with reality, here’s some light reading material. I’m sure none of those donors expected anything in return because Sanders isn’t a real politican.

              • efgoldman

                because Sanders isn’t a real politican.

                Actually from watching him since January, that’s pretty much true. He’s not real good at politics.

                • Murc

                  Yeah, he only got elected a whole bunch of times as a member of a third party in a two-party system, has a long and impressive legislative record in the Senate, and came out of nowhere to credibly and competitively challenge one of the titans of the modern Democratic Party in a race that was way tighter than anyone thought it’d be a year ago today.

                  But yeah, he’s shitty at politics. Complete crap. He barely knows what a bill is.

              • slothrop1

                Tsam, those are from PACs – employee contributions.

            • witlesschum

              I expect Hillary Clinton wants to serve two terms. If she’s not afraid enough of the Democratic Party’s membership to be warned off from doing WalMart’s bidding, that’s our fault.

          • Redwood Rhiadra

            He is an entirely typical example of the Bernie-or-Bust “progressive”.

            • slothrop1

              “Progressive,” she says, he says, with a sneer. That’s why I like this blog – I love you faux liberals.

              • Redwood Rhiadra

                I sneer because real progressives know that Clinton is solidly liberal on a wide variety of issues (15th most liberal member of the Senate when she was in it – making her solidly in the left half of the Democratic party). But Bernie-bot “progressives” look at only a couple of issues she is more centrist on, and declare her a DINO or even a Republican based on those few issues alone.

                • slothrop1

                  Whatever. Whatever gets you through the night.

          • efgoldman

            I can’t figure out if this is a right-wing troll pretending to be a left-wing troll or just an abnormally-stupid left-wing troll.

            Well, s/he was just as wrong in the hoops thread. That’s a tell.
            I believe there’s a tinfoil hat involved.

            • slothrop1

              No I wasn’t. I will admit to my mistake made about “volume shooting.”

              He’s not very good on defense. Kevin love is actually a better defender. There is this guy named Lebron James. If they sign Wade, and somehow keep Love, I think they probably win again.

              • Juicy_Joel

                He’s not very good on defense. Kevin love is actually a better defender.


              • Craigo

                He’s not very good on defense. Kevin love is actually a better defender.


      • Ahuitzotl


        • slothrop1

          I’m not a troll. I disagree with your HRC love.

          • The Dark God of Time

            Do you have a newsletter one could subscribe to?

          • Richard Gadsden

            You don’t have to love her to vote for her.

            The only people whose love for her matters are Bill and Chelsea.

  • Tyro

    As with all economies, eventually Kansas’s will stop shrinking and start growing at a sow but steady pace. At that point, Brownback and his cronies will declare “success.”

    People like Brownback like to brag that they’re from a low-tax state (Gary Johnson is infamous for this). They never brag about their state having a low poverty rate or being healthy

    • Lev

      Well, timing is everything. Jimmy Carter’s pick for Fed Chair solved the inflation crisis and turned the economy around. Unfortunately, he did it several years after Carter left office.

      • DAS

        Also, in NYC, Dinkins really turned the city around, which became noticeable just in time for Giuliani to take credit.

        • vic rattlehead

          I know that Dinkins hired a shitload of cops and introduced community policing, but wouldn’t the more accurate answer be that neither turned NYC around? The trend since what is it, 91, was falling crime nationwide.

          But yes, to the extent that the city government deserves credit, Dinkins deserves at least as much if not more credit than Giuliani.

          • DAS

            Your point is very true indeed. Crime wasn’t the only issue: some of the problem in NYC was corruption and some very bad deals the city had made (some of which involved a certain presidential candidate and the opossum on his head). IIRC, Koch undid some of this mess and Dinkins undid the rest.

            But Giuliani came around and took credit for everything good that happened in NYC during his tenure, even if everything good that was happening just was following trends that started under Dinkins and that actually slowed down under Giuliani.

    • As with all economies, eventually Kansas’s will stop shrinking and start growing at a sow

      and Jodi Ernst will be there to ward off any potential boars!!!

      • Vance Maverick

        Muphry’s Law is a harsh mistress.

      • Warren Terra

        Let he who is without typos cast the first scone.

        • Linnaeus

          Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah!

        • postmodulator

          Funny. I was literally eating a scone right when you submitted this.

  • A Rising Ape

    Yeah, you keep browbeating in those Sanders strawmen Lwmieux, that will get those idiots on your side!

  • John F

    Brownback was re-elected in 2014: 49.8 to 46.2

    Kansas went for Romney 60:38
    Kansas went for McCain 57:42

    Jerry Moran was elected to the Senate in 2010 by a 70:26 margin
    Pat Roberts was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 by a 53:42 margin (he was elected 60:36 in 2008)

    Cook has Kansas as R+12
    2014 the GOP won 50.7 to 44.9, so Brownie “should” have been re-elected 62.7 to 32.9…

    So, by being the worst possible trainwreck imaginable he moved the needle 13 points… which is not enough to flip Kansas in an off-year election.

  • anonymous

    The lesson of Kansas and Louisiana is that heightening the contradictions will eventually work but a lot of people will suffer while the “heightening” is taking place.

    In the case of Louisiana, it worked and John Bel Edwards became governor with an explicit mandate to reverse the policies of his predecessor Jindal.

    In the case with if Kansas, more heightening may be needed. In 2014, it was close but not quite there.

    • Craigo

      The lesson of Kansas and Louisiana is that heightening the contradictions will eventually work

      No, it doesn’t. John Bel Edwards will spend his entire tenure just trying to repair the damage. The thesis of heighten the contradictions is that the situation will improve relative to the status quo, not that it will eventually return to it.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    To add a bit of flavor, those not familiar with KS probably assume that Brownback defeated a Democrat to be re-elected.

    The Democratic candidate withdrew before the election in hopes that the independent candidate might win, given that Brownback was almost certain to win in a 3-person race. But it’s also a sign of how hated Democrats are by a majority of KS voters that even having that label is suicide in most parts of the state.

    Also, there’s the meme that KS used to be sane until recently. It’s worth noting that the Temperance movement more or less started in KS, so the state has a long history of hyper-active conservative religionists.

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