Grover Norquist defended Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s extensive tax cuts Monday, which critics say are responsible for the state’s current economic woes.
Some even think Kansas’ fiscal problems could cost Brownback his seat.
“He’s actually governed well,” Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They’ve had strong growth.”
More people are moving into the state than are leaving, thousands of small businesses basically no longer have a corporate income tax, and future budgets will be stronger, he said, which are all steps in the right direction. “In the next ten years, a lot of money will come in through growth and that money will go back to taxpayers, not government unions,” he told TheDCNF.
Brownback’s expansive cuts have reduced the corporate income tax to around 6 percent, and will reduce the income tax in the state to zero in the next ten or fifteen years. Some critics say the cuts are too big and too quick, and blame them for slow economic growth.
“What’s the Matter with Kansas” author Thomas Frank argued Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the promised economic boom hasn’t happened, but the cuts have crippled the budget by cutting off state revenues. And in May, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the state’s credit rating, citing a lack of spending cuts to balance the tax cuts, and a slow economic recovery.
Norquist dismissed the downgrade as a political move, and blamed the economic problems on the governors prior to Brownback. “He’s only recently passed these reforms,” he said. “And they didn’t promise immediate recovery.”
“They’ve been living for 30 or 40 years with this establishment lack of government reform,” he added.
Other attacks on Brownback’s reforms are in part from angry former Kansas Republican legislators, Norquist said, who Brownback campaigned against and pushed out of office so he could accomplish his reforms. “These are not liberal moderates,” he said. “It really is people who aren’t there to do anything, and to make friends with the status quo, which happens to be unacceptable from people who want more liberty.”
The Real Clear Politics polling average currently shows Brownback’s Democratic opponent Paul Davis with a narrow lead in the race.
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