Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ALEC denies economic science as well as climate science.

Governors in Wisconsin and Kansas who followed ALEC's economic playbook to a T are now defending anemic job growth, large budget deficits and stalled or declining median income.

The architect of ALEConomics is Arthur Laffer, the man who invented 'trickle down' economics (which didn't work either).

Laffer claims to be an economist, but his clownish 'economic' analysis embarrasses the profession.  Even economists who agree with Arthur Laffer say he's a laughingstock.

Every year Arthur Laffer authors a study called 'Rich States, Poor States.'The Center for Media and Democracy calls it "a lobby scorecard ranking states on the adoption of extreme ALEC policies that have little or nothing to do with economic outcomes.

The Koch brothers directly funded the 2014 report, released in April. They have for many years funded ALEC itself.

In 2014, Laffer ranked Kansas 15th and Wisconsin 17th in 'economic competitiveness.' Their governors, Sam Brownback and Scott Walker, followed his playbook. They cut taxes on the rich and raised them on working people.

Today, both states are creating fewer jobs than the national average. And both states face large and growing budget deficits.


In Kansas, Sam Brownback directly followed Arthur Laffer's advice, cutting the income tax and creating huge tax loopholes for corporations. Here's what happened:
Laffer ranked Missouri behind Kansas (24th vs. 15th), probably because it did not cut its income tax as the Koch brothers wanted. Missouri added four times as many jobs as Kansas and grew twice as fast.

The budget shortfall in Kansas is forcing cuts to public education and school closings. Voters are so angry they may just replace

Scott Walker ran for governor of Wisconsin promising to create 250,000 new jobs. He won't come close. Since attacking public sector unions and giving tax breaks to corporations that outsource jobs,

  • Median income fell in Wisconsin by 1.2 percent since 2008;
  • Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest in income growth, according to Politifact
  • Wisconsin faces a $471 million budget shortfall next year;
  • Wisconsin ranks 33rd in the nation in job creation and actually lost 4,300 jobs last month. 

  • Next door, Laffer ranked the high-tax, high-spending state of Minnesota 46th in the country, compared to 17th for Wisconsin. Minnesota is very similar to Wisconsin in size, population, climate and industry mix. Minnesota now has the highest percentage of adults in the labor force in the country. Tax collections exceeded expectations. Minnesota also outperforms Wisconsin in per capita income growth and job creation.

    Just as ALEC denies climate science, it denies economic science.