Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Something's Cooking in the Labs

Party Eyes 'Red-State Model' to Drive Republican Revival:

Either way, economists agree it could be years before clear conclusions can be drawn from the experiments under way in Kansas and other states.

If successful, the combined tax cuts and pared government spending could reignite slumbering state economies and draw in new residents, while positioning Mr. Brownback and governors such as Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and Indiana's Mike Pence for potential White House bids.

But if they fall short, the policies could leave Kansas and other states scrambling to fill big budget holes for education and social services, while driving investors to other states.

The tax gambles under way in the red states contrast sharply with proposals put forward by some Democratic governors. The governors of Minnesota and Massachusetts have proposed raising income taxes while cutting the sales tax. The trend promises to create unusually stark divisions between conservative and liberal states.

Elections in November left all but 13 states with one-party control of both the legislature and the governor's office, the most in decades. Fully half of all states now have veto-proof legislative majorities, making intraparty disagreements the chief potential threat to legislative agendas.

The reality is that the health of a state’s economy is dependent on numerous factors and government policy is only one of them. If Minnesota booms and Kansas busts or vice versa, it doesn’t necessarily validate the success of either the blue state or the red state model. However, with so many states now so clearly divided into one camp or another it will be interesting to watch as their experiments in democracy play out in the years ahead. I just wish I lived in a state where those conducting the experiments were wearing red lab coats.

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