After a failed economic experiment meant to boost economic growth blew a hole in the Kansas budget as big as a prairie sky (a $350m deficit in the current fiscal year and nearly $600m in the next) state jobs and services have been slashed. To make ends meet, money that was earmarked for roads has been diverted to the general fund. A state that used to maintain 1,200 miles of road a year is now repairing 200 miles a year. Even in the capital, Topeka, potholes are everywhere.
Kansas has rejected the years-long tax-cutting experiment that brought its governor, Sam Brownback, to international attention and provided a model for the Trump administration’s troubled tax plans. In a warning shot to the Trump administration, even Brownback’s fellow Republicans voted to override his veto of a bill to reverse many of the tax cuts he championed as a way to spur entrepreneurs and the economy, but which have left the state with a $1bn hole in its budget.
Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, sold stock in US banks on the same day he attended a confidential meeting where top level officials disclosed the sector was heading for a deep crisis.