Monday, February 8, 2016

Austerity Always Fails, But Bevin Still Demands It

Because austerity works great for a handful of billionaires like Governor Lying Coward, who is perfectly fine with austerity destroying the middle class and turning workers into serfs.

Any business person knows that when costs are rising faster than revenue, you should raise revenue and not just cut costs.

But year after year, Kentucky governors and legislators think they can slash spending, dole out more tax breaks and keeping putting off overhaul of a tax system that no longer grows with the economy. The math will never work.

Former Gov. Steve Beshear spent eight years cutting more than $1.5 billion in state spending. In 2012, he appointed the bi-partisan Blue Ribbon Commission to again study the often-studied need for tax reform. The commission recommended solutions that would have raised annual revenue by more than $650 million — solutions that have so far been ignored.

Gov. Matt Bevin last month proposed $650 million in additional spending cuts. He included modest increases for some areas hit hard by previous cuts. He also directed money to start fixing pension plans that are in crisis after years of under-funding by lawmakers. But overall, his budget was the latest variation of the same old strategy: rob Peter to pay Paul.
 Conservative economics always fails.

I’ve written frequently about the abject failures of the Brownback administration in Kansas, showcasing not only the immorality but also the practical incompetence of conservative economic theory applied.

Scott Walker has also famously been failing in Wisconsin, where the state’s economy has been in a tailspin as a result of his disastrous policies. 


As Paul Krugman would be quick to point out, this deficit is not the result of overspending, but rather economic malaise directly caused by Scott Walker’s doctrinaire economic theories that have weakened job protections, confidence and consumer demand.

But true to form, Wisconsin Republicans are reacting to the situation not by fixing what they broke, but by proposing a balanced budget amendment that would only make the situation much, much worse.

Balanced budget amendments, of course, are an awful idea that tie governments into straitjackets, preventing them from engaging in deficit spending precisely when it is most needed to offset private sector economic downturns. Conservatives believe in a magic market fairy dust in which government can only distort an economy that would otherwise thrum with perfect efficiency in its absence, and in which the greatest dangers are inflation and deficits, rather than the real threats posed by deflation, high inequality and weak consumer demand.

It’s not just an immoral worldview. It’s a failure at a practical level as well. Kansas and Wisconsin are proving that fact every day.
And Matt Bevin, our only governor, is determined to make Kentucky the next example of repug economics destroying a state.

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