Tuesday, July 29, 2014

COLYER AND GEORGE: Facts about economic growth under Brownback

By JEFF COLYER and PAT GEORGE, Community Viewpoint | 3/28/2014

[The following is a submission by Jeff Colyer, Kansas lieutenant governor, and Pat George, Kansas secretary of commerce, in response to a commentary critical of Gov. Sam Brownback’s policies, written by Gary Sherrer and John Moore, two former Kansas lieutenant governors who served under previous administrations.]

A recent column by two former lieutenant governors, “Kansas must change direction on creating jobs,” misrepresented the facts and portrayed an inaccurate image of Kansas’ economic growth.

[The following is a submission by Jeff Colyer, Kansas lieutenant governor, and Pat George, Kansas secretary of commerce, in response to a commentary critical of Gov. Sam Brownback’s policies, written by Gary Sherrer and John Moore, two former Kansas lieutenant governors who served under previous administrations.]

A recent column by two former lieutenant governors, “Kansas must change direction on creating jobs,” misrepresented the facts and portrayed an inaccurate image of Kansas’ economic growth.

As the current lieutenant governor and secretary of commerce, we take this opportunity to set the record straight.

The truth is that the Brownback administration has created a competitive advantage for Kansas: growing jobs, reducing unemployment and stopping a decades-long trend of population decline.

The Brownback administration created 45,400 jobs since taking office in January 2011, with 20,500 of those jobs created in just the past year.

Unemployment is less than 5 percent: its lowest rate since 2008 and among the lowest in the nation.

 The fact is our economic policies are working. Kansas individual income tax receipts for February were $50 million more than expected and withholding tax receipts for the month also were significantly higher than expected. Withholding taxes not only beat expectations but were greater than the amount collected during February 2013, proof that more people are working or receiving salary increases.

We also saw corporate income tax revenue receipts beat the projection by $4.8 million or more than four times the estimate for the month, the third consecutive month of strong returns for corporate income tax receipts.

 Through sound fiscal management, a projected $500 million deficit was turned into a $700 million surplus. Funding for education has increased every year Gov. Brownback has been in office and will continue to do so.

Another fact, overlooked by Sherrer and Moore, is the importance of the governor’s economic policy in attracting new businesses and retaining existing businesses in Kansas. In a recent informal survey by the Department of Commerce, businesses indicated that tax policy was one of the three most important factors in the success of their businesses, along with workforce availability and quality of life.

Brownback has set Kansas on a path to prosperity. Technical education courses, early childhood reading programs and training programs such as Jobs for America’s Graduates, all help Kansans develop the skills to succeed in school and in life.

Sherrer and Moore’s “facts” cite a report from the Center for Budget Priorities, a Washington D.C.-based, George Soros-funded, liberal think tank whose studies often are cited by the Obama administration to justify its tax policies and Obamacare.

These are the straightforward facts, not partisan opinion. We are building a Kansas that works for all Kansans and is the best place to live, work and raise a family.

 

Jeff Colyer is Kansas lieutenant governor. Pat George is Kansas secretary of commerce. Both serve in the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback.

comments powered by Disqus