For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2015
Contact: Brittni McGuire, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bill Cole Tax Plan = Fiscal Disaster
Cole praises budget busting tax plan that failed in Kansas
CHARLESTON, WV— Yesterday, state Senate President Bill Cole came out in support of a tax scheme that would put the state of West Virginia on the road to financial ruin. The West Virginia Gazette-Mail reported that Cole “lauded” the ideas of economist Arthur Laffer, the architect of the Kansas tax plan that resulted in massive budget deficits up to $1 billion.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback adopted the Laffer strategy and it turned out to be an utter failure. Now, Senator Cole wants to implement the same plan here in West Virginia.
“If Senator Cole had his way, West Virginia would go from a balanced budget to a fiscal train wreck overnight,” said Brittni McGuire, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Democratic Party. “The reckless ‘ideas’ endorsed by Senator Cole would mean exploding deficits for our state. The plan that the Senator has embraced failed in Kansas, and would throw West Virginia taxpayers into a budgetary crisis.”
Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, a gubernatorial candidate, lauded Laffer’s ideas but stressed that the government would have to figure out a way to pay for it.
“There’s no question in my mind that, by itself, it could be the single biggest and largest economic driver that this state has ever seen,” Cole said, of a cut in the individual income tax. “I think he’s spot on. I think, virtually, everything he’s said has proven itself out in history.”
That’s not exactly the case.
In 2012, Laffer was a paid consultant to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback when the state passed massive income tax cuts based on his models. Kansas has since faced annual budget deficits ranging from around $400 million up toward $1 billion.
Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who spoke to the Chamber after Laffer, did not sound convinced.
Asked about Laffer’s proposals, Tomblin laughed. He cited several different taxes that recently have been cut. Those cuts have coincided with hundreds of millions of dollars in declining state revenue and also the nation’s highest unemployment rate, he said.