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Archive for Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tax cut solution will have lasting effect in Kansas

Lawmakers also must decide on redistricting as session winds down

May 6, 2012

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What’s more important for Kansas today and in the future: strong schools, a solid social safety net or tax cuts?

That will be the debate this week as legislators approach the final days of the 2012 session.

The decision legislators make will affect Kansas for years to come.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is pushing the Republican-controlled Legislature hard for tax cuts, saying the cuts will turbo-blast the state economy.

Critics say the large tax cuts Brownback wants will deplete state coffers making it impossible for the state to adequately fund schools and social services, which have sustained cuts over the past few years during the recession.

The tax cuts, they say, also will shift the burden of paying for these functions to local governments resulting in an increase in property taxes.

The political backstory of the debate couldn’t be more intense as legislators also fight over redistricting.

Kansas is the last state in the nation to redraw political boundaries to adjust for population shifts over the past decade.

Those district lines will help determine who wins elections for the next decade.

Adjourning the House on Friday for the weekend, House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, told legislators to rest up because this week “could be a dandy.”

Taxing question

Brownback has been pushing since the start of session in January to cut state income and business taxes.

A proposal that has been approved by a House-Senate tax conference committee would reduce the top individual personal income tax rate from 6.45 percent to 5.5 percent for 2013 and then decline in increments to 4.9 percent for 2017, and it would drop the bottom tax rate from 3.5 percent to 3 percent. It would also put into place a tax break for businesses that Brownback said would be a shot of adrenaline to the heart of the economy.

“I think this is overall a good conference committee bill. I think this gets us on a growth curve from the modeling, from experience,” Brownback said. The cuts aren’t as aggressive as he initially proposed, Brownback said, dropping the adrenaline comparison. “The heart’s going to be pumping harder. Better, I should say, not harder.”

But others have said the business tax cut proposal is unwarranted, unprecedented and will have an unknown effect on state revenue. The measure would phase out state taxes on certain types of income for partnerships, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and corporations formed under Subchapter S.

“The new tax break would benefit large corporations and investment vehicles more than the small-business job creators the governor and legislative advocates claim they are trying to help,” a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said.

The Brownback administration maintains that the tax break will give businesses more money to invest and hire.

But Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said the idea that tax cuts will spur the economy is discredited supply-side economics.

“I am getting more emails saying do not cut my income tax if it is going to result in reductions in schools, public safety and highways,” Vratil said.

Opponents of the tax cut plan also are wary of estimates by the Brownback administration that its overhaul of the state’s Medicaid system will produce savings. If that assumption is wrong, the combined effect of traditional growth in Medicaid and the tax cuts will drive the state into huge deficits.

Moderates vs. conservatives

The conference committee tax plan will likely be voted on this week.

Essentially, the only obstacle to enacting the Brownback-endorsed tax plan are Democrats and moderate Republicans in the Senate. That group favors a plan with a smaller price tag that is aimed at controlling property taxes, restoring cuts to public schools and carrying through on current law to drop the state sales tax rate of 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent.

The moderate Republican leadership in the Senate is in the crosshairs of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which is led by Brownback.

Conservative Republicans hold a solid majority in the House, but they are at a slight disadvantage in the Senate, and that is how the tax issue bleeds into redistricting.

Brownback’s allies want new Senate district boundaries drawn in a way that benefits conservative Republicans so that the Senate will be controlled by conservatives in 2013.

Asked point-blank if he was trying to oust moderate Republicans in the Senate through the redistricting process, Brownback gave a one-word answer: “No.”

But during debates in the Senate on redistricting, Brownback’s top staff have flooded the zone on the Senate floor. Republicans and Democrats have said Brownback has cast a long shadow on redistricting. In addition, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce political action committee is working to oust the moderates.

A nuclear option in the House

And if pressure from Brownback, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and the House weren’t enough, there is even more leverage against the moderates.

In March, the Senate killed a $3.7 billion, five-year tax cut, but then moderates reversed course after arm-twisting from Brownback’s office and sent the measure to the House-Senate conference committee to continue work on tax plans.

Now, if the Senate this week rejects the tax-cutting plan that has been approved by the conference committee, the House could simply concur with that more expensive plan already approved by the Senate and put that on Brownback’s desk for his signature.

Speaking to reporters last week, House Speaker O’Neal said he wasn’t making a threat but mentioned that scenario was a possibility.

“The administration tells us that they can make it work. It’s a lot of tax relief in a hurry, so you’d expect a quicker stimulus from that,” O’Neal said. He said he would prefer that not happen, but added, “It happens. Last week in the session, if that’s the only option left when you want to move forward, the option is used. And this wouldn’t be the first time.”

Comments

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 7 months ago

How Much Will Brownback’s Tax Plan Cost You?

Governor Brownback is missing the point. If he wanted to cut taxes for EVERY Kansan he would be pushing for property tax relief.

But he doesn’t want to cut your taxes. His idea of a tax cut will actually cause your tax bill to go up.

And it comes at the expense of the schools that you and families in your community depend on. It puts even more of our most vulnerable at risk. It means state workers won’t see a decent paycheck any time soon.

Contact your legislator today and tell them to support tax relief for ALL Kansans. Tell them to focus on property tax relief, and to forget about Brownback’s income tax cuts that will cost most Kansans more than they pay today.

http://www.workingkansans.com/2012/05/how-much-will-brownbacks-tax-plan-cost-you/

grammarrodeo 2 years, 7 months ago

I may be missing some of the changes but isn't the plan to eliminate the income tax while leaving the sales tax hikes in place? I'm all for property tax cuts, but honestly I'd prefer we focus on eliminating the exemptions that have most of us subsidizing a 0% sales tax for those organized enough to lobby for it. Where's the "regular guy" exemption when I go to Sam's Club to buy a TV? No, instead a $300,000 combine is being bought with no sales tax because farming evidently requires the rest of us subsidizing it at every imaginable turn.

notorious_agenda 2 years, 7 months ago

"decent paycheck" What exactly is a "decent paycheck"? How much actual work for how much money?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

The tax-cut cult should at least be honest about the only truly predictable result of their tax-cutting would be-- the dismantling and/or nearly complete disabling of government.

That won't make the collapse of public education or the social safety net, or the slow crumbling of public infrastructure any less damaging to a functioning economy and society, but at least voters will get a choice of what sort of future they want for Kansas-- a much wealthier 1% at the expense of the government services that have been developed over many decades, or to maintain the relatively minimal government services that the Schadenfreude brigades want to eliminate.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

If it's honesty you want, perhaps you should give honesty, rather than wild exaggerations.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

I am being honest. You're just incapable of recognizing it as you struggle furiously to stake your claim to some mythical middle ground.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Really? "The collapse of public education or the social safety net" is honest? "Schadenfreude brigades" is honest? It's wild exaggeration, which is perfectly fine. But to then call for honesty in return for exaggeration is hypocritical.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

There are certainly those on the right that would eliminate huge parts of our government, both federal and state, and want government to be "small enough to drown in a bathtub".

That would in fact result in the collapse of those systems, as bozo suggests.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I could find one guy on the left and one guy on the right with views so extreme that the comments of Bozo might become real. But that's not what we're talking about here, is it? We're talking about policies that will likely be enacted and what will be the likely consequences. The hyperbole of bozo's comment while calling for honesty are not compatible.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

I don't find them that out of the realm of possibility, given that the folks calling for tax cuts also call for reduced spending on education, social services, etc.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

My objection was for the call for honesty while simultaneously using extreme exaggeration. Schadenfreude Brigades, really.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Some of them are - they want "government small enough to drown in the bathtub".

The problem I have is that we seem to lack a middle ground - we have either the above, who want to virtually eliminate government, and we have pro-government folks who can never seem to find a way to improve government efficiency, or any way to cut wasteful spending.

I'd like to maintain government services, but cut waste/fraud, and make it more efficient - who do I vote for?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Definitely don't vote for Democrats or Republicans. That's been my policy for years.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Then I'm in essence throwing away my ability to affect the outcome of the election, which seems like a waste to me.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

There is little chance that your one vote will decide any individual election. Therefore, whether you vote for the winner, the loser or don't vote at all, makes very little difference from a statistical point of view. The question is, is it important to you that you vote for winners or losers, or is it more important that you vote for candidates that more closely reflect your point of view. There may be many more of them out there than just Democrats or Republicans. (Of course, Democrats or Republicans may wind up being those that most closely reflect your point of view). But there is another strategy that might be at play, should you decide to vote for a third party candidate. Democrats and Republicans respond to two things more than any other. The first is money and the second is a bloc of voters. Should third party candidates be able to deliver either of those, then both the Democrats and Republicans will seek to get either the money or the bloc of voters. In essence, if enough voters vote for third party candidates, and more specifically for any one third party candidate, then one or both major parties will respond by reaching out to those people by responding to their concerns. You might look at it as a vote thrown away now, but an investment in having your voice heard in the future.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

If all of the folks that voted for Nader had voted for Gore, he very well might have won. And, in my view, a Gore presidency would have been significantly better than a Bush one.

One individual's vote isn't probably going to decide an election, but a group of them would.

And, I'm cynical enough to believe that any "reaching out" that's done would be more symbolic than actual.

My point of view is not well represented by any candidates, D, R, or L/I. I would like to see a combination of the values liberals hold as far as social programs, education, etc. with traditional conservative ideas of fiscal responsibility and efficient government.

Oh, and libertarian ideas about consenting adult behavior - like legalizing drugs/prostitution/etc.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Interestingly, if every voter who voted for Nadar had voted for Gore, AND every voter who voted for Buchanan had voted for Bush, then Bush wins (I assume we're discussing the Florida results). Look at the presidential elections of say 1968, 1972 and 1976. What you will see is a greatly diminished vote for third party candidates. Why is that? I would suggest that the policies that gave rise to third party candidates were eventually addressed by the two major parties. Whether that was related to the civil rights issues, or opposition to the Vietnam War, both Democrats and Republicans modified their stances to better reflect the ideas of those voters who had been drawn to third party candidates. If enough people believe as you do, and they vote for third party candidates, one or both major parties will reach out to them. But if their numbers remain miniscule, neither party will be motivated to reach out to them. It's unlikely any candidate or party will fully reflect your positions. You'll have to prioritize. However, if you chooses as your priority a future investment in having a greater voice, at the expense of throwing away your vote now, then you might consider the option I've suggested. But just to reiterate, statistically speaking, you're already throwing away your vote whether you vote Democrat or Republican. So what are you really giving up should you try another strategy. Then again, you could just donate tens of millions of dollars, or you could convince ten of thousands of voters. That, too, will get your voice heard.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 7 months ago

Bush would have still won in Florida???

Sorry, but Nadar got 96,915 votes in Florida while Buchanan only got 17,358.

And the vote difference between Gore and Bush was 1,784 votes. Wanna try again :-)

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Gotta admit you're correct on that one. I'm certain I read that a long time ago. Perhaps later recounts changed the final number. Oh, well.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

The problem with people who seek the middle ground is that it encourages others to be more extreme. Politics in Kansas are already far right of center. Even the democrats in Kansas are right of the republicans in many other states like California, the New England and middle Atlantic and great lakes states. So to accept the middle ground here is to accept what is far right elsewhere.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

I can't help that.

I have to think the best way I can find - and I'm not accepting a "middle ground" in KS - I'm selecting what seem to be the best of various ideologies and combining them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

Just because you're incapable of recognizing the negative consequences of the delusional thinking you share with too many in the governor's mansion and the legislature doesn't mean they don't exist.

Not that you care. Your celebration of Schadenfreude in nearly every post is testament to that.

tomatogrower 2 years, 7 months ago

This is crazy. I thought they believed in the basic supply and demand philosophy. Businesses aren't going to hire because they pay fewer taxes. They are going to hire, because demand for the product or service they produce goes up. It's the middle class and poor people who make up most of the population using these product, yet they will have only a minuscule amount of extra money. There isn't going to be that much of an increased demand. Does Brownback really think that a company who is functioning perfectly well with the amount of employees they presently have is going to hire an extra unneeded worker out of the kindness of their heart, so that worker can get off the public dole? Are they really going to expand their business, because they pay fewer taxes, even though demand for their business hasn't increased? What a laugh. Try joining the real world.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

There are elements of truth in both sides of the argument. As a business owner myself, I've let go employees when the minimum wage was raised. And the people I've let go were my most marginal workers, presumably those most at risk of becoming long term unemployed. So, yes, businesses do respond to tax policies imposed by government. But as you point out, businesses won't hire if taxes are lowered by miniscule amounts. An increase in demand, or at the least, an expectation that there will be an increase in demand is what will drive employers to hire. The real world I live in, the real world my business exists in is one in which I and my business respond to both the demands of consumers and to taxing policies of government.

Jimo 2 years, 7 months ago

"An increase in demand, or at the least, an expectation that there will be an increase in demand is what will drive employers to hire."

Where do you think those consumers get their money to create that demand?

Sorry, but raising minimum wages creates a statistically measurable but irrelevant decline in the demand for labor precisely because of this feedback effect -- more money in poorer people's pockets creates an even larger increase in net economic activity.

Just because that last marginal sale in your business doesn't come with a giant banner overhead saying "Made possible by higher minimum wages" doesn't provide you an excuse to be so shortsighted.

The only employees let go when the minimum wage increases occur where either (a) technology or capital investment can replace some or all of manual labor, which happens--for minimum wages jobs--roughly in 1 out of 4 cases, or (b) the labor component can be shipped overseas where labor is cheaper, which happens--again, for minimum wage jobs--less than 5% of the time.

True, much higher wage jobs tend to be more susceptible to substitution for their significantly more expensive labor. If you're paying $100k in wages/benefits, you're going to looking for alternative approaches. But that isn't true for minimum wage jobs.

In short, if the minimum wage position is, for example, cleaning hotel rooms, it would be impossible to reduce the work force even if the minimum wage doubled (although you might explore letting the rooms be dirtier and see if customers don't notice).

Increasing minimum wages lead to even greater economic payoffs for the whole economy. This is not the least bit controversial among economists who have measured this effect across time, industry, and nations for many decades.

(And of course this leaves aside entirely the biggest effect of all -- high minimum wages push up the wages of employees who make more than the minimum wage.)

I'm uncertain from your comment what industry you're in but, in general, the best thing for your business would be sharply higher incomes for the poor and working class.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I own/operate my own small business, with less than a dozen employees. I'm not likely to ship jobs overseas. What I am more likely to do is work a few extra hours myself, ask my remaining workers to pick up the slack and let the marginal employee go. And in the past, it wasn't a matter of what I might do, it was a matter of what I did. That's the difference between reading a book on economic theory, or reviewing national trends in a column of statistics. It's real world. Your assertions about how a business would/should behave have no effect on the lives of the people I was forced to let go. Would you like their names and contact information so you can tell them directly how it doesn't make sense for me to lay them off?

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 7 months ago

As a business owner and employer myself, I don't understand why you'd fire someone simply because of an increase in the minimum wage...when you say that you deal with it by merely asking your other employees to work some more and put in a few additional hours yourself.

After all...all you're going to save that way is the OLD minimum wage $$ that you'd now be working for free, plus the appropriate company liability which, at minimum wage for a few hours a week, can't be all that much.

I don't get it. Doesn't seem all that fiscally beneficial. But, hey...it's your business.

grammarrodeo 2 years, 7 months ago

It's not normally one thing. When I've resorted to downsizing I've always blamed it on the most recent issue, but really it's a combination of things that push an employee to the margins. If I were taking stock via pie chart today, over half of it would be the drop in demand as the economy has remained in the tank. I don't doubt for a second the assertion that a hike in the minimum wage pushed an employer over the brink with a marginal employee. It could have just as easily been higher unemployment tax or higher worker's comp insurance rates or loss of a contract due to another company downsizing or a number of seemingly minor cost increases. For a while there I was imagining it as an auction. As the costs kept climbing I felt I was talking myself into hanging on. It's just $180 more a month, just $210 more a month, going, going, gone.

Hoots 2 years, 7 months ago

Idiocracy at it's finest. Why don't the folks out in western Kansas just keep a big hammer in their kitchen. That way every 8 years or so they can hit themselves in the head with it. Why is it Kansans elect good people almost every other cycle? We have had some great Governors and then the next round the west inflicts some completely insane moron like Sam Brownback on us all and make this state a complete embarrassment on the national stage. When that jerk was in Congress Kansas was nothing but flyover country and then people are stupid enough to elect him as Governor. Cats have a better memory than most Kansans. Welcome to Brownbackastan.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I disagree I believe governor Brownback is doing his best to correct the Sebelius and Parkinson yrs that left our State almost bankrupted. Name calling never did impress me much either.

coloradoan 2 years, 7 months ago

Refresh my memory - when exactly did Sebelius or Parkinson have a Democrat-controlled Legislature to pass these budgets that supposedly "bankrupted" the State? No? That's what I thought.

pace 2 years, 7 months ago

As it will take decades to repair the national and global economy from the Bush style economic debacle. It may take generations to repair the damage to the Kansas infrastructure from Brownback's spoon feeding of the billionaires at the cost of cuts to education, infrastructure, and culture. We could of had faith in our country instead of wallowing in fear and using it as an excuse to sell out to Kochmania. While Kansas has some history of foolish government and some corrupt officials, never have I felt, until Brownback that we have a corrupt culture ingrained into the state government.

Jon Jambor 2 years, 7 months ago

This article starts with a false choice. It's hard to read any more of it.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

http://www.kansas.com/2012/05/06/2322974/belief-is-not-enough.html This is from the Wichita Eagle. The article should more accurately be called, "Inside the Head of a Religious Rightwing Nut Job. And Why That is Dangerous."

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

More name calling from the liberal left...your so worried about the religious right perhaps now you understand how many of us felt about the religious left honoring late-term abortionists when Sebelius was in office.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

Stating the obvious isn't "name calling", KJH. I suggest you read the article. Then go look in the mirror.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 7 months ago

Just because a business has more money does not mean it will necessarily create more jobs.

Jobs are a business expense, and businesses exist to make money. A business will only hire if there is a demand for their product that is not being met.

One might argue that taking more money away from consumers in the form of sales and property taxes kills demand for all products, thereby forcing businesses to lay off workers or to not hire new workers.

Cutting taxes on businesses will help their bottom line in the short term, but might actually cause long term damage to their demand base and worsen an already fragile job situation.

pace 2 years, 7 months ago

I disagree slightly with your last sentence, I think it would be more accurate to read Cutting taxes on businesses will help their bottom line in the short term, but WILL actually cause long term damage to their demand base and worsen an already fragile job situation.

notorious_agenda 2 years, 7 months ago

Any time you sell a product arent you reducing the demand by supplying it? Oh my god we better stop selling products! There will be no demand left!

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 7 months ago

Are you truly one of those folks who don't realize all the government services you actually receive and benefit from? Wow.

pace 2 years, 7 months ago

You think the government will lower taxes, no, they will shift the tax revenue away from the ones that pave their way, shift the burden to the ones who don't have a lobbyist on payroll. In delusion some people will see less effective government as less government. As for the faith based politics, Koch and such aren't god, they are just billionaires who have bought both politicians and lots of ads. Between sales tax, special fees and licenses, fees and reduced services most working families will pay more, the jobs will pay less, It is a win win for corrupt government and corrupt billionaires and their sons and daughters.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Creating a positive economic atmosphere for Kansas is the priority. Creating a tax structure that does not stifle growth and opportunity. Brownback is trying to make that happen.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately it's obvious that he doesn't have a clue how to go about that. Or how to keep perspective about it.

After all, Kansas is ranked only #25 by the Tax Foundation for "state business tax climate"...while Mississippi is ranked #19!

But do we really want to be more like Mississippi???

So, yeah...let's compare ourselves to Texas (which is #9). Strive to be more like Texas! Except that Texas is tied for Mississippi as the state with the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs. Uh...is that really something we should strive for?

Heck, Nevada is ranked #3 for state business tax climate!!

Yeah!! Let's strive to be like Nevada!!!

Whoops...Nevada has a 12% unemployment rate. Worse than any other state. Do we really want to be like Nevada?

But their business tax structure is ranked #3!! Surely we want to be more like Nevada, don't we?

Sorry, but I have zero confidence in Brownback's tax perspective.

notorious_agenda 2 years, 7 months ago

It's raining outside.
(all of us already knew it was raining)

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

The problem with giving rankings like these is that no state is going to be #1 or #50 in business climate AND be #1 or #50 in unemployment AND be #1 or #50 in minimum wage jobs AND be #1 or #50 in education AND, And, and ... If you're striving for one, you just may have to settle for another. The cost of business may be minimum wage jobs. The cost of minimum wage jobs might be unemployment. The cost of unemployment might be whatever. So we may in fact try to emulate Texas in one category while knowing we may end up looking like Nevada in another.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

BTW - There's an old joke - What's the difference between a recession and a depression? A recession is when your neighbor is out of work. A depression is when you're out of work. In these very difficult times, a minimum wage job may just be a substantial step up, the difference between a recession and a depression. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss those jobs.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Why?

Wouldn't it be a win for everybody if we had a thriving economy, with good jobs, low unemployment, and a good educational system?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

If those things were so easily achieved, then we'd just do it. If we even knew how to achieve those things, then we'd do it. But we don't know how to get from here to there and anyone who say they know is not telling the truth.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

That's different from saying that those goals are inherently opposed to one another, which is what you first seemed to be saying.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Right - that's what I do.

But, it's not satisfying.

seriouscat 2 years, 7 months ago

It would take 423,175 new jobs at an average salary of $34,000 a year in 18 months to generate enough sales and income tax revenue to cover the $829 million projected revenue loss if this tax bill passes.

Those who believe that we are going to get the kinds of results that are being touted as the justification for this regressive tax plan...wanna buy a bridge?

ProfessorSeamus 2 years, 7 months ago

This concept is based on the same logic that came up with the idea of "enterprise zones" in the 1980's. If you reduce or eliminate taxes in a region it will unleash small entrepreneurs who will revitalize the area with their new businesses. The problem is, the strategy doesn't work. If you are trying to decide whether to open a business the taxes you pay on your profits are way, way down on your list of concerns. First you have to have business capital, a location, supplies, customers, advertising, insurance, liscenses, etc. There are so many things that you must do before you ever make a profit that cutting the tax on that hopeful profit does not provide much incentive. There was lots of research on enterprise zones in the UK and here, and the virtually unanimous conclusion was they did not work. Which is why you do not hear about them now (and why the Governor is not calling this an enterprise zone, even though it is the same idea). So, if the policy won't stimulate new business we can at least expect it to incentivize current businesses to hire more workers, right? Unfortunately, I think that is also doubtful. Wages a business pays are a business expense, so the business already deducts them on its tax return. Cutting income tax rates doesn't make those wages any less expensive for the employer. As a result cutting tax rates for businesses does not provide any new incentive for the business to hire more workers. It appears the best we can hope for is that this plan increase business owners marginal profits by a couple of percent. Hopefully they will choose to spend most of that, and most of what they spend will be in Kansas, and that will lead to some increase in economic activity. Of course, we could also use the money to hire more teachers, repairs some roads and bridges, and/or provide services for our most vulnerable and it would likely have at least as big of an economic impact. But that is not likely to happen.

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