The PBS NewsHour on Thursday broadcast an in-depth look at the governing philosophy behind the 2012 Kansas income tax cuts that included an interview with Fairway Rep. Melissa Rooker.
Rooker, a Republican currently in her third term in the House, said legislators had cut the state budget to the bone after revenues plummeted following the tax cuts.
“I often get asked how, as a Republican, I could be against these tax cuts. All I can say is, I am a Republican, I am fairly conservative in my approach to money management, and this didn’t feel comfortable,” she told NewsHour’s Paul Solman. “The proponents of the plan will tell you today that we should have given it more time, that we didn’t cut the budget enough. And I will tell you, we cut it nine times to try and cope with the drastic revenue reduction.”
Rooker said that the tax cuts have threatened the high quality-of-life environment that is one of the state’s biggest competitive advantages.
“What has always been a draw for Kansas is the quality of life, the stability here, excellence of our public school system. By cutting into those basics, we really have shot ourselves in the foot,” she said.
As the federal government considers a tax-cutting plan that many have likened to the Kansas experiment, Rooker hopes people will consider how the situation played out here.
“This is what smaller government looks like in action. Is this what you want?” she said.
You can watch the full piece below: