The Best Of The Dish Today

Tensions Remain High At Israeli Gaza Border

If you believe, as most Republicans still seem to do, that the most important boon for the economy and the deficit would be further tax cuts, then surely Kansas’ recent, radical experiment in slashing tax rates should merit a view. The result, it now appears, is that tax revenues in Kansas have collapsed:

From June, 2013 to June, 2014, all Kansas tax revenue plunged by 11 percent. Individual income taxes fell from $2.9 billion to $2.2 billion and all income tax collections plummeted from $3.3 billion to $2.6 billion, a drop of more than 20 percent.

Did growth rebound? Nah: “Since the first round of tax cuts, job growth in Kansas has lagged the U.S. economy. So have personal incomes.” Now take a look at California, that big tax-and-spend liberal state. In 2013, they went in the opposite direction and raised taxes considerably on sales and high incomes. Many predicted disaster. The result?

Last year California added 410,418 jobs, an increase of 2.8 percent over 2012, significantly better than the 1.8 percent national increase in jobs. California is home to 12 percent of Americans, but last year it accounted for 17.5 percent of new jobs, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

Obviously, there are other factors involved in both cases, and you should read the links to see the qualifications. But they are qualifications. We’ve know for a long time that cutting taxes does not help the government’s bottom line and has very limited potential for job growth given the historically low rates of tax in the US right now. But we didn’t know that tax increases could coexist with quite robust job growth and fiscal health. Count this as one more piece of evidence that re-thinking Republican economics on reformocon lines is a necessary but not sufficient initiative to alter GOP dogma.

Today, we covered the ever-more-sobering news out of Ukraine and Gaza – in particular Putin’s dead end and Netanyahu’s Gaza strategy (if you can call it that). And if you weren’t depressed enough, here’s a look at the fate of Iraq’s beleaguered Christians. To balance this a bit, check out pheromone dating rituals and an ode to the pit-bull as the archetypal American dog.

The most popular post of the day was “The Oldest Depiction Of Sex On Record” on the Ron Jeremys of ancient Egypt, followed by Holding Corpses Hostage. Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails, including this back and forth sparked by a reader upset with his situation under Obamacare.

39 more readers became subscribers today (a much bigger Monday total than usual, probably due to our Gaza coverage and Ukraine coverage). You can join those new subscribers here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here.

See you in the morning.

(Photo: Family members  of Major Tsafrir Bar-Or mourn and cry during his funeral on July 21, 2014 in Holon, Israel. By Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)