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Charlatans, Cranks And Kansas

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PAUL KRUGMAN REPUBLICANS
American economy Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman talks to journalists during a news conference before being awarded an Honoris Causa degree by Lisbon University, Lisbon Technical University and Lisbon Nova University Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 in Lisbon. (AP Photo/ Francisco Seco) | AP

Two years ago Kansas embarked on a remarkable fiscal experiment: It sharply slashed income taxes without any clear idea of what would replace the lost revenue. Sam Brownback, the governor, proposed the legislation — in percentage terms, the largest tax cut in one year any state has ever enacted — in close consultation with the economist Arthur Laffer. And Mr. Brownback predicted that the cuts would jump-start an economic boom — “Look out, Texas,” he proclaimed.

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