Kansas finds itself in a big, big pickle.
Republican Governor Sam Brownback managed to get the legislature to make massive tax cuts, claiming it would boost jobs in Kansas and stimulate the Kansas economy, thereby paying for themselves.
Instead the Kansas economy is failing. Massive cuts have gutted Kansas’s once-revered public education system, and deeper cuts will be necessary to keep the state government afloat, unless there is some change in tax policy, or a massive, miraculous influx of business beyond what even the Koch Bros. could arrange.
Gov. Brownback is running for re-election, and finds himself behind in popularity in Kansas — behind even President Barack Obama.
And of course, there is comedy of the kind that you couldn’t make up: Brownback blames Obama.
Turns out Americans, and especially the citizens of Kansas, want government that works. They’d like taxes to be low, but low taxes won’t make voters happy when the roads are bad and the kids’ schools are crappy.
Government’s first job is to govern; just governments are established among men to secure human rights, old Tom Jefferson wrote. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness make a snappy line in a patriotic reading on July 4, but when the crowd drives home, they don’t want to be dodging potholes, and they don’t want their kids to complain from the back seat of the car that they don’t know what the Declaration of Independence is or what it says, “and who is Jefferson — I thought it was just a street in Dallas?” When government fails to do basic jobs, voters may not be happy.
Will false advertising be able to bail Sam Brownback out? Watch Kansas.
- “Tax cuts in Kansas have cost the state money, and job creation is terrible,” The Washington Post Wonkblog
- “Brownback-Obama blame game as Kansas’s bond rating is cut amid revenue shortfall,” Government blog of The Kansas City Star