Brownback is giving Kansans exactly what they want
The Kansas City Star
Kansans are getting exactly what they want from Gov. Sam Brownback. It will be several years, however, before residents find out whether what they wanted was good for them - or turned out to be a disaster.
Kansans want lower state taxes. Brownback is giving taxpayers what they want.
Kansans want less state money spent to help poor people. Brownback is giving taxpayers what they want there, too.
Kansans want less state money spent on many school programs. Again, Brownback is doing that.
And Kansans want fewer Democrats and fewer moderate Republicans in the Legislature. Brownback has made that happen, too.
While liberals and Democrats may whine about what’s happening in the state, Brownback and the conservative legislators are only doing what the majority of Kansas voters are allowing to happen, as The Star reported Sunday.
And these voters spoke clearly when they elected Brownback in 2010. They spoke very clearly in 2012 when they ousted the remaining impediments to the governor’s agenda in the Legislature.
However, there are a few bumps in the road to Kansans enjoying the Brownback years.
The lower taxes may produce a deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years. That could lead to even harsher cuts in education, social services and public safety.
The governor may have to keep a full one-cent sales tax rather than let six-tenths of it expire in mid-2013, as is now scheduled. That would amount to a de facto tax increase on Kansans, especially hitting the lower- and middle-income residents.
Or - Brownback and his supporters could be exactly right: The lower taxes could bring in thousands of new jobs, millions of dollars in new tax revenue and a lot more residents.
Kansas could be a model nation for America on how smaller government and lower tax spending serves the people of a state.
For all of us who think Brownback is living in a pipe dream world, it’s difficult to root against Kansas, to hope that the governor and Legislature fail, and that the state will be worse off in a few years than it is now.
But Kansans need to have their eyes wide open as the Brownback years march on. The governor seems destined to succeed in cutting state spending. Whether he will succeed in raising more public revenues, though, is a whole other story.