Gov. Sam Brownback reportedly is staying cool and collected as the Kansas budget burns all around him, providing yet more evidence he’s lost touch with reality.
Kansans have watched for years as Brownback has been oblivious to the truth about how his 2012 income taxes have decimated the state’s public services.
On Monday, the Legislature will renew its desperate attempts to find a good way to raise the additional revenue needed — at least $1 billion over the next two fiscal years — to help balance the state general fund budget.
Amidst the fiscal carnage, Brownback late last week projected his usual “what, me worry?” attitude with inane statements to the media.
It was yet another reminder that the governor thinks Kansas taxpayers are stupid. He wants them to believe he has something positive to add to the discussion, even while he truly looks more clueless than ever.
Wichita Eagle reporter Jonathan Shorman reported that Brownback “seemed to project zen-like calm when speaking to reporters about the Legislature’s unresolved work. ‘It will happen, things will pass. It will all get dealt with, but they take time,’ Brownback said.”
Kansans would have more faith in his “zen-like calm” if Brownback had admitted his tax cuts had been a mistake and he was working hard to rectify it. He has stubbornly refused to do that.
A Topeka Capital-Journal reporter posted the paper’s story about Brownback’s comments last week this way:
— Celia Llopis-Jepsen (@Celia_LJ) May 6, 2017
Sorry, but I’d go with “delusional” rather than “optimistic” in that sentence. The story also claimed that Brownback seemed unflustered by the Legislature’s failure to solve the dilemma facing the state.
“You’ve got funding issues, you’ve got budget issues, you’ve got school finance,” the serene Brownback spouted.
OK, and who created all these problems for the people of Kansas?
Brownback. Yet instead of working to solve them, he has diverted more than $1 billion from the state’s road fund and wants to grab more; has underfunded state and local pensions; and has sliced money for universities and other programs.
This week, a flat income tax that increases the burden on lower-paid Kansans will be on the table in Topeka. Brownback reportedly wants a flat tax — preferably one that doesn’t hit richer Kansans too hard. Better ideas exist, too, such as progressively higher income tax rates on Kansans.
House and Senate members are doing the heavy lifting in the Legislature. They are the ones who will save the Kansas budget, not the oh-so-calm governor.