Too bad, Paul Davis. You and your supporters could not convince Kansas voters to show a great deal of common sense and pull the plug on Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election Tuesday.
Instead, Brownback won an ugly victory with a vicious campaign against Davis and will be sworn back in as new governor in January.
That means Brownback will maintain the costly “experiment” that he and Republicans have inflicted on the state the last few years, slashing taxes as well as the revenues needed to provide high quality services to residents.
Davis wanted the Legislature to halt future scheduled tax cuts in 2015.
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Fat chance now.
Instead, the ultra-conservative GOP members of the Kansas House and Senate will further reduce taxes, per the current schedule, putting the state’s economy even more at risk.
The fact that Brownback won a narrow victory in a deep-red state such as Kansas showed he wasn’t as beloved as many in the GOP had hoped.
Yet, give Brownback credit: He even beat Davis in Johnson County, home of supposedly savvy voters.
Brownback embarrassed himself and his party with vicious campaign attacks against Davis, including one that implied Davis was responsible for allowing two murderers to get out of jail and “endanger” Kansans. Truth is, the two brothers are still in prison.
Davis properly pointed out on the campaign trail that Brownback had misled by claiming to be a pro-education governor. The reality was that total spending, adjusted for inflation, had stayed the same for K-12 schools during his term in office, even as that kind of funding had roared ahead in many other states after the Great Recession ended.
Brownback got more bad news at the end of almost every month when state officials announced revenue collections.
Indeed, the individual income tax revenues were more than $300 million under projections in the 2014 fiscal year that ended June 30. And this year, they already are more than $80 million shy of predictions, through four months of the 2015 fiscal year.
Finally, Brownback’s constant harping that the tax cuts had led to robust job growth were undercut by the facts as well.
Since the cuts took effect in January 2013, federal Bureau of Labor Statistics figured showed that 31 other states had grown jobs more quickly than Kansas, including three of four neighboring states (Missouri, Colorado and Oklahoma).
Alas, now we will have to keep watching these unfortunate numbers pile up for Kansas in future months.
What a sad day for the state’s future.