Yael T. Abouhalkah

Dear Charles and David Koch: Help! Signed, Gov. Sam Brownback

Gov. Sam Brownback took some time out Monday from writing on his private email account to attend a bill-signing ceremony.
Gov. Sam Brownback took some time out Monday from writing on his private email account to attend a bill-signing ceremony. The Wichita Eagle

It turns out Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is using his own email account to communicate with private and public leaders.

It’s sure not good government. He’s trying to conduct public business outside the view of, well, the public.

But just maybe the bumbling governor we’re used to seeing — the one who doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to solve the huge budget crisis he and the Legislature created — is kicking butt and taking names in those secret emails.

If so, here’s a sampling of the messages his emails should be delivering.

To: Arthur Laffer

Subject: Your $75,000 fee

Arthur, when Kansas taxpayers shelled out $75,000 for your advice to slash income taxes a few years ago, you made promises as an economist that the move would create “enormous prosperity” for the state.

Unfortunately, the jobs we’ve added haven’t come close to creating the revenues needed to offset the $800 million or so the income tax reductions are costing us. We’ve already slashed welfare assistance, borrowed heavily to keep pensions going, diverted hundreds of millions of dollars from road projects — and we’re still trying to find $400 million just to balance the next budget.

Here’s your role: I need that $75,000 back. We don’t have to admit your theory was bogus. Just call it your way of helping to create “enormous prosperity” for the state.

Please make your check out to Kansas Department of Revenue, then send it to 915 SW Harrison St., Topeka, KS 66612-1588.

To: Rex Sinquefield

Subject: Tax cut overkill

Rex, I appreciate all you’re doing from your St. Louis home to promote Kansas’ income tax cuts. I loved the puns in the misleading Wall Street Journal op-ed piece from a writer for your anti-income tax Show-Me Institute: “Seeded with tax cuts, Kansas harvests the benefits.”

Alas, as you know, the article left out 90 percent of the budget woes we’re struggling with today.

Which brings me to the real problem. All that talk about how we Republicans are letting Kansans keep more of their own money because they can spend it better than Topeka’s bureaucrats looks like empty rhetoric.

We’re talking about rolling back part of the cherished tax cut I pushed to benefit lots of well-off businesses. And the House and Senate are looking at up to seven separate regressive tax increases on gas, beer, cigarettes and more. Seven!

Here’s what I need: Since you can’t even get the Missouri General Assembly to pass a huge income tax cut in your home state where you’ve spent millions to try to buy political favors, keep your fingers off our fiscal policy for now. Thanks.

To: Charles and David Koch

Subject: Help!

It’s pretty obvious you are getting your money’s worth with me as your governor. Just this month, the Legislature got rid of that pro-clean energy standard that’s irked you and other fossil fuel guys for years.

Now I need a big favor. Instead of spending $900 million aimed at putting a Republican in the White House in 2016, how about investing that money in the Sunflower State by expanding a Koch Industries operation?

I don’t care where. Just come out with a big announcement that my income tax cuts have prompted you guys — the “job creators” — to hire thousands of Kansans as Koch employees.

That would really shut up the lefties who dislike us, am I right?

In short, the state can use all the assistance a multibillion-dollar conglomerate in our own back yard can provide.

Please reach out ASAP. Or I can call you on my private phone line. That way the pesky public won’t know what we’re talking about.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter: @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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