Yael T. Abouhalkah

Gov. Sam Brownback can run but he can’t hide

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is going to be a no-show on Friday when state officials announce how he will slice $50 million from the state budget because of financial problems caused by his income tax cuts.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is going to be a no-show on Friday when state officials announce how he will slice $50 million from the state budget because of financial problems caused by his income tax cuts. AP

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s staff revealed Tuesday that he does not plan to be present Friday when state officials unveil how he wants to slice $50 million from the budget.

The development is absurd but also predictable.

Brownback is the one who will make the final decisions on what to toss out of the budget, a development caused by the financially disastrous income tax cuts he pushed through in 2012.

One would expect a responsible elected official to be there on Friday, make the announcement and take questions from the media in public.

But Brownback’s absence won’t be that surprising, going by his track record.

Has he taken the blame for the state losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue because of the excessive income tax reductions?

No.

Did he provide early leadership during the 2014 legislative session to develop a plan to replace those revenues?

No.

Has he accepted the fact that his tax cuts have not led to strong job growth, because they haven’t?

No.

In this case, Brownback ought to reverse course and be the kind of stand-up governor Kansans deserve, especially when he helped cause the problems being inflicted on residents.

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

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