Yael T. Abouhalkah

Sam Brownback’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 31 hours

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback endured a stretch of 31 hours worth of bad news earlier this week.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback endured a stretch of 31 hours worth of bad news earlier this week. The Associated Press

Gov. Sam Brownback promised Kansans that his deep income tax cuts favoring the wealthy would bring lots of great new things to the state.

Instead, Brownback — and residents — have been enduring a steady drumbeat of bad news after the cuts took effect.

This week, a 31-hour stretch brought three different body blows to Brownback’s administration.

▪ At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing how jobs had grown in metropolitan areas across America.

Unfortunately for Brownback, the report showed that the Missouri side of the state line had gained jobs at four times the rate of the Kansas side. And yes, that’s after including new employment in Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

So much for Brownback’s promise that jobs would be fleeing Missouri-side cities for Kansas after the tax cuts.

▪ Shortly after noon Tuesday, a judicial panel in Shawnee County released a ruling that Kansas was inadequately funding K-12 education.

That could mean the state would need to pump in $500 million extra a year or more to bring schools up to par.

That’s extremely concerning news for Brownback. He already will have to suggest how to slash the state budget in the coming months because the income tax cuts are on pace to help cause a $1.1 billion hole in revenues in this and the next fiscal year.

The ruling was a victory for schoolchildren and educators, one that Brownback and his allies quickly tried to deflect by saying they would further study the matter.

▪ Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, Kansas officials released figures showing the state had collected $15 million less than expected in December.

And that was after the state in November had dramatically lowered revenue expectations for the rest of this fiscal year.

Now that 2015 has started, the governor and the Legislature need to avoid repeat bouts of bad news on jobs and revenues.

The best way to do that is to repeal the excessive tax cuts.

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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