mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Kansas “Red Dawn” Creating Some Insurgents

Just two months in to the Kansas Red Dawn, doubts are being raised about the Tea Party dream. Though Republicans have total control of state politics, Governor Sam Brownback is facing resistance from disgruntled voters and a skeptical judiciary. The FT takes notice:

A court ruled in January the government was underfunding education and ordered an increase of at least $440m in spending on schools. Mr Brownback is challenging the ruling and insists schools will be adequately funded.

“We will do everything to protect education, public safety, Medicaid [for the poor], and we will build the roads we promised,” he said. “Outside of that, we are going to look hard at everything else.” […]

Mr Brownback’s own polling numbers are poor. A survey from Public Policy Polling last week recorded 52 per cent job disapproval and only 37 per cent approval.

The Governor has set out to eliminate Kansas’s income tax entirely. The legislature is currently weighing a cut from 4.9 to 3.5 percent for the top tax bracket, in what Brownback has termed a “glide to zero.”

Sagging in the polls, fighting adverse court decisions, and with his ears ringing with the cries of skeptics, Sam Brownback is pressing on. As with California’s blue dawn, we’ll wait and see what happens. If Kansas’s new direction works, other governors in other states will give it a try. If it doesn’t, the GOP will have to go back to the drawing board.

Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service