Editorials

Brownback’s inaugural address ducked responsibility

Gov. Sam Brownback’s inaugural address failed to reflect the reality Kansas faces.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s inaugural address failed to reflect the reality Kansas faces. AP

Kansans expecting Gov. Sam Brownback’s second inaugural address to be a frank take on the state’s fiscal and economic challenges instead heard a strange broadside against culture, morals and an “overly paternalistic big government.”

Few would disagree that “there is a crisis of the family in our country” or even that “everybody is a beautiful somebody” (his clunkiest line).

But Brownback’s remarks on Monday ducked any responsibility for the crises currently faced by many Kansas families, including those who might be helped by Medicaid expansion or a constitutional level of K-12 school funding. If “too many people have not progressed in recent years,” as he said, he first should look at his own policies as to why.

And while saying the family crisis is “a principle issue that must be addressed for us to move forward” and he aims “to strengthen healthy marriage and family,” he failed to say how he might do so. In any case, that sounds like a job for the kind of big, intrusive government Brownback is supposed to hate.

Here’s hoping the State of the State address on Thursday will better reflect the reality Kansas faces, including a projected $648 million budget shortfall next fiscal year.

For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman

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