Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kansas a cautionary tale for other states

Kansas continues to draw attention, but not the admiration Gov. Sam Brownback had hoped for when he spoke of it being a “real live experiment” in conservative governance. The Des Moines Register editorialized: “Brownback and the GOP-dominated Kansas Legislature have racked up a series of victories over common sense, including ill-considered tax cuts that have starved schools and left the state budget seriously out of balance..... The Kansas Legislature has even directed its fire at the state courts.” The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette criticized “tea party zealots” for making Kansas a “basket case,” asking “What corporation wants to move to a bankrupt state?” and concluding: “We hope West Virginia’s tax-cutting task force takes a sober look at Kansas.” The Anniston (Ala.) Star similarly warned its state leaders to heed the lessons in Kansas, where “Republican lawmakers are coming to grips with the collapse of treasured ideologies” and “Brownback’s experiment destroyed huge parts of the laboratory that is Kansas state government.” And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch observed that the Kansas Legislature settled on “a most un-Republican solution” to the budget crisis, tax increases, but mostly “left untouched the monster that devoured Topeka,” the 2012 income tax cuts. Early this month, Kansas also was pointed to as a cautionary tale in editorials in the Boston Globe and Washington Post. – Rhonda Holman