Kansas has been dealing with some serious budget problems ever since they massively cut taxes. Unfortunately, magical thinking doesn’t actually mean magical revenue. Without any real source of income, and without the huge explosion of growth that they somehow expected, Kansas had an incredible budget shortfall. Still has it, in fact, because the numbers just aren’t adding up.
Kansas doesn’t have the job numbers they should. There’s a variety of factors for that. Commodity prices are down and so on. It isn’t cool to move to the suburbs. Oh no, it’s the time to shine for the inner city. Downtown Kansas City is booming, absolutely booming. I will now note that downtown KC is, as a matter of fact, in Missouri. Sure, there’s also Kansas City, Kansas, but they aren’t seeing the same kind of growth.
All of that is to say, Kansas is not looking good right now. So they slashed and slashed their budget, yet AGAIN they’ve got a shortfall.
Yesterday, Gov. Brownback released his plan. Said plan consisted of shifting funds around and to nearly defund the entire highway system (I admit this is hyperbole, though not as much as it should be). In other words, the plan is fuck Kansas. To fuck it hard and hope the economy recovers in time.
What would Brownback care? He was already elected to a second term. He ran on this. This is his and all he can do now is PRAY that it works. And all his opponents nervously watch, hoping it doesn’t work for the sake of the future, yet while simultaneously hoping that the state doesn’t collapse under the weight of his hubris.
But I have to stop and just say, holy crap. This guy is supposed to be fiscally responsible! This guy is supposedly conservative. Yet here we are with a budget that’s downright irresponsible and harmful to the state. On the Missouri side of the Kansas/Missouri border, Kansas is known for two things: good schools and good roads. What happens when both are defunded to support this awful plan?
Even as Brownback tries to make the state attractive to business, Kansas is becoming increasing unattractive to PEOPLE.