Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Kansas Republican Uprising Against Governor Brownback

The Christianist governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, decided to run his state as a dystopian experiment on what happens when most firms are not expected to pay state taxes.  What naturally happened was this:  The state government couldn't collect enough revenues after those 2012 tax changes to balance its budget.

The reverse was supposed to happen, in Brownback's fevered mind:  Firms would thrive, new firms would enter Kansas, set up shop and hire zillions of workers.  Overall tax revenues would go up.

That this didn't happen made no difference for Brownback, because he is a minimal government Christianist who has faith in God and in tax cuts.  But he also has faith in balancing the state budget, so the next step was to start cutting state expenditures, including education spending.

Despite all this, the voters in Kansas re-elected Brownback in 2014.

That's the background to these more recent events inside the Republican Party of Kansas:

A top Senate leader and at least 10 other conservative Kansas legislators lost their seats as moderate Republicans made Tuesday’s primary election a referendum on the state’s budget problems and education funding.
Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, of Nickerson, fell in his south-central Kansas district to Ed Berger, former president of Hutchinson Community College. Bruce’s defeat came amid a backlash against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his allies that appeared to spell trouble for conservatives.

Emphasis is mine.

Could this be the beginning of a new trend inside the US Republican Party?  A return to greater moderation?

I can hardly believe I wrote that question in this era of Trumpism.  But we can always hope.