The Saga of Sam Brownback’s Kansas: Struggling to Make Things As Good As They Used to Be


Sam Brownback, Kansas’ governor may leave, if his appointment is ever approved by the U.S. Senate for a position in the Trump administration, but even if the appointment is never approved, term limits in Kansas mean he won’t be governor after this year. The budget he proposed earlier this month will be his final budget proposal. A lot of legislators, even those in his own party, are ready to see the last of Brownback’s budgets and his theories of public finance. You will remember that his rollback of the state’s income taxes in 2012 and 2013—what he described as a real live experiment in supply-side economics—utterly failed.

After Brownback slashed taxes, the state’s economy failed to grow, the state ran out of money, and the state’s supreme court found Kansas school funding unconstitutionally inadequate.

Last year in a miracle of bipartisan consensus, members of the legislature addressed the state’s financial…

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