Kansas Republicans Finally Turn on Sam Brownback

The news out of Kansas is highly amusing, as you can see in this report from the The Wichita Eagle:

Lawmakers rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy over his objections Tuesday night, forcing into law tax increases to fix a budget shortfall and provide more money for schools.

The legislation ends the “march to zero” income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor…

…The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto…

…The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.

Kansas is such a Republican state that even Brownback’s epic mismanagement hasn’t turned the state purple or blue, but he’s done his best. He’s made Republicans sound like Democrats. For example, look at this:

Rep. Larry Hibbard, R-Toronto, said some residents would feel taxed too much and others would feel that certain services weren’t funded enough. But the compromise was good, he said.

Hibbard said the state had become a national laughing stock for its recent fiscal troubles, including a tax system that allowed situations where “the employee was paying the taxes and the employer wasn’t.”

“This tax bill starts us on the road to recovery,” he said.

Or this:

“It’s hard to celebrate because Kansas is in such shambles. The magnitude of the problems that we have to correct is so great,” Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, said.

Here you have one Republican highlighting the absurd injustice of a tax code in which employers pay nothing, echoing Democrats who complain about corporations like General Electric that contribute nothing to the treasury. And you have another Republican who wants to celebrate what the governor correctly called “a $1.2 billion tax hike, making it the largest in state history,” but is not quite able to pull it off because the state’s coffers are still so drained.

This isn’t just a humiliation for Sam Brownback, it’s a complete repudiation of his two terms as governor delivered by members of his own party who resent him for making the whole state “a laughing stock.”

And, apparently, Brownback’s next step is take a job working for Trump. Doesn’t that sound about right?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.