Kansas Governor Wants To Blame Europe For His Deep Spending Cuts

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS)

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) recently signed into law massively regressive tax cuts that were so huge that many Republicans in the state opposed them. Budget analysts have found that Kansas will have to gut important public services for low-income Kansans and their children in order to pay for the tax cuts.

But Brownback has a plan if Kansas residents start to complain about the impact of those budget cuts — blame Europe:

Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration already has developed talking points to deflect anticipated criticism of the newly enacted massive income tax cuts should Kansas face significant budget problems next year. […]

The administration is fashioning a narrative that suggests budget cuts may be necessary because the nation’s economy may remain stagnant. Europe’s financial crisis also looms as a potential threat.

“There are forces beyond the state’s control,” Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said last week. “There’s still a great deal of uncertainty with the economy.”

Citizens for Tax Justice reacted to the governor’s plan by saying, “looks like the ‘spin room’ in Topeka has been busy lately.” After all, no one (and particularly no one in Europe) forced Brownback to sign a huge tax cut. Brownback justified the move by saying it would boost the Kansas economy, though there is scant evidence to back up that assertion.

Under Brownback’s plan, the richest Kansans will receive tax breaks worth about $20,000, while the poorest residents will actually see their taxes go up due to the elimination of tax credits that aid the poor.