Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) is “in the fight of his life,” as Fox host Neil Cavuto put it during a cozy interview earlier this week. Then Cavuto let Brownback do pretty much all the explaining why.
New Republic had a very illuminating article about Brownback’s troubles one day before the interview:
By June of 2014, the results of Brownback’s economic reforms began to come in, and they weren’t pretty. During the first fiscal year that his plan was in operation, which ended in June, the tax cuts had produced a staggering loss in revenue—$687.9 million, or 10.84 percent. According to the nonpartisan Kansas Legislative Research Department, the state risks running deficits through fiscal year 2019. Moody’s downgraded the state’s credit rating from AA1 to AA2; Standard & Poor’s followed suit, which will increase the state’s borrowing costs and further enlarge its deficit.
Brownback had also promised that his tax cuts would vault Kansas ahead of its higher-taxed neighbors in job growth, but that, too, failed to happen. In Kansas, jobs increased by 1.1 percent over the last year, compared with 3.3 percent in neighboring Colorado and 1.5 percent in Missouri. From November to May, Kansas had actually lost jobs, and the labor participation rate was lower than when Brownback took office. The cuts did not necessarily slow job growth, but they clearly did not accelerate it. And the effects of Brownback’s education cuts were also glaring—larger class sizes, rising fees for kindergarten, the elimination of arts programs, and laid-off janitors and librarians.
… Brownback’s standing in the electorate began to plummet; his approval rating sunk to the thirties.
Brownback acknowledged (along with Cavuto) that he's in trouble. But he seems to be staying the course - and suggesting his problems are due to Obama. He told Cavuto's audience, “We’re trying to set a different course in the state of Kansas, and pointing out getting our taxes down, growing the economy, and I think overall we’ll move forward. We’ll move forward positively. But right now, people are, they’ve got a negative view overall of what’s taking place in America.”
Rather than challenge Brownback on the results of his policies, Cavuto played tough by pointing out the criticism of Brownback – and then opened the door for him to spin it. Cavuto said, “A lot of them are saying it’s your fault because you had those tax cuts and they didn’t produce the revenue you thought, and that there’s hell to pay. What is happening?”
Brownback compared himself to Ronald Reagan: “Think of Reagan in 1982. He gets his tax cuts in 1981. Tax cuts take a little bit of time to be able to generate and move forward. Ours are starting to move forward earlier. People are early on are saying wait this isn’t working quite right, but by 1984, if you give it a couple of years, people are saying no, that’s going the right direction. …We had to change our pension system which was in the bankruptcy zone, and now it’s not. We had to change our Medicaid system which we weren’t able to make all of our payments. …We’ve got unemployment at 4.9%, record number of people working in the state of Kansas, we’ve cut everybody’s income taxes, we’re paying our bills, we’ve got money in the bank.”
No mention of the state’s credit rating getting cut.
Instead, Cavuto asked the softball question, “Who was the most important asset for you?”
Later, Cavuto gave Brownback a little piece of friendly advice. “You’ve got to get the moderate Republicans, “ Cavuto said, noting that some of them are supporting Brownback’s opponent.
Watch the discussion below, from the September 30th Your World.