We heard late Wednesday night that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback would likely resign to take up an ambassadorship.
Wednesday, the White House announced Brownback would be ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. If confirmed by the Senate, he'll run the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom.
Having called for Brownback’s resignation some months ago, we believe his appointment — it’s unlikely he’ll face much of a fight in the Senate — has not come too soon.
Indeed it may have come far too late.
Not all of Kansas’ economic woes may be laid at the feet of Brownback, as too many have been prone to do, but certainly the budget crisis may be attributed to him.
His plan to bring Kansas taxes down to encourage economic growth was boldly conceived and might even have worked had it been implemented properly.
Brownback, State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan, and the legislature most assuredly did not.
With the reduction in revenues should have come a concomitant reduction in spending.
But with K-12 education effectively off-limits (despite a futile fight with the districts over funding levels and formulae) there was little if anywhere to cut, and the “conservative’ legislature showed no propensity to do so, in any event.
That Brownback is a good man, and meant well we have no doubt, but we all know what road is paved with good intentions, and it’s down this road which Brownback has led Kansas.
Brownback’s good intentions have led to another massive budget shortfall, another reduction in the state’s bond rating and a retroactive tax increase which will impact every family in the state.
As the governor moves on to his new — largely ceremonial — position, we hope Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer will learn from his former boss’ mistakes.