In the TV show “Gunsmoke” the bad guys were often ordered to “get the hell out of Dodge” — a reference to Dodge City, Kansas. Well, it looks like somebody has told that to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. The word is out that Brownback is not only leaving the state, but leaving the country as he takes a job in Rome as the UN ambassador for food and agriculture.
This blog has reported on Brownback repeatedly over the years after (with funding from the Koch brothers, whose headquarters is in Topeka) he was elected governor. The Republicans took over every branch of the state government and even kicked out any moderate republicans. They then realized their conservative wet dream, launching a self-described right-wing experiment. They cut taxes dramatically for the rich, eliminated income taxes, and switched the state to regressive consumption (sales) taxes. They cut funding drastically for education and social services.
Browback promised “enormous prosperity” for Kansas, but their economy did far worse than every nearby state. The economy of the state cratered, and they ran up huge deficits. Jobs fled the state so much that unemployment went up while it was going down everywhere else. The state’s credit rating was downgraded, twice.
Brownback’s response? The state doubled down and cut taxes and services even more.
Hilariously, when Brownback was elected he set up an economic council that was supposed to hold him accountable using rigorous performance metrics, but things went so bad that he canceled it. Brownback received the dubious honor of becoming the least popular governor in the US. But he brushed off his terrible approval ratings, blaming the media for why his policies are so unpopular.
So now it looks like he is jumping ship. Despite Brownback’s failed policies, he publicly urged Trump to replicate what he did in Kansas on a national scale. I guess Trump decided that Brownback was such a loser that a better idea was to get him the hell out of Kansas.
Also published on Medium.