After a first term of stewardship that has left Kansas with a “nearly $900 million budget hole,” largely because of tax cuts that were supposed to generate revenue that never came in, Governor Sam Brownback (R) was sworn in to a second term on Monday. And his inaugural speech indicates that he is in no hurry to shake the wishful thinking that has already contributed to his state’s woes.
He says too many people have not progressed in recent years because of a slowly growing economy or overly paternalistic big government.
Brownback says solutions to problems facing the state are “principally cultural and moral,” not as dictated by government but “emitting from our hearts alive with a loving God.”
Of course, if someone really believes that most of his state’s problems are beyond government’s ability to address, but rather must be referred to God, a career in government seems an odd choice. (Why not, say, get into preaching?)
But Brownback seemed to miss the memo that the governor should see value in governing rather than just outsourcing his state’s problems to a god, along with the memo that the governor isn’t supposed to be a state-sponsored preacher. As far as he was concerned, faith and (presumably, his) morals were where the future lies.
“We should be talking about things like character and courage, faith, freedom, sacrifice of self, morals, obligations and responsibilities,” he said.
On the other hand, with a record of governing like Brownback’s, it’s not really that surprising that he’d prefer to lay as much blame as possible on spiritual sources, rather than considering the role government has played.