The 238-million-dollar question

Gov. Brownback, if the truth won’t sell your policies, there’s something wrong with your policies.

The Wichita Eagle reported this morning that it checked into Gov. Sam Brownback’s most recent claim that the state had only $876.05 in the bank when he took office. Here, he makes it in a May 2 fund-raising letter:
“When I was sworn in, State Treasurer Ron Estes informed me that the state had a shocking $876.05 in the bank.”
Turns out the balance was more like $238 million, according to the Kansas Legislative Research Department, as the Eagle reported.
It’s just the latest in a series of Brownback misstatements.
The $2 billion that wasn’t there.
For months, Brownback claimed the previous administration had spent $2 billion more than it actually had spent — as part of his attempt to gain Kansans’ support for his ill-considered fiscal policies. The Topeka Capital-Journal and others set the record straight.

The poverty rate: Flat or not so flat?
In March speeches and television interviews, Brownback made a simple claim about the poverty rate in Kansas: “It’s been flat.” That wasn’t true. Brownback’s own Road Map for Kansas called for cutting childhood poverty in Kansas. The result? During Brownback’s first three years in office, the number of Kansas children living in poverty grew by about 42,000 — or more than a third — according to data from Kansas Action for Children.
I’ll sign the bill. Unless I don’t.
Last month the Wichita Eagle reported, “An Emporia radio station recorded Gov. Sam Brownback saying he will sign a controversial school finance bill into law, about three hours before he told reporters in Wichita he hasn’t made up his mind.”

A record number of new businesses?
In speeches and interviews, Brownback has credited his tax policy for the creation of 15,000 new Kansas businesses in 2013. The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities poked a hole in that claim, citing data that showed 2013’s “net growth in registered businesses was … smaller than in 2012, the year  before the tax cuts took effect.”


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