Butler County Times Gazette
  • Kent Bush: GOP always blaming Obama

  • Constant theme of blaming Obama
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  • Thanks, Obama.
    Not only is that a constant theme of the GOP, but it is one of my favorite Twitter hashtags as well.
    Because of the constant drumbeat of politicians and pundits on the right, President Barack Obama has become the ubiquitous scapegoat for everything that happens in the universe.
    • It’s still only 40 degrees on May 1. #thanksObama
    • Miley Cyrus was Hannah Montana when George W. Bush was President. #thanksObama
    • You had to reset your iPhone to factory settings. #thanksObama
    • Dropped your iPhone in the toilet. #thanksObama
    • My tax cuts caused the state to leak a ton of revenue and have its bond rating dropped.
    #thanksObama.
    Wait. What?
    Unfortunately, the last one wasn’t even satirical. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback reacted to reports that the state’s revenue for April was off by more than $92 million  - bringing the total the state is in the red for the year to about $480 million – by placing the blame on Obama’s over-regulation of industry and tax policies.
    What we are seeing today is the effect of tax increases implemented by the Obama administration that resulted in lower income tax payments and a depressed business environment,” Brownback said in a statement. He forgot the #thanksObama hashtag, but it was still funny.
    But when Moody’s looked at the state’s dwindling revenue stream, drained reserve funds and unfunded pension system, they downgraded the state’s bond rating from Aa1 to Aa2.
    Moody’s said Kansas’ economy was being outpaced in the recovery by other states in the region. Apparently, Obama isn’t President in those states.
    Moody’s seemed more interested in the Brownback economic plan that included a tax cut that has cost the state about $500 million dollars this year. Basically, without the cuts, the state’s revenues could actually be up slightly.
    Brownback should have the easiest re-election bid for any Governor in America. He is a right-wing Republican in one of the reddest states in America. He is an incumbent. He has access to all the Koch money he needs.
    But instead of capitalizing on his advantages, Brownback seems to be committing campaign suicide. First, he raises expectations on the fiscal recovery in his State of the State speech.
    “I can report to you that the State of our State is strong and getting much stronger!” Brownback exclaimed in January.
    That got a lot of applause in January. On May 1, fewer people are applauding.
    It’s almost like Brownback killed the economy just so he could withhold even more funds from public education.
    Page 2 of 2 - Speaking of education, instead of telling legislators that adding a seismic change to education policy in the wee hours of the morning was no way to fund education, he joined forces with them and signed the bill to take away due process rights from teachers. I know several staunch Republican educators who are looking to check the “anyone but Brownback” box in November.
    When I moved to Kansas in 2007, I was shocked to find a Democrat like Kathleen Sebelius running the state. If Brownback thinks she can get elected and not someone like his presumed opponent Paul Davis, who is far more moderate than Sebelius, he is mistaken.
    Brownback should have had the easiest path to re-election of anyone. Instead he installed his own speed bumps and potholes and now he has to figure out a new path.
    I know he will have far deeper pockets than Davis, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough to get him four more years in Topeka.
    Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: kbush@butlercountytimesgazette.com

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