Archive for Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Brownback lays out economic goals for re-election campaign

August 12, 2014, 8:58 a.m. Updated August 12, 2014, 5:23 p.m.


— Facing a tough re-election bid, Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday began laying out his agenda for the next four years, including a goal to create 25,000 new private-sector jobs per year and to continue cutting taxes for Kansas businesses.

Speaking at a campaign stop in Topeka, Brownback said helping small businesses is the key to growing the Kansas economy, and that small businesses want "a stable regulatory environment and low taxes."

"So what we said, we'll give you a stable regulatory environment and zero taxes. That's the best small business atmosphere in America, and we want to keep it that way," Brownback said.

Gov. Sam Brownback outlines his economic agenda for a second term, calling his plan "Road Map 2.0," an extension of his campaign theme from 2010.

Gov. Sam Brownback outlines his economic agenda for a second term, calling his plan "Road Map 2.0," an extension of his campaign theme from 2010.

Tuesday's announcements focused mainly on Brownback's economic goals for the next four years. He said he would outline goals in other areas later in the month.

He provided no details on how he would accomplish the economic objectives, saying that will be spelled out later in the campaign.

Other parts of his economic road map included:

• Making Kansas, "the top location for companies considering reshoring their facilities from overseas."

• Creating urban opportunity zones to revitalize high poverty areas.

• Focusing workforce and training programs on helping veterans reenter the private-sector job market.

• Growing the agricultural industry by expanding increasing foreign exports and creating new opportunities for value-added enterprises and specialty production.

• Recruiting more advanced manufacturing to Kansas.

• And continuing implementation of the highway program known as T-Works, putting a renewed emphasis on "private-public partnerships."

Speaking with reporters after the Topeka event, Brownback was immediately confronted with questions about how the state could afford additional tax cuts, plus other investments he intends to make, when facing a projected $238 million budget shortfall within two years.

"We're going to continue to grow the economy," Brownback said.

Adding 25,000 new private-sector jobs a year would far exceed the job growth Kansas saw during Brownback's first two years in office, when the state added fewer than 12,000 such jobs a year, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But it would put Kansas about on par with the rest of the country with an annual private-sector growth rate of around 2 percent.

Brownback's campaign is calling the agenda "Road Map 2.0," an extension of the theme he used in his 2010 campaign. Democrats were quick to respond, arguing that the governor failed to achieve the objectives of his first Road Map he outlined four years ago.

“By his own metrics, his ‘Road Map’ has been an unmitigated failure," Chris Pumpelly, spokesman for Democrat Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat who is challenging Brownback in the November election. "Not only has Sam Brownback missed the mark on all of his chosen benchmarks, the Kansas economy is stagnant, our schools are struggling, middle class families are hurting and the state is facing a budget crisis of Sam Brownback's making."

As a candidate in 2010, Brownback laid out several measurable objectives for his first administration and invited voters to judge him by those standards four years later.

Among those was increasing the state's private-sector employment. While Brownback boasts that the state has added 55,000 new private-sector jobs since January 2011, that growth rate — 5.1 percent over 42 months — has lagged behind the national rate of 7.7 percent over that same period.

Kansas has also lagged the rest of the nation in growth in personal income, which was another part of his first road map. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income in Kansas grew 8.5 percent from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2014, the most recent figures available. Nationally, personal income grew 10.3 percent.

Brownback also promised to increase the percentage of fourth-graders who are reading at grade level, which he defined as scoring proficient or better on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP exam.

That number did increase slightly, from 36 percent in 2011 to 38 percent in 2013. The test is given every other year. Many education experts say it is more accurate to look at NAEP's top three performance categories - basic, proficient and advanced. By that measure, fourth-grade reading performance has held steady at 71 percent.


3 years, 9 months ago

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Frank McGuinness 3 years, 9 months ago

"reducing the percentage of children living in poverty" By all legitimate statistics, all Brownback has done is increase the percentage living in poverty while reducing the support available.

Phillip Chappuie 3 years, 9 months ago

Road map 2.0? I think road map 1.0 is heading off a steep cliff. Revenues down. Population still declining. Child poverty higher than when he started. Leading the nation in the rate of uninsured. Ignoring the pleas of the health care industry to expand Medicaid and increase jobs. Depletion of the highway funds. Alienation of teachers. Senseless reorganization of many state agencies. Senseless privatization of the turnpike authority.

And all we end up getting is a bunch of twisted numbers from errand boys like Trabert about how rosy everything is.

Joe Blackford II 3 years, 9 months ago

and Kansans are gonna tell their grandchildren they made the same mistake again . . . .

James Howlette 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey now. He created the job "office of the repealer." And he turned one of the other jobs in his cabinet into two jobs. At this rate, all of his friends and spouses of campaign donors could have jobs.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

How many times is Sam Brownback going to repeat this? He said something similar the previous campaign. These ALEC GOP folks keep saying the same crap over and over and over and over.

BTW way Paul Ryan is still trying to kill Social Security Insurance one of the best government government programs on planet earth. Paul Ryan at one time trained under Sam Brownback.

Paul Ryan like Sam Brownback sleep together with ALEC and the Koch bucks.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

"Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday that he'll work to create 100,000 new private-sector jobs in Kansas over the next four years if he's re-elected"

Why didn't he do it during the first four years instead of issuing pink slips to state employees?

Matt Needham 3 years, 9 months ago

You seem to misunderstand how this works. If you wanted to be re-elected you should have created the jobs in your first term.

Lynn Grant 3 years, 9 months ago

"We're going to continue to grow the economy," Brownback said. Hmmmm, when you gonna start, Sam?. Where are those jobs you promised? And how 'bout that child poverty thing? You really think businesses are going to flock here without good PUBLIC education available? How are those lower income taxes working out for the middle class and working poor? Of course you can't give any details now, Koch and ALEC haven't given them to you yet. You laid out several measurable objectives for your first administration and invited voters to judge you by those standards four years later. You may regret that invitation.

Bob Forer 3 years, 9 months ago

INstead of a lengthy platform, we would all be better served if Brownback kept his platform short and sweet, and consistent with his policies he implemented his first term. Something along the lines of:

"blame it on Obama." .

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 9 months ago

When is this Koch head going start growing the economy? Where is Dave to tell us how brownie has grown the economy already, in spite of Obama?

James Howlette 3 years, 9 months ago

"A stable regulatory environment" Ha! He's created a radically unstable regulatory environment where you don't know what goofy tea party law is going to get passed next. And then he proceeds to list a bunch of radical legislative changes he wants to whip up, because businesses like nothing more than a state with downgraded bond ratings that likely won't be able to afford to pave its own roads or police its own streets. It's the Wild West. Pew-pew-pew Yee haw! Everybody, let's move our business here!

Paul R Getto 3 years, 9 months ago

Send in the Clown; just don't reelect him.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 9 months ago

Same old, same old. We have heard this before. Who is going to locate in bleeding, flyover Kansas?? That is the perception that a lot of the rest of the country has of our state, I recently heard the term "cornhole Kansas" on a popular comedy show.

The governor has done a great deal of damage to the perception of Kansas as well as financial ruin to many institutions in the state. Who can ever believe that anything will change with the Koch Regime Republican governor and legislature and his anti-voting Secretary of State holding a strangle hold on civility and reasonable process in Kansas??

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