Monday, December 22, 2014

Everyone claiming ‘It’s not our fault’ on revenue decline

5/5/2014

Brownback has a good excuse for revenue drop: It’s Obama’s fault.

Kansas’ April revenue figures are in, and the state is off about $93 million from budget. And that’s from figures that were just revised earlier this month.

Brownback has a good excuse for revenue drop: It’s Obama’s fault.

Kansas’ April revenue figures are in, and the state is off about $93 million from budget. And that’s from figures that were just revised earlier this month.

Although we’ve long suspected that Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts will spell disaster for the state, it seems a bit premature to panic over one month. Evidently the Brownback administration would disagree with us, because panicking they are.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the governor’s office blamed the revenue shortfall on, of all things, President Obama. No foolin’.

If the Brownback administration wasn’t worried, they would have put out a release saying, basically, this is just a one-month aberration. And it might be.

But the fact that they immediately went to their fall-back, it’s-not-our-fault position is telling.

The state’s Legislative Research Department showed that Kansas has taken in $480 million less in revenue than it did at this point last year, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said April’s drop was “an undeniable result of President Obama’s failed economic policies of increasing taxes and over-regulation.”

So, if May’s numbers are back up, does that mean that Obama gets the credit for that, too?

We’re not the only ones not buying the Obama excuse.

State Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, who serves on the Legislature’s joint budget committee, said Legislative Research’s figures show that if current trends continue, $1.48 billion will have to be cut from the state budget between fiscal years 2016 and 2019.

But it’s more than Democrats. Annie McKay, executive director for the nonprofit Kansas Center of Economic Growth, called the numbers “worrisome.” She doesn’t think it’s time to panic, but she also doesn’t see how the revenue decrease can be attributed to anything other than the state’s own tax policies.

If you wonder what all this means, think of it this way. When’s the last time that you heard anyone say that taking in less and spending more was a good idea? That’s where Kansas is heading.

If Brownback wants to blame Obama for his fiscal woes, he also might try paraphrasing a line from the president. How about, “If you like your income tax cut, you can keep it.” We saw how that’s worked for the president.

— The Salina Journal

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