Revenue shortfall – This past legislative session had a surreal tone, as many legislators chose to ignore the elephant in the Statehouse – the fact that Kansas is going broke. Its budget is only balanced by drawing down reserves. That message was driven home as new figures showed state revenues fell $92.8 million short of projections for April. Fooling almost no one, the Brownback administration blamed the problem on President Obama’s tax policies. The next day, Moody’s Investors Service lowered the state’s credit rating a notch.
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’s revenue drop. Evidently Brownback administration officials would disagree with us, because panicking they are. In a news release, the Governor’s Office blamed April’s revenue shortfall on, of all things, President Obama. Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the drop was “an undeniable result of President Obama’s failed economic policies of increasing taxes and overregulation.” So, if May’s numbers are back up, does that mean that Obama gets the credit for that, too?