News Columns & Blogs

Pass tax cut or we'll blow up the state budget

Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas House are using the threat of enacting a fiscally irresponsible tax-cut plan to try to force the Kansas Senate to approve a more reasonable one. After the House approved tax cuts Wednesday that could create a $2.7 billion deficit by 2017, Brownback issued a statement saying he was "prepared to sign the bill" but that he encouraged legislators to continue working on other alternatives. In other words: "Don't make me sign it but, so help me, I will." House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said he hoped his chamber's actions would "encourage" the Senate to give a tax conference committee report further consideration. The key to pulling off a hostage situation is convincing others that you're crazy enough to follow through on your threat. No wonder many responsible lawmakers are worried.