Opinion Columns & Blogs

Spending increases were known at time of tax cut

Gov. Sam Brownback pushed backed this week at the widely held notion that his tax cuts caused the state’s budget problems. “I don’t think it’s fair to discount the cost side,” he said, pointing to the costs of shoring up the state’s pension system. But when Brownback pushed for tax cuts in 2012, it was clear then that the pension system was underfunded and would need a lot more money. It was also clear then that Medicaid costs would continue to rise. And it was nearly assured that the state would lose a lawsuit and have to significantly increase funding of K-12 education. That’s why it made no sense in 2012 – and still makes no sense today – that the state would slash its revenue when it knew that major costs would increase. – Phillip Brownlee