Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday that he is considering both spending cuts and tax increases as ways to close the state’s budget shortfall. That’s smart, as it would be very difficult and damaging to cut about $1 billion in spending this fiscal year and next. But Brownback is playing dumb in claiming that he didn’t know until after the election that the state was facing a shortfall this fiscal year. It was obvious to anyone looking at the budget and watching the declining tax collections that the state had serious financial problems. Yet during the campaign Brownback claimed that such concerns were “a bunch of lies.” Either Brownback should have known and didn’t, or – more likely – he did know but refused to be honest with voters. Either way is bad. – Phillip Brownlee
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