Kansas is soooo broke…
Audience – How broke are we?
We are so broke that we need to come up with $400 million dollars more in spending reductions or tax increases to balance the budget.
I wish this was a joke, but it isn’t.
All the lawmakers quoted in the news I’m reading say the same thing – “This is going to pose a challenge.”
A challenge? That’s the understatement of the year.
“Rep. Marvin Kleeb, an Overland Park Republican and chairman of the House Taxation Committee, said the job of legislators upon their return to Topeka on April 29 would be to address the budget hole without slicing into K-12 education, the state pension system or social service programs.”
Why? Because they have already cut these programs back so far that some school districts inour state have let out children early, because they can’t afford to keep them in school the entire school year. In response, parents, teachers and district officials have all taken to doing the Topeka Wave as a show of support for our Kansas lawmakers. It involves a middle finger pointed in the direction of our state capital.
That leaves us waiting to see what mathematical magic Budget Director Shawn Sullivan will roll out to save this state and balance our budget. S2 is in the rock and hard place position of holding to Brownback’s promise of not raising taxes, but being constitutionally obligated to balance our budget.
“The state’s budget problems arose after Brownback successfully pushed lawmakers to cut personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to stimulate the economy. The governor wants to preserve those cuts as much as possible.”
“Sullivan said the gap between the state and national economies would be greater without the income tax cuts championed by Brownback.”
Translation – we would suck worse without Brownback’s tax cuts.
Sorry – I’m suffering from allergies.
So how do you balance a budget without further cutting the major programs and not raising taxes?
A cigarette and alcohol tax of course!
Sounds like a gem of an idea to me. Let’s take a shitty economy and then tax the one thing that makes people happy – alcohol. As far as cigarettes, smoking continues to decline. Doesn’t sound like a rock solid revenue source to me, but then again I’m not a tax genius – just a snarky blogger.
I’ve got to run. In the meantime I encourage everyone to do the Topeka Wave today. It doesn’t change anything, but it always makes me feel so much better.