State of dysfunction

? It?s a disgrace to see legislators go into overtime at taxpayers? expense when the fix is clear.

Kansas lawmakers? attempts to mend a busted state budget are dysfunctional at best. How else to describe the bumbling going on in Topeka?

After reckless income-tax cuts passed in 2012 drove the state deep into debt instead of generating Gov. Sam Brownback?s promised economic ?shot of adrenaline,? financial setbacks for K-12 public schools, road projects and other state-funded services followed.

And now, lawmakers left to concoct some mix of tax increases and spending cuts to balance the budget are failing miserably. With every legislative seat up for re-election next year, the folks in charge clearly want to avoid much debate or voting that would put lawmakers on the record for raising taxes.

Still, most of the blame for the floundering can be attributed to the Brownback camp?s lack of leadership. Even though we?ve known about the state?s fiscal woes for many months, the governor and his legislative leaders had no realistic plan in mind to address budget shortfalls topping $1 billion.

Kansans deserved better. They needed leaders in the Statehouse to roll up their sleeves and fix the self-inflicted budget mess ? and in the time allotted for the session.

What a disgrace it is to see legislators go into overtime at taxpayer expense ? especially when a key part of the answer moving forward lies within their reach in significant revision of the foolish income tax-cut policy that created the problem in the first place.

? The Garden City Telegram

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