Advertisement

Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Legislative committee advances 3.4 percent across-the-board budget cut

Democrats say schools will suffer and taxes will go up

January 26, 2009, 9:47 a.m. Updated January 26, 2009, 5:40 p.m.

Advertisement

— Republicans on Monday pushed through committee a 3.4 percent across-the-board cut to the state budget that Democrats said would hurt schools, slash services to vulnerable Kansans, shut down prisons and force local tax increases.

It also may set up a veto showdown between the Republican-dominated Legislature and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat.

Republicans said the plan by Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, who is chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, was necessary to prop up an ailing state budget that faces a shortfall of $186 million in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and upwards of a $1 billion deficit in the next fiscal year.

“This is so terrible — devastating to all the programs. But we have to start somewhere,” said Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita.

But Sen. Janis Lee, D-Kensington, said the plan was “like a sucker punch to the gut.”

The measure, approved 8-5 by the Ways and Means Committee, will go to the full Senate for a vote on Wednesday. Eight Republicans voted for it, while three Democrats and two Republicans voted against it.

The proposal would cut $300 million from the current budget, or about $101 million more than a budget submitted by Sebelius.

The measure would hit higher education particularly hard because it would apply the 3.4 percent reduction on top of an earlier 3 percent cut proposed by Sebelius.

And schools would get hit harder, too. Sebelius’ plan shorted public schools about $18 million, while the committee bill would cut schools approximately $131 million.

Lee said the cut would force school districts, especially poorer ones, to increase local taxes.

“We’re going to be able to stand up and pound our chest that there is not going to be a tax increase, and then under our breath, say not at the state level,” Lee said.

Lawrence school Supt. Randy Weseman said the proposal would require the district to cut about $2 million from its budget.

“With 5 months left in the budget that is going to be a challenge,” Weseman said.

He said he has instituted a modified hiring freeze and tried to reduce expenditures.

But aside from that, he said, he doesn’t know how the district would handle such a cut. “Part of that has to be a discussion with the board. I’ll try to protect the core of our operation, but other than that, it’s all on the table, I guess,” he said.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said the GOP leadership plan was “a dagger in the heart” of the school lawsuit that led to increase in school funding.

Democrats also said the cut would result in the Kansas Department of Corrections having to shut down by April 1 the Stockton, Norton and Winfield correctional facilities, and terminate all offender treatment and intervention programs.

Sen. Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City, said she feared vulnerable Kansans would lose their state assistance.

But Ways and Means Chairman Emler said the plan would protect those Kansans as much as possible by directing agencies to “first take their reductions in personnel and operating expenditures prior to implementing any program reductions.”

Emler said the plan prohibited agencies from making reductions all in the elimination of programs. That, he said, would prevent agencies from cutting “heartstring programs.”

Sebelius’ budget director, Duane Goossen, said he didn’t see how services could avoid being cut because the proposal would ax about $45 million in five months from agencies delivering those services.

Other committee members, including some Republicans, complained that more targeted budget reductions were needed, rather than an across-the-board cut.

Democrats on the committee proposed alternative budget adjustments that would have added up to $300 million, but Republican leaders on the committee swept the proposal aside.

Sebelius said her budget proposal given to the Legislature earlier this month was balanced, protected vulnerable Kansans and tried to “keep the promise we made to our schoolchildren.”

She trashed the work of the majority of the Ways and Means Committee, saying they “proposed we break our commitments on school finance, slash essential services for disabled Kansans, and threaten our public safety improvements.”

Comments

sinedie 5 years, 10 months ago

Across the board still sounds like the quick-n-easy way of doing it. It might be the most fair, but it isn't the smartest strategy.Can't wait to see what they'll want to do for next year...

d_prowess 5 years, 10 months ago

I am not going to even pretend like I know enough about state budget planning to make any suggestions, but it does seem that an across the board cut punishes any department/agency that has worked hard to operate efficiently.

nekansan 5 years, 10 months ago

I wonder if they will take a 3.4% pay cut?

budwhysir 5 years, 10 months ago

Thats right an across the board cut would have a greater impact on some divisions. Take into account that if we do cut wages, 3.4% of way too much is alot less than 3.4% of you make how much????Also, if we cut funding to everything, how on earth would we build a budget for next year. Does no one realize how many people it takes to spend our tax dollars. Lets talk about a 3.4% cut in taxes and see if they think that needs to be accross the board. I think instead of a board, we need to start using a piece of metal or plastic. Something a little slicker that can be hosed off easy when we get all this tax cut bs on it

Ken Miller 5 years, 10 months ago

GIOP better have the veto-proof votes lined up - because that's what the Governor will do.

Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey, they don't need to cut spending! Ever! The Great One is going to give Sebelius $4.5 billion to play with, more than enough to cover up past fiscal irresponsibilities, and create opportunities for much more profligate spending. Follow the link, and click on Kansas.http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/01/house_stimulus_overview.html

63BC 5 years, 10 months ago

Cowardice comes from a Governor who spent us in to this hole, produced a phantom budget based on already outdated budget assumptions and is now shooting at the only folks offering honest solutions.As of now, this is not an argument between different ways of doing what has to be done. The argument right now is between those comitted to doing the job and a Governor lying to them and the public about it.

ockhamsrazor 5 years, 10 months ago

Balancing the budget on the backs of our kids is shameful. But I guess the Senators voting for this disaster figure that kids can't vote... yet.

honestone 5 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence school Supt. Randy Weseman said the proposal would require the district to cut about $2 million from its budget.“With 5 months left in the budget that is going to be a challenge,” Weseman said.I guess we could thrown in the 2 million we are spending on the new athletic fields. Just a thought...

Godot 5 years, 10 months ago

honestone, read the writing on the wall: do Obama's bidding in exchange for his $4.5 billion dollar gift, and all will be well.

JHOK32 5 years, 10 months ago

The problem with straight-across-the-board cuts is that it punishes the organizations who have already been operating efficiently, in other words, there is no fat to cut because it never was there to begin with. So the message to those agency managers is loud & clear.....better fatten up & pad your budgets so next time you get hit it won't hurt so hard. Is this really the way we want to play our little government games. Hopefully wiser people will prevail & praise the efficient agencies rather than punish them.

JHOK32 5 years, 10 months ago

As far as the Big "O" is concerned, bring on his $millions in promised help to the State coffers. Brother George Jr gave away $Billions & $Trillions to his big oil buddies for their precious oil in Iraq (remember Exxon's historical record oil profits?). How about Cheney's buddies (Halliburton) getting $Billions in NO BID CONTRACTS! Yes, you heard me correct......Here Dicky Boy just write in however many $Billions of dollars you think you'll need for this month.....How about sending some of those $Billions blank checks to our own States here where our people are losing their houses, jobs, health insurance, retirements? How about a few "NO BID" Contracts for us !!!!!

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says… "Leave it to the rightwing to propose this kind of tax cut as opposed to looking at the budget item by item. Political cowardice? Of course! But what can you expect from the rightwing?"Uh huh. The Democrats say 'We can't cut education!' (Then the teachers union wouldn't vote for us.)'We can't cut public safety!' (Then we'd lose the police and fire unions.)'And God forbid, how can we cut welfare?' (Then the poor people wouldn't vote for us.)They say 'Across-the-board cuts are unreasonable, we need to consider the budget line by line.' (Translation - 'We need to give each individual legislator an opportunity to delay for weeks and months any possible solution while they fight to preserve whichever pet project benefits the people they need to re-elect them.')While the Republicans say 'Tough luck, the money simply isn't there, no favoritism, no bickering, everybody takes a cut.' ('And we could really care less about the award-winning LJW's message board members ranting against it.')You're half-right, log. You're right about the cowardice. You're just wrong about who the cowards are. But then, that's nothing new for you.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

It dawns on me that logrithmic will likely miss the point of my previous post, so let me simplify it:The party who is willing to make necessary, difficult, but unpopular decisions aren't the political cowards, log. The party looking for a popular solution, one that won't offend any voters and keep them in office - that's pretty much the definition of political cowardice. And that would be the folks standing up there saying "We have to cut - but of course we won't cut anything that affects you, my dear voter/lobbyist/political ally." (Pssst - log - that would be the Democrats.)

MyName 5 years, 10 months ago

The party who is willing to make necessary, difficult, but unpopular decisions aren't the political cowardsOh yeah, and cutting taxes across the board when the economy is good and we need it the least isn't pandering at all? Especially tax cuts for the rich which, as far as I can tell, was the only economic policy during the 8 years of the Bush administration!How about we cut taxes for our rich contributors, then blame the democrats and the governor (neither of whom had a majority and could pass a budget) when suddenly the economic situation changes and the numbers no longer add up! That sounds like the "courageous" legislators of the Republicans in this state to me!

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

MyName (Anonymous) says… "Oh yeah, and cutting taxes across the board when the economy is good and we need it the least isn't pandering at all? Especially tax cuts for the rich which, as far as I can tell, was the only economic policy during the 8 years of the Bush administration!"Uh huh.Okay, let me type slowly so you can follow.This story is about a budget proposal intheKansaslegislature. The comment I was addressing referred to the Republicans intheKansas legislature. My own comment, including the part you quoted, referred to the actions of members of the different parties intheKansaslegislature.Now, I realize that, being a child in a liberal college town (which thankfully has an insignificant voice in the politics of this state), in order to impress your professors and friends, you're required to blame everything from Eve giving Adam the apple on forward on our former president. And I don't know how to break this to you, except to come out and just say it, but - neither George W nor any member of his administration has a seat intheKansaslegislature*.Please do try to keep up.I could waste my time trying to dispute your ludicrous claim that only the rich got tax breaks from Republicans. But you wouldn't listen, and wouldn't understand. So I'll just think of you and chuckle a little next Tuesday after the direct deposit arrives, and I'm out spending the $10K in refunds that only rich folks got.

pistachio 5 years, 10 months ago

Notajayhawk: The problem with an across-the-board cut is that it encourages the very behavior that you're condemning. Agencies that pad their budgets with "fat", like too many managers or fruitless programs, will make out the best because they have tons of fat to cut. As a state employee, I can tell you that there are many agencies that could cut MUCH more than 3.4% with no impact to the state. On the other hand, there are agencies who have been very responsible and actually have frozen their own budget requests in order to be more "lean and mean". They will be hurt the worst because they've already trimmed their budgets. This proposal sends the message that frugality will be punished and wastefulness will be rewarded. That's why it's an unpopular decision. It's lazy.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 10 months ago

But Ways and Means Chairman Emler said the plan would protect those Kansans as much as possible by directing agencies to “first take their reductions in personnel and operating expenditures prior to implementing any program reductions.”-----------------------------This is one of the more ridiculous comments you will ever see from a legislator.Basically, Senate Republicans think we can leave the restaurant open and keep making food but we're going to fire all the wait staff. I'm not sure how they expect Kansans to access their government when there aren't any employees.Perhaps we can just leave salt trucks sitting idle on the side of the road and if there is snow or ice the good people of Kansas will climb in and clear the streets.Do we really need a bunch of wildlife & parks staff? Nah, just one person to open the gate in the morning and close it at night, right Kansas Republicans?Protecting programs? Without employees to administer them, there are no programs.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

pistachio (Anonymous) says… "This proposal sends the message that frugality will be punished and wastefulness will be rewarded."As a former state (and federal) employee myself, I hate to break this to you, but that's the way it always has been and always will be in the public sector.There is always a big blip in spending just before the end of the fiscal year. Why? Because it's a case of 'use it or lose it.' Every department, division, agency, office, etc., in the public sector that has a budget will spend whatever they have on hand in a mad rush of purchase orders around June 15th (in those states whose fiscal year ends on the 30th). If they don't p___ away the money, they won't get as much in next year's budget. Not only is an incentive for frugality markedly absent (you get promoted and otherwise rewarded for tenure, not performance or savings, in the public sector), the incentive for wastefulness has always been, is now, and always will be there.Add to this another important distinction between the public and private sectors. There is a total disconnect between revenues and expenditures. You don't have to justify increased spending by bringing in more revenue, you just spend more and ask the legislature to pay for it (who in turn 'asks' you and I to pay for it). It's a happy little system until money gets tight, and you and I start saying 'Hey, what did you do with the money we already gave you - we don't have any more to give.'"That's why it's an unpopular decision. It's lazy."It's no such thing. It puts the responsibility for saving money in the hands of those who spend it. They're saying 'This is how much we have to give you,' and each department and division has to figure out how to do the most with it. I could as easily say that the state employees (at least at the administrative levels) are the lazy ones, that they don't want to be the bad guys and make the cuts and expect the legislature to keep funding everything.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 10 months ago

sinedie wrote "Across the board still sounds like the quick-n-easy way of doing it. It might be the most fair, but it isn't the smartest strategy."I have to disagree that it's the most fair. Wasn't it Oliver Wendell Holmes who said "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals?" It is, however, expedient. But if it passes, I won't vote for my Representative again in the future.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 10 months ago

Clarification to above: I won't vote for my Senator if it passes the Senate, or for my Representative if it passes the House.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 10 months ago

"It puts the responsibility for saving money in the hands of those who spend it. They're saying 'This is how much we have to give you,' and each department and division has to figure out how to do the most with it."This does not describe the Senate's proposal. Because this is an across the board cut, it chops 3.4% equally out of each and every fund that receives general fund dollars, removing any departmental or divisional control.This is actually a description of the way the Governor has proposed making budget reductions. The overall target is 3%, and agencies have to figure out how to do the most with it. Under the Senate plan, there is no allowance for setting priorities.Essentially, the Senate plan chops away at every program indiscriminately while the Governor's plan allows departments and divisions to limit the reductions in prioritized areas while making steeper reductions elsewhere.

pistachio 5 years, 10 months ago

Notajayhawk, I agree that the State has to bring expenditures in line with revenues, but an across-the-board cut is just the wrong way to go. If you really want to make agencies accountable for every dollar they spend, you have to look critically at each agency. If the Legislature offered less of a cut to agencies who have been smart with funds and forced a greater cut onto the "fat" ones, you could reverse the incentive to spend spend spend. I guess I'm just optimistic enough to think that there's a way out of the sick budgeting process we've been mired in.

MyName 5 years, 10 months ago

@notajayhawk:>Now, I realize that, being a child in a liberal college townI'm 28 and I've been living and working in Lawrence for almost 6 years, and I went to school here for 4 more years before that. If I'm a child, then you're Methuselah. But as they say, "there's no fool like an old fool">Okay, let me type slowly so you can follow.As if you have any other speed.>This story is about a budget proposal intheKansaslegislature*. It is about a proposal by Republicans in the Kansas who have exactly the same approach to economic policy as the Bush Administration namely, tax cuts are good even if we can't actually afford them. My post responded to this perfectly adequately, and instead of responding to my point you decided to engage in pointless ad hominem.To quote my earlier post, which you completely ignored:"[The Republican policy is to] cut taxes for [their] rich contributors, then blame the democrats and the governor (neither of whom had a majority and could pass a budget) when suddenly the economic situation changes and the numbers no longer add up! That sounds like the “courageous” legislators of the Republicans in this state to me!"When you have something to post that actually responds to these two points, that the Republicans pander to their base as much if not more than the Democrats, just in a different way, and that they've been the only ones who could pass a budget in this state in the last 14 years, then you can pretend you're engaging in an adult conversation instead of just spouting off like the old fart you are.

MyName 5 years, 10 months ago

@notajayhawk (again):>Add to this another important distinction between the public and private sectors. There is a total disconnect between revenues and expenditures.Oh yeah, and just because the people making out the budget plans are in the private sector that means that their spending plans are "magically" correct and in tune with real conditions and all public officials are inherently corrupt and incompetent. So why is it that thousands of businesses are failing again? And where did all of these corrupt and incompetent business people that ran Lehman Bros. and the other failures into the ground come from? They couldn't all have been former employees of the State of Kansas...The truth is that for public and private systems, it's the same kinds of people (accountants) making the same kinds of decisions using the same kinds of data. The only way to avoid the "justified expenditure" budget problem is to go to some kind of zero-based budgeting system. Which I would be in favor if except for the fact that it'd take two or three times longer than the already drawn out process.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Bob_Keeshan (Anonymous) says… "This does not describe the Senate's proposal. Because this is an across the board cut, it chops 3.4% equally out of each and every fund that receives general fund dollars, removing any departmental or divisional control."Um, did you read the story, Captain? >>> But Ways and Means Chairman Emler said the plan would protect those Kansans as much as possible by directing agencies to “first take their reductions in personnel and operating expenditures prior to implementing any program reductions.”>>> Emler said the plan prohibited agencies from making reductions all in the elimination of programs. That, he said, would prevent agencies from cutting “heartstring programs.”Legislatures don't fund programs, they fund agencies, departments, divisions. While in some cases the money is earmarked, mostly the legislature gives, say, the DOE $xyz-million and the Dept decides whether to spend it on Head Start, textbooks, or personnel. And the story clearly spells out where they prefer the money gets cut first.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

MyName (Anonymous) says… "I'm 28 and I've been living and working in Lawrence for almost 6 years, and I went to school here for 4 more years before that. If I'm a child, then you're Methuselah."Well, it was an honest mistake - perhaps if you acted less like a child. Like for instance, not believing that everyone older than your ancient-and-wisdom-bestowing 28 years is Methuselah."It is about a proposal by Republicans in the Kansas who have exactly the same approach to economic policy as the Bush Administration namely, tax cuts are good even if we can't actually afford them. My post responded to this perfectly adequately, and instead of responding to my point you decided to engage in pointless ad hominem."Well, let's see - this was your statement that I responded to: “Oh yeah, and cutting taxes across the board when the economy is good and we need it the least isn't pandering at all? Especially tax cuts for the rich which, as far as I can tell, was the only economic policy during the 8 years of the Bush administration!”So please, tell me what language you're speaking where "cutting taxes across the board when the economy is good and we need it the least" means the same thing as "tax cuts are good even if we can't actually afford them." Here, let me narrow it down for you: " [when] we need it the least" and "if we can't actually afford them" don't exactly carry the same meaning. For that matter, neither do "cutting taxes across the board" and "tax cuts for the rich which ... was the only economic policy during the 8 years of the Bush administration." "Across the board" and "for the rich." Yep, you certainly weren't injecting a great big dose of BDS into your perfectly adequate response."When you have something to post that actually responds to these two points..."So, when you said it was 'pandering' to "(cut) taxes across the board when the economy is good and we need it the least," you were suggesting what - that we shouldn't lower taxes when we don't need the money? That was your big adult 'point?' The reason I skipped the rest of your post is because that part was so monumentally stupid."you can pretend you're engaging in an adult conversation"Why, I'd love to engage in adult conversation sometime. How many years (decades?) do you think it will be before you grow into one? (At least we know you'll grow up to be a good little Democrat, if you believe the purpose of government is to keep collecting taxes when we don't need them.)[continued]

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

[continued]"So why is it that thousands of businesses are failing again? And where did all of these corrupt and incompetent business people that ran Lehman Bros. and the other failures into the ground come from?"This is one of the few commonalities between the private and public sectors. The people at the very top (in the public sector that's the administration and the legislators) aren't the ones who make the nuts-and-bolts decisions on how to spend money, nor do they take the hit when the company fails. The difference is, in the private sector the mid- and lower level managers (the ones who actually do make the day-to-day spending decisions) get their heads chopped off if the money stops coming; the upper-level guys might get canned, but usually have lucrative separation packages. But in the public sector, nobody gets canned, nobody is accountable.There are inherent differences between the public and private sectors. One is that career advancement in the public sector is based on seniority, not performance. Since the pay scale is dramatically lower, the best typically leave for the private sector before reaching that kind of tenure, resulting in the least competent (those that couldn't get a job in the private sector) eventually being in charge.Another difference is that there is no incentive to either save money or increase revenues. In the private sector, if you run a budget surplus, you get rewarded. In the public sector, you get punished, in the form of a reduced budget in subsequent years.Also, as I mentioned earlier (please do try to keep up), there is a disconnect between revenues and expenditures. The purpose of government isn't to make a profit. Therefore increased spending doesn't have to be justified by increased 'production' or by anything else. In the private sector, you can't ask for more money unless it has a reasonable expectation of generating income. There is an entirely different mindset in the public sector as a result - with the legislative authority to generate revenue through taxes, you don't have to make economically sound decisions.And they generally don't. Now the Republicans in the legislator, responsible for my money that's being spent, are saying they're holding the line - figure out a way to spend less. I realize no Democrat is going to agree with this policy since it goes against the very grain of their belief system, that the purpose of government is to provide more and more and more services and we'll just tax the bejesus out of everyone to keep doing that. But thankfully, as I said, their voice is insignificant in the Kansas legislature.

MyName 5 years, 10 months ago

Like for instance, not believing that everyone older than your ancient-and-wisdom-bestowing 28 years is Methuselah.No, what I said was if 28 is the equivalent of a baby in diapers, then you must have to be over 900 years old before you can be considered an "adult". I was taking your "point" to its logical conclusion in order to show that it was absurd.>So please, tell me what language you're speaking where “cutting taxes across the board when the economy is good and we need it the least” means the same thing as “tax cuts are good even if we can't actually afford them.” Here, let me narrow it down for you: ” [when] we need it the least” and “if we can't actually afford them” don't exactly carry the same meaning. Which is exactly the kind of analysis you were missing in your earlier (inadequate) response. In any case, the sentences you refer to were from two different paragraphs so naturally they were referring to different problems with the Republican economic policy. The first was an indication of the Republican plan during the good times, which justifies tax cuts as a way to "pay back" hard working Americans (even though we're all doing well enough that we don't need it). The second paragraph refers to the Republican economic policy during the bad times which is to cut (or preserve earlier cuts) in order to stimulate the economy while blaming the other party for the "excesses of government" (even if they didn't have power of the budget for a decade or more, like in Kansas).>For that matter, neither do “cutting taxes across the board” and “tax cuts for the rich which … was the only economic policy during the 8 years of the Bush administration.” “Across the board” and “for the rich.” Bush did cut taxes across the board, he just cut them way more for the rich so the overall tax burden shifted to the middle class. Or are Capital gains taxes (one of his biggest cuts) something that affect the majority of people in this country? How about the estate tax? And that's ignoring fact that he lowered the income tax rates far more for richer Americans?

MyName 5 years, 10 months ago

Another difference is that there is no incentive to either save money or increase revenues. In the private sector, if you run a budget surplus, you get rewarded. In the public sector, you get punished, in the form of a reduced budget in subsequent years.This depends on the kind of business and how efficiently it is ran. There are plenty of instances of large corporations running themselves into the ground throughout history because of mismanagement, greed, and incompetence. In fact, in this country, there are way more examples of private corruption and failure than there are public ones. Not only that, but with so many people able to look over the books and ask questions, I'd say that the biggest reason why government is less efficient than private business has to do with all the added layers of oversight required by government, more than anything else.Any human enterprise is open to these same problems and is no better or worse than the people who are in it. The only bright side is that Kansas seems to be much better off than states like Illinois as far as being fairly good at running the government.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 10 months ago

"Legislatures don't fund programs, they fund agencies, departments, divisions. While in some cases the money is earmarked, mostly the legislature gives, say, the DOE $xyz-million and the Dept decides whether to spend it on Head Start, textbooks, or personnel. And the story clearly spells out where they prefer the money gets cut first."A pretty broad representation of your lack of knowledge on how the state budget works and how Substitute for Senate Bill 23 is written.For example, you could not be more inaccurate in saying the legislature gives (and I assume this is what you mean) the Department of Education $xyz million. The school finance formula, which is where the bulk of the money to the Kansas Department of Education comes from, is wildly complex and includes dozens of very specific funds into which money is deposited.Again, I would encourage you to take some time and go through Substitute for Senate Bill 23 and see just how ham-handed a 3.4% across the board budget cut is and how it takes the decision making out of the hands of agency heads.Remarkably, the story isn't representative of the entirety of the situation. Shocking, I know.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

MyName (Anonymous) says… "No, what I said was if 28 is the equivalent of a baby in diapers, then you must have to be over 900 years old before you can be considered an “adult”. I was taking your “point” to its logical conclusion in order to show that it was absurd."Here's a little tip on reading comprehension, child. When I said - in the same sentence as the word 'child' appeared (which, as I said, refers more to the quality of your 'argument' than your chronological age) - something about your professors and friends, one of reasonable intelligence (apparently a term not applicable to yourself) might have understood that I was not referring to a "baby in diapers." (Although your subsequent responses have left me wondering.)So, let's see - for the sake of illustration let's say I was thinking along the lines of a college freshman, and I was middle-aged, say 50. Adding 11 years to both of our age would make me 61. Or maybe you meant percentage wise - let's see, if I add 61% to 50 - nope, still not quite making it to 900. I don't know about your logic, but your math skills could use a little sharpening."In any case, the sentences you refer to were from two different paragraphs so naturally they were referring to different problems with the Republican economic policy. "But what you actually said (do you even bother to read what you post?) was "It is about a proposal by Republicans in the Kansas who have exactly the same approach to economic policy as the Bush Administration namely, tax cuts are good even if we can't actually afford them," with the "It" being the article this thread follows. Try spinning like a Maytag if you wish, but you completely reversed what you had said. Now, I fully respect the right of someone to change their mind - lord knows someone like you needs every opportunity to do so - but you were talking out of both sides of your a__, and now you're trying to find a third side.[continued]

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

[continued]"Bush did cut taxes across the board, he just cut them way more for the rich so the overall tax burden shifted to the middle class. Or are Capital gains taxes (one of his biggest cuts) something that affect the majority of people in this country? How about the estate tax? And that's ignoring fact that he lowered the income tax rates far more for richer Americans?"Okay, I know you have trouble with big concepts, but this one is pretty simple - the rich got more of a tax break because - hold onto your seat - they pay more in taxes. Now, as a socialist-leaning good little Democrat with a huge sense of entitlement, I realize you think that's 'fair,' that because they have more they should support your lazy a__. Some people prefer to pay their own way.Most anyone who sells a house pays capital gains. So does anyone invested in stocks, money markets, etc., and yes, actually, that IS more than half the country. And as far as estate taxes, just what the heck gives you clowns the idea you have some kind of claim to what someone else accumulated over a lifetime more than their own children?"In fact, in this country, there are way more examples of private corruption and failure than there are public ones."Um - again - that's because there are far more private enterprises than government agencies. Go figure. And public concerns don't 'fail' - they just take more money from their citizens to make up the difference. "The only bright side is that Kansas seems to be much better off than states like Illinois as far as being fairly good at running the government."Attributable, in no small way, to the fact that we have - and will likely continue to have for the foreseeable future - a Republican legislature.Look, kid, this is fun, but in a guilty sort of way. Kind of like winning a basketball game by 100 points, but against a bunch of third-grade midgets. But if I keep responding, you'll keep digging deeper, and frankly it's like watching one of those Buddhist monks immolate himself. So keep telling yourself you're right, I'll keep chuckling when I read your posts (as will, no doubt, countless others), and we'll leave it at that.

notajayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Bob_Keeshan;Yes, I realize there's more to a budget bill than $x00,000,000 for Education, $x50,000,000 for transportation, etc. I also have enough experience working for government agencies to know that what those line items are and what actually gets spent are two very, very different things. Now, if part of the Dept of Mental Health's budget is $100 million to build a new hospital, then no, they can't take that money and use it to cover increased heating costs. But if there's a line item for substance abuse services in the ER of that hospital and the legislature says you have to cut 10 grand from that, it IS up to the department (or, more likely, the hospital administrator) to decide whether that cut comes in the form of service delivery, staff levels, office supplies, putting off that new computer purchase, training expenses, etc. And this is the way it should be - the people in Topeka (or Jeff City or wherever) shouldn't be micro-managing everything in the state at the paycheck and purchase order level.If the legislature tries to trim the fat department by department, what you end up with is a disaster. They look at things like 'Hey, why does the Lawrence SRS office have so many employees for that caseload level when the Wichita office has that many for that level, and why do they have x number of kids getting Medicaid when Atchison only has y?' They're not there on the scene to see what may be a completely different type of clients with more (or less) needs, and they're not fluent in the provision of social services. It should be the people closer to the line that make the decisions. Nobody's hands are being tied here. By cutting the bottom line, the agency heads have the exact same latitude in administering the cuts as they did when they asked for the money in their budget requests. And that, as I said, is the way it should be.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 10 months ago

"Nobody's hands are being tied here. By cutting the bottom line, the agency heads have the exact same latitude in administering the cuts as they did when they asked for the money in their budget requests. And that, as I said, is the way it should be."Again, they are not cutting the bottom line. That is the Governor's proposal. You are confused.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.