Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2011

House approves budget, includes across-the-board cut to state agencies

March 31, 2011, 7:02 p.m. Updated April 1, 2011, 12:38 a.m.


— With only Republican support, the Kansas House on Thursday approved a budget that would roll back base state aid to schools to pre-2000 levels.

The 69-52 vote sets up negotiations with the Senate, which passed its budget plan earlier in the week. Republican supporters argued the House bill was an appropriate plan in tough economic times, while Democrats said the hits on social services, education and corrections were too much.

Both measures are in the $14 billion range, with the House plan leaving a larger cash reserve.

Originally the House plan would have cut the pay of state employees making $40,000 or more on a sliding scale that topped out at 7.5 percent for those making $100,000 or more. It would have also included legislators and other state officials.

But a late amendment by state Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, removed that pay cut and instead would require a 1.193 percent across-the-board cut to state agencies, including higher education. The across-the-board cut exempted public schools, human service caseloads and pension funding.

The Senate plan doesn’t cut rank-and-file state employees either but has a 7.5 percent cut to legislators’ pay and 2.5 percent cut to judges, statewide elected officials and statutory agency chiefs. The Senate plan also includes funds to raise the pay of state workers who are significantly underpaid, while the House plan doesn’t.

The 1.193 percent across-the-board reduction means an $8.8 million cut to higher education, including reductions of $1.6 million at Kansas University and $1.25 million to the KU Medical Center.

On public schools, the Republican-led House, Senate and Gov. Sam Brownback are proposing levels of base state aid to schools that go back a decade.

The House bill would cut base state aid to $3,762 per student. The Senate has approved a plan to cut it to $3,786, and Brownback’s budget had a drop to $3,780.

Whichever of these gains final approval, the Lawrence school district is looking at a cut of approximately $3 million.

Earlier Thursday, a group of House Republicans pushed for deeper budget cuts.

An amendment by state Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, would have sliced $100 million, which included a $56 million cut to higher education. But the move failed, 44-77.

The proposal would have cut from “administrative expenses,” excluding public safety, the judiciary and kindergarten through 12th grade, Kelley said.

It had the support of House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, and Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe. Kelley said the proposal was also OK with Brownback.

She and other supporters said the amendment was necessary to tame government growth and satisfy voters who were struggling with their own financial problems.

State Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, said “we were called here by my creator” to vote for the amendment, adding he was called to be “great” not “mediocre.”

But Democrats said Kelley’s amendment would have meant the loss of thousands of state jobs and would jeopardize already reduced services for those with mental and physical disabilities.

State Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, said the proposed cut would decimate agriculture and natural resource agencies, hurting rural Kansas.

“I was not elected to grow government either, but I also wasn’t sent here to cut services and the legs out from everything in rural Kansas,” she said.

Kelley’s amendment failed, 46-77.

Sherriene Jones-Sontag, Brownback’s spokeswoman, said she couldn’t confirm Brownback supported the amendment but said he invited House members to search for ways to reduce the budget further.

Earlier, state Rep. Owen Donohoe, R-Shawnee, sought to freeze state spending to current levels, which would have shorted next year’s budget proposal by more than $300 million. But that amendment failed, 8-107.

The House broke from its debate for about three hours to watch Wichita State on television in the NIT men’s basketball championship. The Shockers beat Alabama, 66-57.


Orwell 6 years ago

I knew Anthony Brown was clueless. I didn't know he was delusional.

"Mediocre" would be a significant step upward for the Gentleman from Eudora.

b22 6 years ago

Austerity, the word is blasphemy to all politicians! Fiscal conservativeness is like pulling teeth, when it is really what is needed to fix the gaps in the budget. I guess Kansas might as well follow the lead of other states...spend spend spend....

Grump 6 years ago

Yes, lets change mediocre KU into the Great Lawrence Bible College. GLBC can just offer two year associates degrees in both New Testament and Old Testament studies, and then most of those pesky overpaid professors can be fired.

Shardwurm 6 years ago

You forgot to add 'arrogant meglomaniacs' when referencing the professors.

kusp8 6 years ago

I feel that I was called by my Creator to write this sarcastic comment on this message board. Seriously, way to give us non-crazy Christians a bad name Rep. Brown.

notanota 6 years ago

Apparently I missed the section of the Bible that covered defunding public education.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Big section in the Bible about legislative budgets and public education, is there?

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

Apparently Rep Brown has the expanded edition.

concernedeudoravoter 6 years ago

Called by his Creator - no unfortunately Mr. Brown was called by a whole bunch of anti-tax supporters, mostly from JoCo that obviously had no idea (even though many of us in his own home town do) how much of a ____ (have fun filling that in yourself) he truly is. He has not, ever, never shown any kind of support for education in this state, whether K-12 or at a state university.

Danielle Brunin 5 years, 12 months ago

He obviously didn't benefit from it. Why should anyone else? ;)

Stephen Roberts 6 years ago

I am curious. There were people on the that were blasting the Rs because they did not present a alternatives to Obamacare? What were the Ds proposing? I haven't heard anything.

Everyone can argue that they need all of their proposed budget and they may have a lot of merit. When I do a personal budget I see I will be spending more than what I make, what should I do?

  1. Increase in my income

  2. Decrease my expenses

  3. Go into debt to fill in the GAP

  4. Combination of two or more of the above

I would use the above simple thought process to governmental budgeting. Even though I would like to raise income (income taxes, sales taxes etc) to help reduce the gap, you have a hard time of controlling making sure you get what you budgeted. The easiest thing is to control your expenses, you can manage those and adjust spending throughout the year, unlike revenue.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Please do not use common sense and logic on these message boards. It would seem the vast majority of the members here are not familiar with the concepts and are incapable of understanding them. I'm also pretty sure it's against the TOS.

bevy 5 years, 12 months ago

Nota, that is the BEST thing I have ever seen you post on these boards, HANDS DOWN. Thanks for the laugh.

Jimo 6 years ago

"I haven't heard anything."

What does your physician say about your deafness?

You don't spend all your money on a month long luxury cruise and then go home and announce "we're broke" and the kids will have to go without.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

"You don't spend all your money on a month long luxury cruise and then go home and announce "we're broke" and the kids will have to go without."

You also can't take that month long luxury cruise and then go into your boss's office and tell him you have to have a raise to cover your bills.

Jimo 5 years, 12 months ago

Ah, I think you've created a non-existent layer of "boss". (Or maybe circular.) Either way, your comment doesn't quite fit the metaphor.

If there was another layer of boss, it'd be more like: you'd have a lot of a chutzpah (or be a Republican) if you marched into the boss' office and told him he had to cut your co-workers pay to give you a raise because (a) you've spent everything on yourself and (b) you're too special to cut back (special as in the incompetent fool who almost bankrupted the company a year ago).

"But darling, I can't possibly go without my daily caviar snack! We need shared sacrifice: I'll share in other's money and they'll sacrifice! After all, I've earn my pay the old-fashioned way ... I loot it from poor saps!"

pittstatebb 5 years, 12 months ago

The alternative is the Senate. The number of democratic senators/representatives is so small that they have no say unless accompanied by republicans. The house is currently the right wing of the state and the senate is currently the centrist (left wing if you must). The truth is we now have a three party system in Kansas (far right conservatives, the historical Kansas republican party, and the democrats).

Every budget proposed by both the house and senate has cut spending. Some of the house's proposals will be constitutionally challenged in court . None of the senate's have yet to be identified as such.

gudpoynt 5 years, 12 months ago

I'm a D. How about let's start with a moratorium on tax relief for businesses?

Don't you realize that hundreds of millions of dollars of continued tax relief has been ongoing for several years, and is slated to continue?

Why are they continuing to provide more and more tax relief to businesses, and then turning around and cutting funding for public education, cutting funding for social services, and shifting the tax burden to the sales tax?

Don't you realize that higher sales taxes, cuts to public education, and cuts to social services hurt the poor the most?

Wealthy businesses, who are making profits and doing just fine, don't need any more help than they're already getting through the tax relief that has already taken effect.

Why are we giving them more, and more tax relief?

Who do you think is going to be harmed most by these "austerity" measures, hmmm? Those with lots of money, or those with not so much?

Republicans can be cold, cold, lawmakers sometimes.

Mention raising any taxes on businesses and you hear the sound of 70 sphincters tightening at once.

But no doubt about it, the well-to-do are going to benefit mostly from this budget, and the highest costs are going to be felt by those who can least afford yet another blow.

Thanks for the finger, KS Republicans legislators. Thanks a pant load.

Derek Broksieck 5 years, 12 months ago

Businesses need tax breaks considering the United States has one of the highest, if not the highest tax for businesses in the world. Stop freeloading on the government, and get off your couch and find a job.

Derek Broksieck 5 years, 12 months ago

they've lost 32 billion since 08..... why should they be paying taxes?

look up google's tax rate....every wonder why so many companies build in europe?

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Okay, first of all, I wish people would stop using that $14 billion number. GE files consolidated income taxes returns with GE Credit Services. Their consolidated financial statements are available online (go to the 'Investor Relations' section of their website). They took a billion dollar hit on some discontinued operations (divisions they sold off), for example. Oh, and only about $5.5 billion of that was from operations in this country.

Second, it's not as if they got a tax 'credit' or 'rebate' like some people around here have been saying. They defer tax payments (like a gazillion other businesses do). That doesn't mean they owe no taxes or will pay no taxes on their income from 2010. As a matter of fact, from a very brief scan of their financial statements (which is all I care to spend of my Saturday on a subject that really doesn't interest me that much), it looks like their deferred income tax liability increased by about $800 million last year. The amount that they actually pay into the treasury won't be determined until the time the money is actually due to be collected, but to say they paid no taxes or that they got a rebate or whatever is completely false.

Third, your link isn't working, so I have no idea what 'WikiInvest' is using for the basis of their '5-year average profit margin' figure. But being as how the they're reporting an annual profit that is significantly higher than what the company's audited financial statements report, I hope you're not using those blurbs to make investment decisions.

Fourth, let me ask you a question: When was the last time YOU were sitting in your tax preparer's office, and they told you that you were eligible for a tax credit, and you said 'No thanks, I don't want the credit, let me pay higher taxes?'

Lastly, all of this is irrelevant. For all the complaints about moving operations overseas, the fact remains that GE's net profit would have been substantially higher if they did so. In your opinion, they don't pay enough in taxes. Fine. If they take whatever portion of their 300,000 employees still working in America and move them to Mexico or Sri Lanka or Upper Voltbekialastiban, they could still pay even less. That okay with you?

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Did you read the story or just the headline?

"Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

"Google’s income shifting ... helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent"

[Emphasis added]

That's not their U.S. tax rate on U.S. income, that's their foreign tax rate on their overseas income.

What were you saying now?

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Brown's comment reminds me of Brownback's comment where he said he only had one constituent.

It is scary to think that decisions are being made that afffect all of us based on one's interpretation of the Bible. The only "bible" politicians should consider is the US and state consitutions. Let the Christian bible or Koran and so on guide their personal lives, but keep religion and the administration of government separate.

mloburgio 6 years ago

commuter, maybe if the gop would do their job instead of wasting time on bulked up the state’s bureaucracy, passing three laws that get the government more involved in the lives of its residents. In all three cases, lawmakers’ energies were directed toward solving problems that didn’t exist. Unfortunately, legislators haven’t begun to address Kansas’ wildly inequitable sales tax system. In the past, lobbyists convinced lawmakers to pass out so many exemptions that today for every dollar in sales that is taxed, there are two dollars of sales that avoid sales tax. This inequality hits the pocketbooks of families but protects special interests.

Addressing the tax situation would have made it possible not to gut the state’s deservedly praised educational system. But legislators were too busy increasing the size and presence of state government in the lives of everyday Kansans to worry about that.

Read more:

Common_Sense 5 years, 12 months ago

I could not have said it better myself! The Erosion of the Kansas Tax Base through sales tax exemptions is astronomical! If you do not believe this, go back over the last decade and a half, and review the House Taxation Committee as an example. There was rarely a sales tax exemption they did not pass onto the House floor… naturally, also approved by the House and Senate!

We truly need to review the entire tax structure in our State!!! Local officials have been trying to get legislators to do this for YEARS! Our tax base is severely unbalanced……

I have been to the Statehouse numerous times over the last 4 years, including this session…legislators don’t run the State. The White Tags do……there are hundreds of them there EVERYDAY! You literally run into them in the hallways, because their massive!

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

commuter "...what should I do? 1. Increase in my income 2. Decrease my expenses 3. Go into debt to fill in the GAP 4. Combination of two or more of the above" ==== Good points. We are going to have to make government smaller over time, but the ideology here is driven by the tax aversion crowd who supports 75% of the sales and 90% of the property being off the books for those with powerful friends who grant exemptions. There is a way out of this, but we won't see anything but 'kill the government' types getting attention for a period of time. A litle light reading, brought to you and paid for by our legislature:

Common_Sense 5 years, 12 months ago

AMEN!......And NO....I'm certainly NOT a supporter of Rep. Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

usnsnp 6 years ago

Find it funny the way our legislators complain about spending money for various programs. I bet when they had children in school they never complained about how much the state was paying for each student and watch them go up in arms when a Extension Service Office is closed in their district even when it is not needed. The attitude I see with then is, I got mine too bad for the rest of you. Two things need to be done with Kansas Government, term limit legislators and do away with`gerrymandering political districts so legislators have safe districts, this is for both parties. Know that neither things will happen because politicians here in Kansas do not have the guts to it, they are more intrested in staying in power so they can push their own narrow agenda instead of really representing the people that they represent.

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Today we learn that the unemployment nationwide has dropped to 8.8% and you can debate that all you want but nobody wants to discount good economic news these days.

I can tell you that manufacturing and the Wichita aircraft industry are seeing nothing but positive right now and the economy is growing above 3%, which is our average for the last 100 years. TARP investment is being paid back with interest faster than everyone expected. We are on a growth path and probably the best news of all, you don't hear a lot of scary speeches by Republican nut jobs like we were hearing last year.

I imagine that the phones of the Republican congressmen are now ringing off the hook for the big tax cuts their constituents were expecting.

Take a look at the National Debt history. Around $500 Billion during the early Reagan years. Now we are around $13 Trillion. Either we are increasing spending or we are cutting taxes. We are never managing the debt.

Take a look at the increasing divide between rich and poor in this country. More wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer people. Our country is being dominated by those who can monopolize and control resources and who use those resources to control the political agenda in this country.

If the Kansas legislature follows the pattern, we will see massive tax cut proposals prior to the next national election.

It will have nothing to do with responsible governing. It will have everything to do with big money politics and the abuse of power.

This will continue as long as the Republicans allow their party to be dominated by Conservatives (In name only) and Democrats allow their party to be ruled by Washington style liberals.

Only the American people can end this cycle of abuse and elect people who truly want to serve the country with integrity and who are not beholden to the powerful political party leadership and their money.

Here is a link to advice on finding politicians with integrity.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Made_in_China (Paul R. Getto) says…

"the ideology here is driven by the tax aversion crowd who supports 75% of the sales and 90% of the property being off the books for those with powerful friends who grant exemptions"

The overwhelming majority of the exemptions from sales and property taxes go to businesses. Now, it's easy to say 'Gosh darn it, I'm getting taxed up the wahzoo, and those gull-dern businesses aren't paying anything, and that's just not fair!' So it seems only natural to believe raising taxes on those businesses will bring some relief to the populace.

Unfortunately, there is a critical flaw with that approach. Let me ask you: Do you make your own clothes? Did you build your own car? How about the refrigerator in your kitchen, the bicycle in the garage - did you make those? What about the computer you used to post that message - home made, was it, right down to the silicon and copper and other raw materials?

Because if you answered "no" to those questions, you would not see one dime of relief if the tax burden was shifted to businesses instead of individuals. Or do you really think those businesses are going to choose to eat the expense instead of passing those taxes on to you by raising their prices? Actually, you would end up paying more, because when you break down an end-user sales tax into sales taxes collected on component parts at every stage of the production process, it has a cumulative effect.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 12 months ago

Interesting and thought provoking comment, but this comment emphasizes manufactured goods and the negative affect to consumers if prices are raised.

I don't get the reasoning here because I would not be interested in increasing the tax burden on US manufacturers. I would be wanting to do just the opposite. I prefer a focused and long term plan to reward US Manufacturing, particularly if they are exporting their products.

US manufacturing has not been an issue that had a big payback for White House politicians and they have not supported or even understood or believed in US manufacturing in the past. Now we are starting to see that our economy depends on manufacturing.

The other point I don't get is regarding the raising of prices. US manufacturers will not raise prices because they are in a dog fight with foreign competition. How can they raise prices? Their goods will never leave the shelves (and capital goods) if they are not able to compete and the predicted burden to the consumers from increased prices from these US manufacturers will never materialize.

The global economy demands that we support, encourage and buy US products or else our national issues and our culture will become very different during our children's lifetime and we will only be able to talk about the good ole days.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

"I don't get the reasoning here because I would not be interested in increasing the tax burden on US manufacturers."

Because the post I made was in no way limited to manufacturing. If your attorney can't use his tax-exempt paper when he picks up that case of copier paper at Sam's Club, you don't think his increased office supply costs are going to be reflected in higher rates? Perhaps that's not the best example to use, since attorneys tend to charge rates on even numbers, like $200/hr, $250/hr, etc., and aren't going to make their hourly rate $250.43. (Then again, most attorneys would likely increase their rates by $25 to cover that increased cost of $0.43.) But I remember years ago I got a notice from the ambulance company that served the area we lived in - they were raising their basic rate, already in excess of $700, by $1 - yes, that's one dollar - to cover increased costs (maybe it was the cost of postage for mailing out those notices).

"US manufacturers will not raise prices because they are in a dog fight with foreign competition. How can they raise prices? "

How can they not? Believe it or not, not all businesses are on the level of Exxon/Mobil. The majority of corporations in the United States, for example, have revenues of $250K or less - yes, that's revenues, not profits. And let's say they don't raise their prices: That reduces their profits, which reduces revenues from business income taxes (albeit only by a fractional amount).

Besides, most of the increase would be incremental and barely noticeable, and will end up getting passed on down the line to the consumer, who themselves will barely notice. An example: Let's say if, instead of an 8% sales tax on the final product, there is a 2% sales tax on the raw materials, the components, the final assembly, and the retail sale. For simplicity purposes only, let's ignore profits and other factors, and say $1000 worth of raw materials makes $1000 worth of components to build $1000 worth of products - the end consumer ends up paying about 8.24% instead of 8%, which isn't going to be noticeable except on the biggest ticket items (which he'll probably buy in another state anyway). And if you raised property taxes on the local Wal-mart by $10,000, how much of an increase do you think each consumer will notice on each item sold? I said the consumer would end up paying more due to the incremental increases, not that it would make prices skyrocket; the salient point is that the end consumer would see no savings at all by shifting the tax burden to businesses..

"Their goods will never leave the shelves"

Ding ding ding! Winner! Absolutely correct. That is precisely what would happen if their taxes were raised and they had no alternative but to raise their prices to cover the increased costs (and, as I said, most of them would have none). So what does that mean to a) those effects you predict in our children's lifetimes, and, more immediately, b): Tax receipts?

uneekness 5 years, 12 months ago

Sorry, NOTA, but you ignore the enormous complexity involved in the real math of economics and always advances an argument that can be boiled down to: Any tax increase = always bad. Taxes are a small (and getting smaller) factor for most businesses. (And please, remove the LLCs and sole-proprietors selling stuff on Craiglist and Etsy or running lawn care businesses seasonally and you will see a gigantic lurch upward in the "average" size of a corporation - and that's who we're talking about here.) Just like corporations make adjustments for so many of the other expenses that fluctuate from fuel and raw materials to labor, increases can be absorbed in order to stay competitive. That's why the costs of most individual goods in America don't change daily, weekly or even monthly at the retail level. Like all cost inputs, the effect of taxes works on a curve - it is NOT linear - and the sweet spot changes over time, depending on a host of factors. Somehow, the late 50's and early 60's manages to be a halcyon time in the minds of the Becks and Hannitys out there, despite having corporate and personal income tax rates that would be described as "crushing" now.

Likewise, a drop in corporate taxes isn't immediately passed on to consumers as lower prices either, especially if the competition doesn't have the same tax break. If Bob's Bargain Bin says they won't build a store in town without a property tax break and they get one, they now have a structural advantage against competitors. Why would they ever give that up? If the price of Chinese clothing drops by a large enough margin, every store in town has an incentive to pass that on, because those that don't will have their prices undercut. But only BBB has the tax break, and they can use it to fatten their bottom line or as leverage to drive competitors out in the short term before raising prices once the field is cleared.

That's the gist of the problem here in Kansas. For a very small cost (the lobbying cost to individual corporations in Kansas is astonishingly cheap - high five to mid six figures is usually all it takes) businesses in this state reap hundreds of millions of dollars from manipulating the tax code and the regulatory process. And almost none of it has benefited our economy. Nearly a decade of tax cuts during the Graves and Sebelius administrations was supposed to launch our economy to job-growing heights never before seen. Instead, we've just been left lighter in the wallet.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

"Sorry, NOTA, but you ignore the enormous complexity involved in the real math of economics"

Darn. Guess that time getting my business degree could have been spent more productively - like kibitzing on a newspaper's message board.

"an argument that can be boiled down to: Any tax increase = always bad"

Good argument. Not one I seem to have mentioned anywhere in my post(s), but please, do go on.

"(And please, remove the LLCs and sole-proprietors selling stuff on Craiglist and Etsy or running lawn care businesses seasonally and you will see a gigantic lurch upward in the "average" size of a corporation - and that's who we're talking about here.)"

Geez, where to start with that mess.

First of all, where did you see the word "average" anywhere?

Second, the number I used comes from IRS statistics on those corporations filing tax returns as corporations, not LLC's or Sub-S's. Maybe that's not who YOU were talking about - it never is. When people rail about the evil "corporations" around here they act like every single one of them is an Exxon/Mobil. Unfortunately, federal corporate taxation does not just apply to the ones YOU are talking about.

"Just like corporations make adjustments for so many of the other expenses that fluctuate from fuel and raw materials to labor, increases can be absorbed in order to stay competitive."

a) Except for one small detail - if everyone's taxes are increased, and everyone raises their prices to compensate, then they're still competitive, aren't they?

b) No, they don't change daily. Well, gasoline does. And groceries sometimes. However, pretty much everything else does change annually, quarterly, monthly, even weekly, depending on how closely the companies are watching their P&L. And yes, they DO rise to compensate for the increased fuel and raw materials and labor. If they "absorbed" those increases, then the prices of the final products we buy would never increase. And with the advent of computerized POS systems and bar code labeling, they have the capability to change their prices hourly. Or more often.

c) How 'bout instead we let the individual consumer "absorb" the increase in sales taxes?

"Somehow, the late 50's and early 60's manages to be a halcyon time in the minds of the Becks and Hannitys out there, despite having corporate and personal income tax rates that would be described as "crushing" now."

And why, pray tell, weren't we reaping huge windfall tax revenues when those tax rates were so much higher? Let's see - could it possibly be that revenues are correlated with tax base, not with tax rate?

"businesses in this state reap hundreds of millions of dollars from manipulating the tax code and the regulatory process"

Manipulating? Good word. Tell me, if there's a high-occupancy lane on the highway that has less traffic and allows me to make my trip in less time, am I "manipulating" the traffic laws by carrying four people in my car?

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

I believe it is. And thanks for providing us with an example. ;)

What, there's nothing but goyim in Kansas?

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

That's why there's the Lawrence Jewish Community Center. Are you trying to be a shande fur de goyim?

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Well, being that I'm not Jewish, that would be problematic.

BTW, since when is Lawrence part of Kansas?

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

That just makes answering the question, "Have you no shame?" much easier.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Gee, notanota, maybe in Lawrence (the hotbed of diversity that it is), yiddish is about as common as hen's teeth, but where I come from both of the words I used are about as rare as people saying "Gesundheit" even if they couldn't find Germany on a map of central Europe.

Just curious - do you think all the drunks that are about as Irish as marinara sauce that were wearing green at the parade last month had no shame? Especially given the wonderfully high regard Catholics are held in in your wonderful city of love and tolerance?

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

Unwad your undies. Your sarcasm and joke detectors are clearly misfiring.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 12 months ago

A larger portion of the US population must be required to pay taxes and a larger tax share must be carried by the wealthy without all the political shenanigans that have destroyed our economic health.

It's called tax reform.

kugrad 5 years, 12 months ago

"State Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, said “we were called here by my creator” to vote for the amendment, adding he was called to be “great” not “mediocre.” "

I thought that Rep. Brown was supposed to be representing his constituents, not an imaginary being who speaks to him in his mind.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 12 months ago

There is no way that Kansas or the USA will be able to cut their way to reasonable deficits. Cutting is one part. The other part is generate more revenue through increased taxes.

Yes, we must have some austerity. But without increased revenue, it would be akin paying down a credit card by simply stopping spending and hoping that what you have already spent will just go away magically.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 12 months ago

We in the USA have enjoyed the benefits of the spending that created the deficit. We must pay for what we have already enjoyed.

Otherwise, it is like going into debt to buy a BMW, and saying, ok I won't buy another BMW in the future, but not paying for the one you have already purchased.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 12 months ago

I don't think that it has been demonstrated successfully that mocking religious faith will achieve a positive result.

I believe that to deny the existence of a higher being simply means you have not arrived there yet. You have much to look forward to.

It is not a matter of if. It is a matter of when.

pace 5 years, 12 months ago

The billionaires for prosperity thank the Kansas legislature. While they never thought their tax cuts and loopholes were in danger they are grateful they weren't discussed except in a fully respectful fashion. Fore.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 12 months ago

JHL: I agree, mocking is pointless and doesn't help. In reference to your "...have not arrived there yet" comment, there is another perspective. I suppose it depends on which road one is on. Good governance and civil society that tends to the needs of the most desperate is not a religious issue. All religions can be distorted, as Sam has with his muscular jesus from the C-Street Cult that trained him in Washington D.C.

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." Richard Dawkins, "The Root of All Evil", UK Channel 4, 2006 British ethologist, geneticist, & popularizer of genetics (1941 - ) “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you un-derstand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Stephen Roberts.

cowboy 5 years, 12 months ago

That picture of the Right Reverend Sam is spooky !

LJW , whats up with your log in problems , try 4-5 times to get logged in

fabian_zimbabwe 5 years, 12 months ago

Actually, that picture reminds of that scene from "Dave": I once caught a fish THIS BIG."

YoungEarth 5 years, 12 months ago

Notice how my son, Sam, is blessing all Kansans in this picture. He is truly an annointed one (well, not on the same level as me, but...). It's like he's the priest on the altar ministering to the lowly congregation!

Sam knows that my heavenly Father is going to tell him to continue to cut secular education to the bone. That way, more children will attend holy schools which teach them real truth. They'll learn about the lives of Fred, Wilma, Pebbles, and their pet dinosaur, Dino.They'll learn that there were, in fact, dinosauars on Noah's Ark.

Once our population is divinely educated, watch how the Kansas Biosciences initiative will take off. Biologists from all over the world will "flock" to Kansas! They will be so excited to have their children educated here.

Don Whiteley 5 years, 12 months ago

Half of you think its insane that our state lower expenditures across the board (the same half who think its insane for governments to operate within a balanced budget...because they've never had to), the other half want to increase taxes on the wealthy. All it takes to increase support to our schools is taking out your checkbook, bypassing the state, and writing them a check directly. How many of you have done that? My bet is that the count is zero because when you say increase the taxes, what you really mean is increase someone else's taxes and let someone else pay for it.

pace 5 years, 12 months ago

It is so much easier when you imagine the argument. Half of you, I mean you personally, think anyone who wants to tax the wealthy are for unchecked debt. That half is wrong. I could go on about your delusion. You feel your argument. Many are against unchecked debt but think the wealthiest should pay a fair tax. You can't believe it, but the ads, all the ads say anyone who wants to tax the rich are irresponsible.. You listen to the ads Americans against Prosperity, or billionairs out for your bucks, Or the clever Chinese ad that shows Chinese laughing at our medical reform act, ( a great ad, paid for by people so rich that medical access is home delivered). You do so believe but your understanding is so naive.. If you want to check the debt, put a tax on ad campaigns that pretend they are a concerned mother speaking for her children's welfare but it in reality an old rich oil man, it is an insult to lovely and beautiful drag queens. You imagine that none of the parents or people who support education don't do anything themself. They donate their time, money and service. It is like you haven't gone to the schools themselves. Oh, you haven't. Just imagine if you didn't have the ads and rants to lead you by the nose. Get up, get out, do something other than imagine others not doing something.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

Are you also volunteering to send in matching funds for every check we personally write our schools? Because this budget would potentially lose matching funds that we, as taxpayers, already helped fund and that will not return to us again ever even if we increase spending in subsequent years. As a financially responsible taxpayer, I'd rather advocate raising my taxes than see federal matching funds (also part of my money) go permanently to other states.

tomatogrower 5 years, 12 months ago

"With only Republican support, the Kansas House on Thursday approved a budget that would roll back base state aid to schools to pre-2000 levels."

Then roll back the tax rates to pre-2000 levels. Fair is fair.

mom_of_three 5 years, 12 months ago

Kasha Kelly is an idiot who is only out to make herself look better. With a job in a company owned by mommy and daddy, she doesn't have to worry about money or education like the rest of us. don't know why they reelect her.

JustNoticed 5 years, 12 months ago

Funny, I can't see the 666 on his forehead at all.

pizzapete 5 years, 12 months ago

Is it just me or is this guy looking more and more everyday like the Heatmiser?

Jan Rolls 5 years, 12 months ago

Hypocrite sam had the nerve to sit on the high school stage the other day with google people while knowing all along he was putting the axe to education. Again a hypocrite.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 12 months ago

Reducing government with integrity would mean reducing costs by changing the role of government: having fewer people on payroll. All they did was dumb down the talent pool while leaving government just as big as before.

Fewer laws, fewer employees and less government involvement would be "great". This is the very definition of "mediocre".


OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 12 months ago

Guys like Brown really do verify that God is amazingly patient. If I was God... he'd be crapping worms.

taiwantea 5 years, 12 months ago

I voted for Holland. Too bad he can't drink Bubble Tea now! Watch a push over...

mr_right_wing 5 years, 12 months ago

This is what we (a majority of Kansans) sent him to Topeka for... ...not fun, or even 'comfortable'... ...not at all easy, or appreciated and deffinately, ...not popular.

Since any raise in taxes is absolutely, positively out of the question; spending had to be cut to the bone. (Maybe even a little into that bone) Sam has done that. It doesn't feel 'good' but it needed to be done. There is no way I'd want this job; I think I'd rather clean out sewers under our city!!

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

Jimo (anonymous) replies…

"Ah, I think you've created a non-existent layer of "boss". "

Well, I suppose to a Democrat, the idea of having a bunch of kids that you can't afford to feed is a lot easier to grasp than having a job.

And I know that to a sheep who's used to being led around through the nose, it must be a completely alien idea, but the elected officials in our government work for us. We hire them, we pay them, and if we don't like their performance after a predetermined period of time, we fire them and hire someone else.

It's good that you're familiar with the word chutzpah. Because it really took a lot for YOU of all people to use it. You - the one who's railing incessantly how we have to raise someone ELSE'S taxes to pay for YOUR services, the one who says the government should force ME to buy insurance to pay for YOUR healthcare, etc., etc., etc. You even have the unmitigated gall to say things like "you're too special to cut back", when you're on here saying exactly that: Give us more money because you can't cut back!

You're quite a piece of work (oops, sorry, forgot "work" is a word you don't know the meaning of); you're demanding the right to steal someone else's money, and calling HIM the thief for objecting to your theft.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

I see you've run out of valid arguments again.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

So notanota is one of the sheeple that doesn't think our elected officials work for us. That explains a lot.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

Logical fallacy double-down. Now featuring straw men on top of ad hominems.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

My argument was plainly stated, i.e., that our elected officials work for us. You said that I had no valid argument, therefore you must not believe in the validity of my statement. Do I need to map it out in a logical proof for you?

The fact that you're incapable of grasping my point or understanding the arguments you here is not evidence of their nonexistence.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

You argument is not plainly stated. It was couched in ad hominems, meaning you didn't feel confident enough in its veracity, as you still don't just now. Amusing.

Elected officials theoretically work for us, yes, but as leaders, voters don't quite occupy the same position as "boss." Not that it's more than pointless hairsplitting either way.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

Should have read "elected officials, as leaders." Yay for no editing on LJW.

notajayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

"You argument is not plainly stated."

Uh huh.

Let's see - from the post I replied to: "I think you've created a non-existent layer of "boss". "

My response: "the elected officials in our government work for us."

Why, my goodness, how could I have been so obscure. Why, it would take - what - a four year old to understand what I said? And yet you found it too complicated. Huh.

"It was couched in ad hominems, meaning you didn't feel confident enough in its veracity, as you still don't just now."

Isn't it strange, I've never seen your righteous indignation aroused by the posts of the person I was replying to. Again: Huh.

Actually, notanota, I am quite capable of responding to posts in a respectful and courteous manner, and fairly often do. Unfortunately, I only treat people who are deserving of that respect in such a way.

Which would explain why neither the poster I responded to, nor your esteemed self, would have ever seen such a response, nor is it very likely you ever will.

"Elected officials theoretically work for us, yes, but as leaders, voters don't quite occupy the same position as "boss." Not that it's more than pointless hairsplitting either way."

So, they work for us, but we're not their boss. Now there's a clearly stated argument.

Thank you so very much for proving my point, BTW. You really ARE one of those who think it's our elected officials' purpose to tell us what to do, rather than vice versa.

notanota 5 years, 12 months ago

You can't even defend it without an extra straw man and some gratuitous ad hominems. Claiming that someone "deserves" arguments riddled with logical fallacies? That's just weak. That's like saying "I meant to do that" when someone points out that your pants are on backwards.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 12 months ago

I say it is time to recall RINO Sam Brownback for mismanagement of the budget process. He seems lost.

Taxpayers cannot afford a governor being led by those tax dollar mooching Koch people.

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