Advertisement

Archive for Friday, August 16, 2013

Brownback’s budget director Anderson resigns

August 16, 2013

Advertisement

— Gov. Sam Brownback's budget director, Steve Anderson, is resigning, it was announced today.

"I am grateful to Steve for his commitment to this state and his diligence as we returned fiscal solvency to Kansas," Brownback said. "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy."

Anderson, a certified public accountant and managing partner of Anderson Reichert Anderson LLC, was named budget director by Brownback in December 2010.

As a member of the Governor's Economic Growth Team, he worked to strengthen the economy and create jobs for Kansans, Brownback said

"I have been honored to serve the state I love for the past three years," Anderson said. "My family has supported me without question as I spent the majority of time away from them. It is time for me to be with my wife and our boys, and enjoy our time as a family," he said. His family lives in Oklahoma.

Anderson's resignation will be effective Aug. 31. Policy Director Jon Hummel will serve as interim budget director until Brownback names a permanent replacement.

Earlier this year, The Wichita Eagle reported that there was a $2 billion error in a chart that Brownback had used to take credit for state spending cuts.

Anderson said the spreadsheet that led to the incorrect number was formed before he was appointed, but he took responsibility for it. He said he offered to resign at that time, but Brownback rejected the offer.

Democrats alleged that the incorrect numbers were politically motivated to make it appear that Brownback had cut spending.

Brownback’s choice of Anderson as state budget director raised eyebrows because of Anderson’s previous work with Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded by billionaire David Koch that promotes cuts in taxes, regulations and the size of government.

In 2009, Anderson and the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity proposed a “model budget” for Kansas. In that document, AFP said the biggest problem with the budget is “unconstrained growth of state spending.”

The group called for a cut in the state income tax, cuts in state spending, including Medicaid, and a voucher program in which tax dollars would be used to pay tuition for students to attend private schools. The plan also called for a program to allow tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for low-income children to attend private schools.

The plan also recommended higher tuition at public universities and schools. “There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education,” the document said.

Earlier this week, Anderson met with the Kansas Board of Regents. During that discussion, Anderson praised Brownback's fiscal policies, including income tax cuts, and the state's higher education system. He urged regents to improve communication with the Legislature's conservative leaders, who last session approved funding cuts to universities.

Comments

peartree 1 year, 4 months ago

He really sat in a meeting with the Regents and praised Brownback for cutting their funding? Big kahunas on that one.

sciencegeek 1 year, 4 months ago

A nuttier "true believer" you'd be hard-pressed to find. This guy has blinders to anything other than the rich, Koch-brother, ALEC-believing plutocrats. His superior attitude toward the lesser beings was well known. Which is why it's strange that Brownback is letting him go.

chootspa 1 year, 4 months ago

I heard rumors he'd been whining about his salary for a while. Not great optics when you're recommending mass layoffs.

tomatogrower 1 year, 4 months ago

"I have been honored to serve the state I love for the past three years," Anderson said.

He lives in Oklahoma. He doesn't say he has been serving Kansas. Maybe he has been working with Brownback to make Kansas so bad that people want to move to Oklahoma?

bad_dog 1 year, 4 months ago

The only problem with that analogy is the captain is either supposed to leave last or go down with the ship. Where's the captain of the Costa Concordia when we need him most? Unfortunately, we Kansans only have about as many lifeboats per capita as those on the Titanic...

Synjyn Smythe 1 year, 4 months ago

A voucher program in which tax dollars would be used to pay tuition for students to attend private schools and allows tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for low-income children to attend private schools would be wonderful in every State! Too bad that the focus is on so many things, other than quality education.

chootspa 1 year, 4 months ago

Except for the part where this plan as written was just an excuse for another tax giveaway to the rich already attending private schools, since the amount of the scholarships wouldn't be enough to cover tuition. Oh, and the part where private/parochial schools do no better than public schools when factors such as socioeconomic status are figured in.

You're right. Too bad the focus is on so many things other than quality education.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

As a parent who has made the choice to send my child to a private school, let me state clearly that I do not support of system of vouchers. Additionally, I've detected no groundswell of support for vouchers amongst the other parents I've had conversations with.

While there currently exists super majorities at just about every level of government in Kansas, vouchers still haven't been passed here. That tells me that even among the hard core right that exists here, vouchers are still very much on the back burner.

Kate Rogge 1 year, 4 months ago

Neither tax dollars, nor tax credits, should ever be used to fund private schools.

question4u 1 year, 4 months ago

“'There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do...."

Right.

Basic research doesn't benefit anyone. A more educated work force doesn't affect prosperity. A lack of doctors doesn't create any problems. A more educated population has no correlation to crime rates. Social equality isn't hurt by reserving education for the wealthy. A less educated population doesn't affect military capability in the event of a major war and the need for conscription.

The Chinese clearly don't understand these things. That's why they're committing $250 billion more a year to higher education. Kansas can leave the rest of the world in the dust if it just wakes up and quits supporting higher education. If Kansans can convince the rest of the country to quit supporting higher education too then the United States will remain the most powerful nation on earth forever and ever.

Quit supporting higher education in Kansas and bring on that prosperity! It must work, because no other state has done it.

hillsandtrees 1 year, 4 months ago

Brownback and ALEC are all about transferring tax dollars to for-profit millionaires at the expense of everyone else.

Brian Hall 1 year, 4 months ago

Brownback's director's seem to always leave before the poop hits the fan. I can never tell if it's because they choose to either like this reason or wanting to get out before the house of cards fall or if they leave because they are "persuaded" to. "You can either leave now or you can stay but if I have to defend this budget during my campaign, I will blame you and destroy your career."

Has any other recent administration had this much turnover? Brownback has lost at least five people from high profile agencies since taking office less than four years ago. How many people resigned during Sebelius/Parkinson and Graves and how many did it within the first term?

globehead 1 year, 4 months ago

"I am grateful to Steve for his commitment to this state and his diligence as we returned fiscal solvency to Kansas," Brownback said. "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy.: Said Gov. Brownback today.

From Feb. 18, 2013: "The director of the Kansas Budget Division issued a public apology Monday for an errant spending statistic that Gov. Sam Brownback has used for months to claim credit for state spending cuts that never happened."

(Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/18/4073418/state-budget-director-apologizes.html#storylink=cpy)

MONTHS!!! Oh, well! So, much for the "diligence" and "setting the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy".

James Nelson 1 year, 4 months ago

Still another out-of-stater brought in by Brownback to state government. Brownback talks of creating jobs and, yet, he won't hire a Kansan. I wish he wasn't so ashamed of the Kansas workforce.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 4 months ago

Only Utah and Idaho spend LESS money per pupil than Oklahoma. Considering how little this Legislature here in Kansas cares for Education, I am not surprised by Governor Brownback's pick at all. He probably did not know any one from Idaho or Utah that was on the ALEC approved list.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

Sam Brownback likes those beltway connections sanctioned by ALEC. The beltway is where the ALEC Right Wing Party introduced replacing republicans with ALEC Right Wing Thinkers while retaining the GOP name.

This was so successful that it is trickling down to the state levels throughout the the USA yet too many in the GOP don't know it. Duped again I say.

The ethical approach is the ballot process then again the GOP name could not have been retained. ALEC Right Wing Party chose the process known as fraud.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

"I am grateful to Steve for his commitment to this state and his diligence as we returned fiscal solvency to Kansas," Brownback said. "His hard work has helped set the stage for Kansas to compete in a global economy.: Said Gov. Brownback."

The global economy is not necessary. The result of the global economy fiasco has been 20 million unemployed Americans by way of 20 million American jobs being our chief export. I say the New World Order Global Economy concept is economic terrorism waged against the USA economy.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

Stop and take a deep breath. Millions of jobs have been lost to Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney New World Order Global Economy scams that sent our economies down the tubes and jobs abroad never to return. This doesn't create jobs in America. Corrupt Wall Street activity and monster fraud has killed jobs for millions of Americans. Sam Brownback was there in the beltway for a ton of this activity.

These have been dangerous business decisions and monster job killers for the USA financed by questionable and risky loan authorizations.

--- Mergers = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Hostile Takeovers = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Leveraged Buyouts = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Free Trade Agreements = industry and jobs lost to other countries.

--- Why did the GOP Deliberately crash the USA economy? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

Meanwhile the GOP continue their efforts to destroy the USA economy over new economic growth. All of above ultimately translate into millions upon millions upon millions of blue and white collar USA job losses in most cases to evil dictatorships.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone.

All of the above has been played on the stage of New World Order Global Economy Scams at the expense of hard working Americans who made USA economics a powerful player.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

With all those jobs going overseas, Merrill, I wonder where your computer was manufactured? If it was made overseas, why do you support sending those jobs over there? Are you in some way associated with other foreign made products? Drive a car made somewhere else, maybe your clothes were made over there? Heat your home with foreign oil? Eat food picked by illegal immigrants? Shop at stores owned by large corporations?

Even if it ain't you, Merrill, it's all of us. It's not always Reagan/Bush. That said, I suspect it's as much you as anyone else.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 4 months ago

Yes Merrill, bad economic policies and selfish business practices have seriously harmed this country. Amazingly, the same people believe more tax cuts will fix everything. They cannot see the consequences of their actions. Only the next election cycle or shareholders meeting.

dabbindan 1 year, 4 months ago

Fiscal solvency Sam??? You've got to be kidding me!

plainspeaking 1 year, 4 months ago

The accounting firm mentioned in this article is actually his mother, Mary Anderson's, firm in Osborne, Kansas. He doesn't work or live there. I understand that he plans on returning to Oklahoma to "spend more time with family."

IreneAdler84 1 year, 4 months ago

Why has no one pointed out the effects of this tax scheme on family farmers? The family farmers I know are income poor and land rich. A tax plan that relies on increased property taxes to make up for reduced income taxes will bite them in the ass. Same for retired Kansans, many of whom pay no state taxes on their 401ks, but may still own their own home.

Maybe Anderson decided to "get the h@ll out of Dodge" before those nice folks in Western KS realize that this tax plan is going to kill the family farm (the few that are left) and deplete grandpa and grandma's retirement account.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 4 months ago

Brownback and his cronies are plundering Kansas. All animals are created equal...some animals are more equal than others.

Question. How does a licensed CPA make a $1 billion accounting error and not lose his license? Is it because the licensure board is controlled by Brownback? Just asking...

oldexbeat 1 year, 4 months ago

$2 billion error from former Koch Brothers Ltd LLC employee which allowed Liar Sammy to cut income taxes for billionaire Koch Brothers Ltd LLC -- what a scam. "My mistake" Oh. And I'm going to work for the bros again, no doubt. Rats off the ship? Probably.

Mike Ford 1 year, 4 months ago

you know when Reagan Economic Advisor David Stockman said that supply side economics didn't work two decades later Kansas voters simply decided not to listen. Maybe in 2014 sane voters should let these people know this nonsense doesn't work at the polls and finally put this mythology to rest.

hedshrinker 1 year, 4 months ago

Both the Gov's and Director Anderson's children attend private school I believe? What do they know or care about the state of public K-12 education? Especially Anderson, who isn't even in the state of Ks much of the time, but home in Oklahoma...good riddance... I'm frankly shocked at the backward idea about education funding espoused in Anderson's statement about all taxpayers not needing to support higher education, since it's just offspring of the wealthy elite who attend college anyway....good way to ensure that poor and middle class offspring will NEVER be able to afford college, in spite of the fact that it's pretty much a necessity in today's job mkt....college or some kind of post-HS training. These people are either willfully blind, stupid or so arrogant and insular they just don't care what happens to anyone beyond their elite group.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 4 months ago

I believe I read the same thing about how these people believe trying to provide a college education for the lower classes is a waste of tax money. Was that published by the Cato Institute?

Lynn Grant 1 year, 4 months ago

Tax money is not intended for tuition for private schools. Tax money is money the state takes in to fund public schools. I know. I attended parochial schools 1--12 by choice. Never did hear my parents or parents of my classmates complain about paying taxes to support public schools. They knew those taxes paid for the education of neighbor's and friends's kids and that it was the obligation of the state to provide that education. They made their choice and made the sacrifices necessary to pay that bill. But, of course, that was before the "me" generation.

chootspa 1 year, 4 months ago

This isn't a "me generation" thing. This is something the Friedman fans have been trying to do for decades. It's just recently that ALEC has had enough muscle to piggy back on concerns about public education and just force these things through whether there's popular will or not.

William Weissbeck 1 year, 4 months ago

“There is no reason to tax the majority in the state who do not have children attending a state institution in order to subsidize those who do, especially when there is evidence it is the more affluent citizens who are more likely to have children enrolled in higher education,” the document said.

Is that supposed to be praise for the current system or a condemnation of our elementary and secondary school system? Wouldn't the correct response be to provide state funded, need based scholarships instead of not funding higher ed. at all?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.