Archive for Friday, September 6, 2013

Brownback’s former budget director, Anderson, will work on state fiscal policy with KPI

September 6, 2013


— Steve Anderson, who resigned last month as Gov. Sam Brownback's budget director, will continue to work on state fiscal policy, it was announced today.

Anderson, a certified public accountant, is returning to work for the Kansas Policy Institute, a Wichita-based think tank that advocates tax cuts and lower school funding.

Anderson, 59, will serve in a part-time consulting role focusing on fiscal policy and government operations, according to the Wichita-based KPI.

"It is great to have Steve coming home again to help us show how tax reform can be implemented by reducing the cost of government services. His experience as a CPA and time in government make him uniquely qualified to find fiscally responsible solutions in government," said KPI President Dave Trabert.

For the past three years, Anderson was the state's budget director, pushing for Brownback's fiscal policies.

Brownback has signed into law income tax cuts that he says will boost the economy, but critics say will shift the tax burden onto lower income Kansans and restrict funding for schools and social services.

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.


chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

Steve is "coming home again." You mean working for KPI is pretty much the same thing as working for AFP? You don't say!

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

No, the reporter left out some important information in our press release.

My reference to 'coming home again' refers to the fact that Steve did some work for Kansas Policy Institute prior to joining the Governor's staff.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

i guess it's nice to know that a revolving door officially exists in the echo chamber... mber...mber...

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

Also a shocking revelation. Shocking! Actually the only shocking revelation would be if he ever actually stopped working for the Kochtopus.

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 7 months ago

This is a paid message by the koch puppet dave trabert.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 7 months ago

The "in-bred" Policies of the Kansas Legislature just seem to get more "in-bred" everyday. I think we need some New Material for the gene pool of our Kansas State Government. Elections are coming. Vote!

Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 7 months ago

A misguided Kochite going to work for more Kochites.

xyz 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey, Dave, make sure somebody checks Steve's calculations, since he has problems with amounts in the $2 billion range!!

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

As noted in some media reports, the $2 billion error occurred on Duane Goossen's watch. It wasn't discovered until Steve was in office. Email exchanges that prove it wasn't Steve's fault and that the error occurred before he joined the department were shown to reporters but didn't always make it into news reports.

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

No, he works for The Kansas Health Institute.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely and categorically false.

Even Steve Anderson admitted it was his own mistake. Grow up, Trabert.

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

Steve did not say it was his mistake. He said it was discovered on his watch and he accepted responsibility. The email trail is there for anyone who wants to know the honest truth.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

you seem to be working exttrraa harrd today. why is that, i wonder?

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

It was only discovered on his watch because a reporter was more mindful of the numbers than he was. Yay for math-literate reporters and fact-checking.

texburgh 4 years, 7 months ago

BS Alert! Trabert is talking! Sorry, Dave, it happened on the Anderson/Brownback watch and Anderson even admitted it. I would suggest that "thou shalt not lie" but then what would KPI have to say?

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 7 months ago

Dave, you are a wizard of spin. Say a lie. Say a lie again. And again and again. Then the gullible will believe it. Want proof? Listen to anyone who watches Fox News.

Cheryl Nelsen 4 years, 7 months ago

Will he be using a calculator this time?

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

I must point out that Scott Rothschild's characterization of KPI advocating for lower school funding is inaccurate. We often explain how districts could operate more efficiently and show that they aren't spending all of the tax dollars they receive, but that's not advocating for lower school funding. Rather, it is showing how districts' desire for more money in certain areas can be met by operating more efficiently...and that tax increases aren't necessary to provide more money for schools.

That may sound like parsing words but it is a very important distinction because spending less is often assumed to mean that services must be reduced. That is only the case if districts choose to do so... they have other options at their disposal.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

that's interesting. because in all of your comments i can't ever remember reading you or KPI favoring either (a) the maintenance of current funding, or (b) increasing funding. hmmmmm.....

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

It's not possible for us to recommend a particular funding level because no study has ever been conducted in Kansas that takes efficient use of taxpayer funds into account. What we recommend is that the Legislature take steps to determine what they believe schools need to achieve required outcomes while being organized and operating in a cost-effective manner...and provide that level of funding.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

like this?: An analysis by Augenblick & Myers in 2001 found that K-12 education in Kansas was underfunded by about $800 million. Another, conducted by the Legislative Division of Post Audit in 2006, revealed similar findings.

Read more here:

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

As I recall, your argument is generally:

1) Painful budget cuts

2) ?????

3) Profit - er, efficiency!

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

actually, chootspas provides exactly the correct analysis.

according to south park, it is described as the "only a theory" of "the underpants gnomes". (although no laffer curve is included in this episode)

(it really is hard to trust cartoon scientists)

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

No. I have an excellent recollection, but a snarky summary. Sweets for the sweet. Ridicule for the ridiculous.

Your strategy has consistently been to frame education spending as "too high," no matter where the level currently stands, while talking about "efficiency" in mostly vague terms as something we should be "looking for" as if this whole idea of doing more with less never occurred to anyone until just now.

texburgh 4 years, 7 months ago

And for KPI and Trabert "efficient" means 40 kids/teacher; fewer course offerings, pay to play or no athletics, eliminate all electives not mandated by statute, and on and on.

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

It means "efficiently" giving more taxpayer money to private entities like parochial schools and for-profit charter corps. The so-called "school choice" movement is the end game here, even if it doesn't actually work out better for the kids in the long run.

texburgh 4 years, 7 months ago

There is no distinction. KPI, AFP, and the Koch brothers who fund and staff KPI and AFP consistently argue for less money for schools. The AFP model state budget - written by Anderson - even says that public universities ought to be as expensive as private universities in the name of no unfair advantage. Brownback and Anderson have been working overtime on this one on behalf of KPI, AFP and the Koch's by approving a budget that drives tuition rates up at public universities by underfunding them.

KPI essentially believes as Mitt Romney does that every American is entitled to all the education he/she can afford.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 7 months ago

Ignore the man behind the curtain...Dave, we've all seen this movie.

Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 7 months ago

It's actually complete BS. The KochPI is all about reducing everything but Koch Industries Profits. State law typically dictates how funds may be spent by school districts. A minor detail that the KPI and AFP always tend to overlook. Kind of like overlooking Laffer's supply side economics having never worked.

George_Braziller 4 years, 7 months ago

State funding of schools is written into the Kansas Constitution.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 7 months ago

The KPI and Anderson's ilk live in an ideological bubble. Their "trickle down" policy ideas have been long discredited and have proven to be bad for the economy and for civil society in general.

Yet they keep crowing about the same old tired, failed, discredited ideas of trickle down. It's a shame.

cowboy 4 years, 7 months ago

When looking at the KPI , AFP , the burning question is exactly who invited you to Kansas , who pays your bills , and why are you here. We all know the answers. Koch , Koch , minion for Koch . The good people of Kansas would invite you all to leave , stop your nosy neighbor involvement in local Kansas issues and find a more fertile ground for your scamapalooza , NC and Fla come to mind.

What is amazing is the ignorant tools that have been swept into offices via your support . I'm a senior now and have never seen a more cognitive challenged group in my lifetime.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey Trabert -- before he was budget director, Steve Anderson was paid by you to "prove" the state was sitting on almost $2 billion that should be being spent and circulated in the economy.

How come he never spent that money, Trabert?

From Dave Trabert's group:

Steve Anderson, a certified public accountant and author of the analysis, includes several examples of agency-fund growth. He cites the Board of Accountancy because it's typical of many fee-funded agencies. "The board's unencumbered fund balances from 2006 thru 2009, which include the current economic decline, reveals a 38 percent increase. Clearly, any fee that exceeds the cost of providing the service is simply a backdoor tax, which in this case is imposed on CPAs and their clients. The nearly half million dollars that sit in the coffers of the Accountancy Board represent monies that could be circulating through the economy."

Dave Trabert 4 years, 7 months ago

The state budget director has no authority to spend money. That is the prerogative of the legislature.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

from mr. trabert: authority to spend money. That is the prerogative of the legislature.

... to allocate funds according the the perogotive of "the constituents of mr. trabert".

what if mr. trabert's "constituents" allocated mr. trabert 50% less in salary and no benefits? what then mr. trabert?

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 7 months ago

C'mon Trabert, you hired the guy for that study, and now you've hired him again.

Why not, Trabert? Was the money not actually there? Are you really going to argue process? He's the budget director, yet never once did he say, "Hey, guys, there's like $2 billion just sitting around that we should be spending so hey, let's spend it."

Well, he did make a $2 billion balancing error that you're trying to pawn off on somebody else. Just like you're trying to pawn off this question on the legislature. Where's the buck stop, Trabert?

Tongie_soccer 4 years, 7 months ago

KPI and AFP are NOT friends of public education - they have shown that time and time again through their actions. At least be honest Mr. Trabert.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

"At least be honest Mr. Trabert."

you seem new here.

never stop speaking your truth to mr. trabert and his pals. actually, just never stop speaking your truth. (mr. trabert stopped listening some far away time ago)

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

This illustrates the problem of the relationship between the private and public sector these days.

From AFP to government, and then out to KPI.

Does anybody believe that his service as budget director wasn't heavily influenced by the kind of ideology espoused by these entities?

And, now he will "consult" with KPI on how to effectively influence government as well.

Personally, I'd prefer that government employees be public servants, working for the good of the public, and much less ideologically driven. But, I guess I'm just old fashioned that way.

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

More like he will help write legislation for the Kansas legislators, since they are too lazy to do it for themselves.
This is the KPI and AFP - We'll give you the money to get into this cushy job, with a retirement benefit that will pay you more than teachers get (stupid teachers), then will write the legislation for you, and all you have to do is propose it and vote on it. None of that silly legislative work. We'll take care of you.

oldexbeat 4 years, 7 months ago

Koch Policy Institute is a great tax avoidance way to have larger and larger staffs for the Koch Brothers. They clearly believe in large administrative organizations pushing tax cuts that benefit themselves more than almost any other Kansan. Bonus, now they own the governor, too. And through the Koch Brothers LLC LTd ALEC propaganda group, they own the Kansas legislature, also. Really it is bright-- certain world leaders could learn from them on a better way to take over countries without much blood or votes. Divide and conquer -- voter IDs -- districts that wrap around a state -- reduce services for cheap labor -- no health plans so sick and weak people can't really do much. Great plan for power hungry ruling class.

Jonathan Becker 4 years, 7 months ago

Dave, Dave, Dave,

Applying efficiencies to education is like applying lipstick to a pig. Education should and does resist the business principles you extol. Adding efficiency to education does not get to the root issue -- learning and making student's excited and open to learning. Didn't your teachers teach you well?

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

since mr. trabert and the KPI are "driven by data", or so they re-affirm:

here's a marker for us: average "likes" per mr. trabert's posted comments.

jayhawxrok 4 years, 7 months ago

I am so sick of Brownback, his stooges and the Koch Bros. These buffoons will not rest until KS is the MS of 1900. Sickening.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

This is their budget plan. Arthur Laffer is the point person for Sam Brownback admin.

Economist Arthur Laffer, patron saint of tax cuts, is back, with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that he hopes will put the kibosh on future plans for government stimulus. Laffer, who had his heyday back in the Reagan years, is best known as the popularizer of the notion that raising tax rates beyond a certain level can actually reduce tax revenues by, among other things, discouraging entrepreneurship. The graphic representation of this idea, though not original to Laffer, came to be known as the Laffer Curve.

While he’s always had detractors, Laffer also had a lot of fervent fans back in the day. But his latest excursion into the public debate has drawn harsh criticism not only from liberal economists like Berkeley’s Brad DeLong but also from stimulus-hating, anti-Keynesian economists you might expect to agree with the Laffer line. The consensus? Laffer seems to have forgotten, or ignored, some pretty basic concepts in economics. In other words, Laffer is getting laughed off the economic stage.

Read more:

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Nothing will change. It's still supply side economics = reckless nonsense. Can we say stealing from the taxpayers?

Killing public education will be a big item this next session.

Further cuts to the many budgets is also a big item. The more cuts the less likely good government programs/services will be able to function. Simple basic economics. Then the report will be "see how big government cannot work".

Further cuts to budgets does not reduce tax dollar spending however nor the size of government. Those tax dollars will be transferred to large corporations under the false philosophy of "privatization" which does NOT provide better services for less.

In fact this "privatization" philosophy is anything but efficient use of tax dollars when we understand how these tax dollars can be converted to special interest campaign donations,CEO pay packages,golden parachutes,salaries to BOD's,advertising budgets and other sorts of wasteful spending of tax dollars.

Trumbull 4 years, 7 months ago

The Laffer curve really only cares for one economic engine, the private sector. This is all well and good, but it fails to realize that the government is a stimulator as well. And these two engines are dependent upon one another, the end result being even more stimulus for private contractors. Failing to invest in education and infrastructure is taking dominoes out of the economy.....some of them belonging to the private sector.

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. I know all those hard working private contractors are just going to continue to keep building those bridges and roads, oh wait. Who will pay them? And I'm sure those police, teachers, and firefighters will happily work for nothing or for the little piddling some private sector company will give them. I'm sure a teacher on minimum wage could be bribed to give a rich student all A's, so they can get into a university. A win, win for people like the Walton's grandchildren.

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

It ignores small businesses, too. If you dismantle the safety net, you force workers to cling to large employers and accept lower wages rather than take risks and start their own businesses. That's a feature and not a bug in the so-called "free market perspective" Dave espouses, but you'll never get him to admit it.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 7 months ago

The Bottom line is that it is up the People Of Kansas to fix this. The rest of the country couldn't care less about what happens Here. Kansas represents less than 1% of the population of this Country. Washington doesn't care. The rest of the country doesn't care. And the Current Administration here in Kansas is using that to their benefit. We The People Of Kansas Need to Take Back Our Government! They need to be reminded that They Work For US, not the other way around. Educate yourselves on the policies of Your Area Representative. Look at their Voting record. Do they Represent Your Views? Are You Benefiting from that Representation? If Not, Vote them Out! ALL Of Them, before it is too late.

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