Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2018

Editorial: A lame duck budget proposal

January 11, 2018

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It should come as no surprise that lame duck Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is pitching a lame-duck budget for the state in 2018.

Brownback thought he would be gone by now. As recently as last month, odds were even that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer would give Tuesday night’s State of the State speech.

But with Brownback’s confirmation as the Trump administration’s ambassador for International Religious Freedom hung up in the Senate, it was the two-term Republican governor who offered up his budget plans during his eighth and final State of the State address.

Anyone hoping for big ideas from the governor was disappointed. Brownback suggested the state can meet a state Supreme Court order to adequately fund the state’s public schools by, essentially, doing nothing.

In outlining the plan in more detail Wednesday, Budget Director Shawn Sullivan said a growing national economy combined with revenues from an income tax increase lawmakers passed last year — despite a Brownback veto — will allow the state to gradually increase school spending over the next five years to $600 million per year. The plan would increase education spending by $200 million next year, and $100 million more in each of the next four years.

There was little in the way of innovative thinking in the rest of the budget. Brownback’s plan rejects most requests for additional spending, including the restoration of the 4 percent cuts to Regents universities that Brownback ordered in 2016.

Brownback’s plan runs through mid-2019, at which point the new governor will be responsible for the budget.

Lawmakers were rightfully skeptical. “It’s not plausible,” said Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill. “I have my doubts. Severe doubts.”

Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway, said she would like to see $600 million more go into education but said Brownback has ceded his ability to lead on the issue.

“This governor, who fought us tooth and nail last year, vetoed us and forced the whole showdown, and then attacked those of us willing to override the veto throughout the summer and fall, now is so willing on his way out the door to spend the money,” she said. “... It baffles me why he didn’t just get to work with us last year and help lead us through the crises that we’re dealing with at the state level.”

The Legislature’s dismantling of Brownback’s tax policies last session, culminating with the historic vote to override his veto of the tax bill, ended Brownback’s run as the state’s top leader. At this point, he’s simply going through the motions as governor and his budget proposal reflects that.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 week, 2 days ago

GOV BROWNBACK was present in Washington DC during much of this activity.

Obama was stuck with the aftermath of the BUSHCO financial disaster that seems to surface when ALEC Libertarians and Fundamentalist occupy the majority control. People lose homes, jobs, medical insurance, retirement plans etc etc which should present a realization that Social Security Insurance and Medicare and Medicaid are in fact sound investments paid for by workers throughout the nation.

So what could Obama do to bring back the economy? Supply Side Wreckanomics destroyed the economy therefore it would do no good to follow that unsound choice. Supply Side Economics is a version of Austerity in that it pulls money FROM the economy which is stupid.

== Former President Bush and Congress racked up an average $793 billion deficit each year Bush was in office.

Social Security privatization would raise the size of the government’s deficit by another $300 billion per year for the next 20 years. This does not seem to bother ALEC trained conservatives, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion. Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

== What impact would the conversion of Social Security Insurance to private accounts have on the national debt?

The government would have to borrow an additional $4 trillion over the next 20 years to make up the money that would be drained out of the system by private accounts.

== How would the rest of the U.S. economy be affected if the private accounts replaced the current system? Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk—it would likely put the entire economy at risk.

it could also create a sweet windfall for the wealthiest of Wall Street investors ...... annually. imagine that. Could this be why some billionaires are pushing to privatize Social Security Insurance and Medicare and Medicaid?

Richard Heckler 1 week, 2 days ago

Gov Brownback was present for much of this activity and has been spending a lot of time in Washington DC perhaps advising Trump.

Cases in point seem to reflect an unwritten section of the ALEC Trained Conservative Platform which surface during ALEC COORDINATED conservative mismanagement of our economy ...... like clock work.

The Reagan/Bush Home Loan Heist(/Fraud Costing taxpayers $1.4 trillion and millions of jobs http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

Wall Street Bank Home Loan Scam/ Fraud under Bush/Cheney costing taxpayers $$ trillions and 11 million jobs http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money. Only 3 insitutions were at risk instead of many. The people were lied to one more time. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

The Conservative ENTITLEMENT Package for the wealtiest 1% which is still producing a dysfunctional economy. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

The next wave of financial disaster is underway being conducted by Donald Trump and the ALEC trained trained conservatives. Looking at taxpayers for another bailout which apparently produces gigantic profits for some. Otherwise why would taxpayer bailouts be popular? Among the few.

Brownback, Greitens,and a few other ALEC Trained governors/legislators have been orchestrating these fiascos at state levels. GRAB YOUR WALLETS.

Richard Heckler 1 week, 2 days ago

When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s a win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

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