Dave_Trabert (Dave Trabert)

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Editorial: Conversation starter for state

It's illuminating that the LJW editorial board would offer praise for special interests proposing a $billion dollar tax increase to give more money to the coalition members, especially since they are wrong about it being the first plan presented to resolve the budget issue. Kansas Policy Institute and others have been advocating for reduction in wasteful spending for years as a way to balance the budget, and the only reason it's not been is simple politics. Even many self-identified conservatives were unwilling to tackle the cost of government...not because it couldn't be done, but because they feared the backlash from media, government and those who profit from excess spending.

Efficiency studies and other data clearly demonstrate that Kansas spends too much. In 2015, the National Association of State Budget Officers show that Kansas budgeted to spend 34% more per-resident than the states without an income tax. Every state provides the same basic services but those that choose to do so at better prices are able to have lower taxes. http://bit.ly/2fkoCTS

Former Indiana governor and president of Purdue University said it best: “This place was not built to be efficient. [But] you're not going to find many places where you just take a cleaver and hack off a big piece of fat. Just like a cow, it's marbled through the whole enterprise." He was speaking of Purdue but his explanation fits all forms of government.

The proposal would raise income taxes by 40% on everyone earning more than $40,000. The group says their plan would give relief to low income people with a small reduction in the sales tax on food but they take that all back with an 11 cents per gallon increase in gasoline taxes. A family spending $125 per week on food would save $98 per year, but they would pay $99 per year in extra gas tax if they drove 18,000 at 20 miles per gallon. And if they had two cars, they would lose even more even if each car only was driven 12,000 miles.

And why does LJW continue to refer to the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, knowing that they don't legally exist? They are not the independent non-profit they hold themselves out to be, but are merely employees of Kansas Action for Children. It was proven that KCEG isn't registered with the Sec. of State or the IRS. They admitted as much to Bob Weeks http://bit.ly/2gxHK0k

Media is also aware that Duane Goossen was named by the Securities and Exchange Commission for securities fraud for things he did while State Budget Director, but media continues to sweep that under the rug http://bit.ly/2hjXcfm

Why can't media be honest? One can only imagine the (rightful) media outrage if it was discovered that a conservative entity wasn't the non-profit it claimed to be. Those that push for higher taxes and more government get a pass…and praise for pushing an unnecessary $billion tax increase on citizens.

December 10, 2016 at 7:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Hard times for Kansas and its schools as economic ‘experiment’ creates gaping budget hole

This is another made-up story by media. There was a proposed $45 million cut in 2015...Governor said he would do it unless the Legislature found other ways to balance the budget...and they did. The $45 million cut never occurred. Not that the LA Times let that get in the way. And now LJ World is perpetuating the myth.

November 25, 2016 at 9:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

State agencies face large rent increase from their landlord — the state

This is just the tip of the iceberg we've been talking about for years. Agencies are charged above-market prices for rent, telephone costs and other items. KPI gets a better price on copies from Office Depot than agencies are charged and we have very little volume.

Outsourcing these functions is just one example of how the State can operate more efficiently to avoid tax increases or service cuts.

August 21, 2016 at 1:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City manager: Positions on chopping block are 'nontraditional'

FYI, City of Lawrence property taxes increased 197% between 1997 and 2015, while inflation and population combined increased 82%. http://www.kansasopengov.org/kog/data...

July 12, 2016 at 6:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City manager recommends staff cuts, no property tax rate increase for 2017

Yes, you are reading it accurately. Most often, a 'cut' to government is merely a smaller than desired increase. Basic operating costs are increasing far more than inflation.

Go to PDF page 27 of the linked budget document to see these General Fund changes:

Personnel services +6%
Contractual services +6%
Total General Fund spending net of transfers (sending money to other funds for spending) +8.9%

Property Taxes +3.6%
Franchise Fees +15.2%
Charges for Services 11.7%

July 9, 2016 at 10:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City manager recommends staff cuts, no property tax rate increase for 2017

It isn't a spending reduction. Budget shows General Fund spending UP by $3 million. Just cutting the desire to spend even more.

July 9, 2016 at 3 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City manager recommends staff cuts, no property tax rate increase for 2017

The budget shows that General Fund spending is going UP by $3 million. What is being cut is just the desire to spend even more. Property taxes are also increasing by 3.6%. Mill rate might be flat but tax dollars are increasing.

July 9, 2016 at 2:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers mull plans to keep schools open

Not at all. Privatizing Medicaid is a good concept. I only said that the cuts to Medicaid came about because Democrats and some Republicans refuse to impose basic efficiency measures.

June 17, 2016 at 2 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers mull plans to keep schools open

What can be done and what government chooses to do are two distinctly different issues. Medicaid cuts, for example, were implemented because Democrats and some Republicans refuse to entertain basic efficiency measures. Across the boards cuts are bad because that leaves the bureaucracy to decide upon implementation, and the bureaucracy protects itself.

June 17, 2016 at 7:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas lawmakers mull plans to keep schools open

No, that's not the point. We propose a clearly defined math formula to determine whether minimum funding is being provided; if that number is not provided, the Legislature can be compelled to do so...although it would never come to that because legislators couldn't argue the point and wouldn't want that on their record. But just to be sure, maybe include a provision removing those from office who voted not to meet the number. The same must apply to schools; the point is to ensure that they meet their minimum requirements, so they lose accreditation otherwise.

June 16, 2016 at 11:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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