Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sam Brownback Finds Some Ways To Mitigate The Economic Damage He's Inflicted On Kansas

Since we last saw Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback, he was trying to convince everyone that his disastrous tax cut policy wasn't so disastrous that it required any change in direction or anything. Last week, Kansas media outlets reported that Brownback's found some alternate, much more preferable solutions to close the budget gap (via brother Benen):

Gov. Sam Brownback plans to transfer $95 million from the state highway fund and cut the budgets of state agencies by 4 percent to help plug a budget deficit.
State agencies will see their budgets reduced by 4 percent from January through June, resulting in about $79 million in savings. The state will also transfer $201 million from dedicated funds, including the highway fund, into its general fund.
 The fun doesn't stop there. Brownback also wants to raid Kansas' public employees pension funds:

The plan drew immediate, bipartisan criticism from state Senate leaders because it would divert $41 million from the pension system for teachers and government workers. Obligations to retirees over the next two decades are only 60 percent funded, and that figure was expected to climb over time thanks to a 2012 law that increased both the state’s and employees’ contributions to stabilize the system’s long-term health.
“It reneges on the commitment that was made,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat.
In his successful re-election campaign, Brownback pointed repeatedly to the pension fixes – which promised full funding of its obligations in 2033 – as a major accomplishment.

I'm sure Brownback feels terrible about having to resort to such things. But here's my favorite line:

“It’s kind of, uh, well where are you going to go for the funds? And I don’t like it, but it’s kind of what’s your other option if you don’t hit K-12 and higher ed with allotments?” Brownback said.

 Well, uh, I dunno. I mean, uh, I'm just spitballing here, but maybe, uh, we could probably start by reversing the uh, useless and idiotic tax policies that caused this mess in the first place?

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article4413431.html#storylink=cpy

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