Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Is Stealing More From Children And Retirees To Fund Tax Cuts

The Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida
Despite his state facing bankruptcy, experiencing several credit downgrades, and a billion dollar deficit due to monumental tax cuts for the rich and corporations, Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback will not stop decimating Kansas schools. In fact, in his state of the state address last week, Brownback promised the Republican-dominated legislature that after conferring with business and corporate donors, “we will continue our march toward zero income taxes.” This is in spite of a projected $5 billion revenue loss over the next few years due to tax cuts for the rich and their corporations. As an aside, it is noteworthy that the Koch brothers’ corporate headquarters are located in Kansas.

Brownback’s latest trickle down approach to make up for gross revenue shortfalls “crippling the state’s finances” include cutting classroom funding for schools by another $127 million, cutting state payments to pension funds by $446 million, and stealing about $350 million from the state’s transportation department funding. None of the cuts will save Kansas economy now or in the future, and in fact will cost the state much, much more in the long term. However, it is obvious that the state’s fiscal health, like schools, retirees’ pensions and transportation infrastructure are of no consequence to Brownback. He is Hell-bent and duty-bound to give the Kochs and Grover Norquist exactly what they want; abolishment of taxation and eventually a bankrupt state and he is thankful to god for the opportunity to further damage any remaining semblance of the state’s fiscal health.

Brownback has already been ordered by two separate courts to increase funding for Kansas schools according to “bare-minimum” requirement levels in Kansas’ Constitution. As of last June, Brownback was required to increase education funding by hundreds-of-millions of dollars to meet the minimum requirements, but he adheres to a higher trickle down power than court orders that prevent him from rescinding even one penny of tax cuts for the rich to adequately fund educating Kansas children. The education funding cuts are courtesy of Republicans’ love-fest with block grants that are just conservative-speak for massive cuts.

According to research, the long-term costs for under-funding education are greatly increased in several areas, but higher costs later will give Brownback and Republicans more reasons to slash spending in those “several areas.” The problem with cutting school funding is that less education funding creates higher levels of poverty and higher public assistance spending. In fact, as poverty rises among uneducated Kansans, healthcare costs increase for a sicker “adult population” and jailing a “more delinquent future adult population. However, for Brownback and Republicans, rising social costs work to austerity advocates who will have a reason to “slash spending” to prevent bankrupting the state’s economy.

Cutting state-mandated contributions to pension funds is another means of not only paying for the rich and wealthy’s tax cuts, but it is a proven tactic to slash retirement payments later. It is bad enough that state workers are effectively paying for tax cuts for the rich, but according to the director of Kansas Public Employee Retirement System, cutting payments by $446 million now will cost the state over $3.7 billion in the long term. In fact, it is a typical, and diabolical Republican scam to create retirement system shortfalls in the future that Chris Christy employed in New Jersey as cover to slash workers’ retirement benefits to fund more tax cuts for corporations and the rich in the future. Republicans have used a similar tactic to eventually starve Social Security by refusing to raise the income cap that would keep the Trust flush for generations.

Although one understands the twisted thinking in cutting education and pensions to make further social program cuts in the future, slashing transportation funding now to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy is just beyond comprehension. Brownback is stripping an additional $350 million from the state’s transportation department that will create greater costs in the future as roads deteriorate more and material costs naturally increase. According to a ‘heavy construction’ trade group, not repairing a crumbling transportation infrastructure now will “create bigger problems” later on. Despite a decade-old sales tax increase to pre-fund transportation repairs, Brownback has already stolen $1.2 billion from the transportation fund to keep the state finances afloat due to gross revenue shortfalls. Revenue shortfalls that are in spite of a budget surplus Brownback inherited, and promptly squandered on tax cuts as well as an addition billion-plus dollars to increase corporate and rich people’s wealth. It is precisely the same actions Bush-Republicans used to create a stunning revenue shortfall at the federal level that Brownback is repeating and the Koch Congress pants to repeat.

It is bad enough Brownback is cutting more from education, taking more from retirees, and transferring more from transportation to fund his wealthy donor’s  trickle down cuts, but the ‘short term cuts will not produce long-term solvency for the state” according to the Kansas City Star editorial board. The newspaper’s editors were just as dumbfounded over Brownback’s promise to “continue our march to zero income taxes” as any half-witted Kansan, and rightly noted that no matter how much he starves the state, schools, roads, social programs, and retirees’ pension accounts, none of them has produced any job growth.

The editors remarked that Brownback’s spending cuts “leave the state barely able to meet its statutory obligations, much less invest in its citizens and the future,” but what the editors fail to understand is that starving the state government, and Kansas citizens, to death is exactly what Brownback’s masters at Koch Industries and anti-government fanatic Grover Norquist have tasked him to do. It is also what the Kochs are likely conniving with Senate Republicans to achieve while they meet this weekend instead of debating the doomed Keystone pipeline.

32 Replies to “Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Is Stealing More From Children And Retirees To Fund Tax Cuts”

  1. That must be the “our children and grandchildren are going to be stuck paying for it” line repubs use against Obama. They’re paying with substandard education and cutting retirement. How slimy is this guy?

  2. my question is that since the government can’t make jobs when does the Gov and the puppet legislature start taking pay cuts?

  3. All Federal dollars should be cut off from Kansas. They want true Conservative forms of legislation then let them have it by reducing the Federal debt by cutting funds off to ALL Red states.

    Watch the masses of people move out of Kansas faster then they currently are.

  4. Amazing. With help from the Republican “fear” machine, citizens chose to dismantle and cripple their own govt. This was always a Koch plan. Just took awhile to get all the players in place. Now we can watch the how utopian ideals of libertarianism work out (already safe to predict a disaster).
    When voters became blinded to facts, the ideals sounded perfect. Doesn’t speak very highly of Kansas Republicans or the Koch agenda. Condolences to future Kansas generations.

  5. Enrich-The-Already-Rich is the GOP Plan for our Whole Country! Their Koch/Citizens United funded Propaganda Machine is tricking/misinforming way too many people.

    Watch Election-16…by hook or by crook they’re gonna steal that one!
    If they can’t win fairly!

    We should have a group:
    Protecting Election-2016.

    We have got the Momentum…
    Yet…they’ve got the Money!

  6. There is no such thing as funding a tax cut. The government has no money. A tax cut is allowing the wage earner to keep HIS OWN MONEY. If the government has less to spend, then it spends less (I know under Obama the 18 trillion dollar debt is spending money you don’t have, but who else can do that?).

  7. Great Post! It is The Republican ‘Fear-Machine’, Coast to Coast RightWing Hate Radio and FOX 24/7 Spewing Lies!

    All rabble-rousing people into a FRENZY of FEAR. I head Mark Levin yesterday saying PBO is snubbing Netanyahu and he lied:
    “Obama is now out bad-mouthing Netanyahu”.

    We need The Fairness Doctrine where lies were countered and truth sorted out.
    Until Reagan did away with it.

    They are Brainwashing our Fellow Americans!
    The Brainwashing of My Dad:

  8. Of that $18 trillion, $13 trillion occurred under the last three REPUBLICAN presidents. Remember Reagan, “deficits don’t matter,” Cheney, “Reagan said ‘deficits don’t matter’, I agree.”

  9. I’d change the language in this sentence from “Although one understands” to “We have to get used to” the twisted thinking in cutting education and pensions to make further social program cuts in the future, slashing transportation funding now to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy is just beyond comprehension.

  10. That being the case, when are the elected officials of your party going to stop drawing the huge salary they now call theirs? That IS taxpayer money and they shouldn’t be claiming what they don’t believe in.

  11. What amazes me is how brownback can ignore the courts like he is doing without any action being taken against him. I guess being a Koch sucker works in Kansasisan.

  12. I never thought I would see the day when a post is deleted by PoliticusUSA. So much for the free exchange of ideas.

  13. I saw your post and I will just say this. We can be raunchy at times but and this is just me when I see a post talking about shooting someone I will delete it even though I was out so I didn’t do it but if I was in and saw it I would have deleted it.

    There is a line that I think we should never cross and that’s talking about shooting someone even if they deserve it. It wont get posted and that goes for me or anyone else

  14. The dollar only has value because the US government stands behind it. None of it is your money. The government allows us to use it to conduct transactions with and has the right to charge a fee for its use. We call that fee a tax.

  15. I’ve seen slimy people before and Brownback takes the cake here.

    I mean, he has to realize that even though those crazy ass vision in his head are telling him that it’s all good, the reality is showing that Kansas become a laughing stock and a prime example of why people like me don’t want to see Conservatism running anything at all.

  16. bring it on. It’s time we have an example of what this type of thinking will bring us……and they voted for him so live with the results.

  17. I’m not a citizen of Kansas, but I’m pretty sure this effects the whole country. If I was a citizen I would probably try to sue the state, impeach him, and see if he could be tried for treason.

  18. Regurgitated faux “news” lie. The majority was built by repubs lack of proper management. Obama had to clean up the mess gotp left America in. You shouldnt spew fox bs.

  19. This is proof that voting does matter and our votes do count…

    By the way, why aren’t Kansans rioting in the streets?

    They do have newspapers in Kansistan, don’t they?

  20. Four more years Kansas. You voted for this crook. I still think that if the election results for govenor were scrutinized that the investigation would show that they were rigged. It is incomprehensible to me how anyone could have vote d for this man after such a disasterous first term. I really have no empathy for any citizen of Kansas. The only option left for them, I feel, is to move out of the state before it starts crumbling down (literally, ei. Roads, bridges, parks, streets, etc) around them.

  21. They send their children to private schools and there’s always a luxury car around so they won’t much feel the potholes in the road.

    The point is that they don’t care about those things and there’s money aplenty to make voters forget about them as well come election time. KS Republicans will blame foreigners, minority groups, unions and Democrats for the people’s problems and laugh about the gullibility of voters in the backrooms.

    Eventually it will reach the French Revolution stage in KS but they’ll revel in the good times until that happens. Then move.

  22. If Kansas voted this guy in, then they must like his ideology. There is nothing we can do unless people vote. If people can’t take time out to vote, then it can’t be they are hurting in Kansas. People leaving the state “get it,” but the diehards living there and voting for this maniac, so be it. He is their problem.

    Just to add, it is like Wisconsin..in debt, jobs are not great, Walker got voted in 3 times!!!..I have no sympathy for that stupidity.

  23. Whitty, I have the sense that more than 1 election was rigged in 2014. Add to that voter suppression, gerrymandering, and apathetic voters, there is your recipe for disaster.

    I can’t believe there is no investigation on how voting was handled. I don’t believe for 1 min. there was not tampering by the GOPT.

  24. Pretty sure that if you take off the rose-colored beer goggles you will see Wisconsin doing economically well.
    Try again.

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