The GOP primary was a bloodbath for Brownback’s buddies in the state legislature. Five far-right conservatives in Kansas’ House and six state senators lost their seats to Republican challengers. The losing incumbents included Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, an oft-ally of the governor. The hardliners were defeated by a wave of moderate Republicans, who were also victorious in a number of open elections Tuesday. The purge of Tea Party state lawmakers—by Republican primary voters no less—is being viewed in the state as a referendum on Brownback’s agenda on cutting taxes and shrinking government to minuscule levels.
“This is the first time ever that quote-unquote ‘conservatives’ have controlled the governorship, controlled both chambers of the state legislature, but now instead of challenging the system, they were responsible for running it,” said Patrick Miller, a political scientist at the University of Kansas. “Clearly, at least so far in the Republican electorate, there was a lot of discontent with how they ran it.”
The anti-Tea Party fervor also appeared to play a role in the defeat of U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a prominent member of the House Freedom Caucus, to a more pragmatic-minded challenger Tuesday.
Why all the tears -what could possible have gone wrong?
Well it’s the Economy Stupid – and just as predicted -the inevitable math just keeps grinding on.
The Kansas budget is currently facing a $74.5 million deficit and has routinely undershot the revenues estimated under Brownback’s tax cut scheme. Just last week, the state’s credit rating was downgraded for the second year in a row, and for the third time under Brownback’s watch. The legislature is currently involved in a high-stakes fight with the state Supreme Court about the funding of Kansas’ education system, while the status of the state’s pension plans, Medicaid reimbursements and highway fund also remain in critical condition.
Kansas for many reasons is the polar opposite of California. Not so along ago California was in economic ruins having been run into the ground by the GOP and Kansas had been outperforming other states having been more Democrat. From 2003 to 2011 Kansas had been lead by two competent Democratic governors – then the voters decided to slit their own throats. Meanwhile the GOP got destroyed in California. So now, big surprise, look what happens:
The state of California made some headlines last week when the latest economic data found that the Golden State’s economy is now the sixth largest on the planet, passing France and Brazil. It was a striking milestone just in terms of California’s sheer economic might. But there was something else about the news with some political salience: when California raised taxes on the wealthy in 2012, creating one of the highest marginal tax rates in the country, conservatives were certain the state’s economy would take a severe hit. How did that work out? The Washington Post reported the other day:
California grew just fine in the year the tax hikes took effect… California’s economy grew by 4.1 percent in 2015, according to new numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, tying it with Oregon for the fastest state growth of the year. That was up from 3.1 percent growth for the Golden State in 2014, which was near the top of the national pack.At the same time, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) slashed taxes, leading conservatives to predict great things for the state’s economy. And yet, here we are. The Kansas economy, on the other hand, grew 0.2 percent in 2015. That’s down from 1.2 percent in 2014, and below neighboring states such as Nebraska (2.1 percent) and Missouri (1.2 percent). Kansas ended the year with two consecutive quarters of negative growth – a shrinking economy. By a common definition of the term, the state entered 2016 in recession. […]Kansas’s gross domestic product is still less than it was at the end of 2011, said Menzie Chinn, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has been following Kansas’s economy. Meanwhile, the economy in the rest of the country continues to expand.
Kansas reported gaining only 800 private-sector jobs between March 2015 and March 2016, a mere 0.1 percent increase.
Remember that Governor Brownback’s whole raison d’etre for tax cuts to the wealthy and the farmers, at the expense of every one else, was to create more jobs in Kansas, a business friendly atmosphere. Meanwhile job growth explodes throughout the rest of the USA—most everywhere except Kansas, which carries on with an outdated and perverse addiction to discredited trickle down economic policies.
Last month, Brownback ordered $17 million in immediate reductions to universities and earlier this month delayed $93 million in contributions to pensions for school teachers and community college employees. The state has also siphoned off more than $750 million from highway projects to other parts of the budget over the past two years.
Lawmakers are worried about approving any further reductions in an election year. All 40 Senate seats and 125 House seats are on the ballot in November.
But on the off chance that Kansan’s might object to Stupidparty economic incompetence—there is a plan for that, stop people voting.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Voting rolls in Kansas are in “chaos” because of the state’s proof-of-citizenship requirements, the American Civil Liberties Union has argued in a court document, noting that about two-thirds of new voter registration applications submitted during a three-week period in February are on hold.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (who has spent all of his time trying to destroy voting rights, based upon the easily provable Myth that voter fraud by the voter is Mathematically irrelevant) has invested millions of tax payer dollars trying to unearth fraud, every now and again emerging from his sewer claiming to have found some hapless victim who may have a made an error. These much tallyhoed instances have invariably backfired:
Johnson County court records show Kobach’s office suddenly dismissed misdemeanor counts related to unlawful voting against Betty Gaedtke “without intent to refile.” A jury trial scheduled for Monday was canceled.
Now, two of the cases he filed basically have been complete duds, exposing no “fraud” at all.
Last December, Steven Gaedtke, Betty’s husband, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawful voting.
The Gaedtkes are “very good people” who had been in the midst of a retirement move from Olathe to Arkansas in the run up to the 2010 general election. The couple applied for advance voting ballots from Johnson County and submitted them and meanwhile were traveling back and forth to move their belongings. They made a mistake and also voted in the election in Arkansas in person, he said. It was not a presidential year, so they weren’t voting twice for the same candidates. Steven Gaedtke is a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force. Betty Gaedtke volunteers as a domestic violence educator. They built a cabin in the Arkansas Ozarks for their retirement.
Previous Update to the Economic Performance of Kansas:
The Brownback experiment continues to force Kansas down an ever more divergent and negative track than the rest of the Country. Remember that Stupidparty policies of cutting taxes for the wealthy, create a short term boom, followed by always having to pay the piper. The piper in Kansas must now be so well fed as to become obese—Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The adjacent compares Kansas to the rest of the country using “coincident indexes”, an aggregate measure of economic performance tracked monthly by the Philadelphia Fed. It consists of the following four measures:
- Non farm payroll employment
- Average hours worked in manufacturing
- Unemployment rate
- Wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index
The index is set to 100 at the beginning of 2011, when Gov. Brownback took office. Brownback instituted an aggressive program of tax cuts and budget reductions, promising that this supply-side intervention would supercharge the state’s economy. But the reality has been rather different.
Still do not quite believe that Stupidparty trickle down policies are always a dead loss? Well look at Wisconsin under Governor Walker (both Kansas and Wisconsin had performed relatively well under Democratic Governors, until the Stupidparty wave of 2010. Still not convinced? Well now we will look at the whole United States since 1976—which has had an equal divide amongst Democratic and Stupidparty Presidents, but not an equal division of competence.
God must surely want a chat with Kansas:
( See part 1 Texas)
God speaks: I think we need to send a message to Kansas. How about killing all the firstborns? That helped Moses. No, I promised my beloved son that there would be no more genocide, no more lightning bolts. However insulted I feel–I must just turn the other cheek. But this cretin keeps acting in my name; surely I can subtly give him a deadly disease (plausible deniability and all that). No, my son can always tell when I am not totally truthful. This is driving me nuts. Perhaps I can write him a letter. No there are rules about that, I cannot provide any evidence that I actually exist–especially since the moment I was persuaded to cease and desist my temper tantrums. Thank God, if I may say so myself, for Valium. But I am the Almighty, the infallible–Jesus cannot stop me from thinking and somehow projecting.
Please look to the heavens, I am signalling you that you must die, that I am a bit disappointed with your performance. First I must confirm that hell will freeze over before I ever talk to you. I never talk to anyone, certainly not total morons to my creations that are not able to grasp the lessons of my son. He did die for you, I believe. If I were to talk to you it would be to tell you that you are destined to go to hell–a less desirable afterlife. So why I am so anxious to see you fry for all eternity change your ways, even though I infallibly know that your DNA will not allow this to happen?
You seem to have forgotten that I sent my beloved son down to help the poor and the sick and to test the wealthy and the privileged. Yet you blasphemously use my name to promote easily provable nonsense. That makes me mad sad because it makes me look like a total idiot. I do not care.
Let me try and explain in the simplest possible terms, because even though I endowed you with a brain, you refuse to exercise it and it has thus atrophied to the point of being brain dead–a sad burden for you. Have you yet to find an economist that supports your infantile belief in trickle down economics? Here’s the thing, trickle up works approximately 700% better than trickle down. You don’t believe me. You question my infallibility—well at least consider the math provided.
Now here is what happens when you cut taxes.
Kansas is constitutionally bound to run a balanced budget. So less revenue means various services have to be cut. I am not saying that tax cuts are bad per se, but it is the format of such tax cuts that will dictate how effective they will be:
In its 2015 edition of “Who Pays: A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All Fifty States,” the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy counts Kansas among the 10 states with the “most regressive state and local tax systems.” Taxes eat up 11.1 percent of income for the poorest 20 percent of Kansas residents. Meanwhile, Kansas’ top one percent of earners forfeit a comparatively paltry 3.6 percent of their income.
By giving to the rich rather than the poor, the economic multiplier effect is likely reduced from x 8 down to x 1.2. Strange how economics works–no one knew that my little Jesus was such an infallible economist. Oh here I go on again, prattling on about my Son, regressive taxes, multiplier effects and the marginal propensity to consume–when all you want to do is pray and expect me to create an economic miracle out of idiotic thinking. Now what would that achieve in the best of circumstances? But the quid pro quo of me not being allowed to turn you into a pillar of salt is that I cannot do the whole miracle thing either.
So back to the textbook we must go. Now see how much less revenue you have to pay for various services.
As Bloomberg reports:
“Income-tax cuts in Kansas championed by Governor Sam Brownback have led to credit downgrades, political turmoil and deepening budget deficits. This week, they’ll start forcing schools to close early.
As lawmakers work to erase a projected $800 million budget gap for the fiscal year starting July 1, at least eight school districts that saw their funding cut this year because of a greater-than-projected slide in state tax collections will begin shutting down before the scheduled end of classes. Dozens of others have eliminated or cut programs.
“We felt we didn’t have a choice,” said Janet Neufeld, superintendent of Twin Valley schools, which will end the academic year 12 days early.
“It’s not good for kids, it’s not good for families,” said Neufeld, whose district serves 590 students in eastern Kansas. “But we’re trying to keep the ship from sinking.”
I hate to point out that all this is taking place in an environment where the economy of the country is rapidly bouncing back. But back to our backward Brownback Kansas.
“Early school closings and program reductions are signs of a budget sinkhole in Kansas, where Brownback and the Republican-controlled legislature approved large income tax reductions in 2012 and 2013. They said reduced levies would spur economic activity that would compensate for lost state revenue. The governor called his move to gradually end the income tax “an experiment.”
Something else that will surely damn you for all eternity and complicate your afterlife plans—why would you, a self-proclaimed Christian, so easily sell your soul? Do you really think that I am blind? You think that I am some type oxymoronic infallible amateur, that I cannot see how you changed your views on clean energy, wind energy–all because your largest single donor is trying to create an Ayn Randian Kansas Koch Kingdom in a land that will soon resemble a Mad Max post apoplectic landscape? l always loved a good blow, yet you are too stupid to harness my free stuff.
But there are rules that states must abide by. Kansas cannot run a budget deficit. The massive regressive tax cuts to the wealthy are having the opposite effect (note my comments about the multiplier effect).
Sam you have somehow orchestrated the most inefficient type of stimulation known to mortals. Thus, following the logic of your truly sick mind misguided philosophy, the poor must suffer even more to ensure no budgetary deficits.
One truly brain dead unfortunate idea follows another. You want to stop people on welfare withdrawing more than $25? It’s not like they have to pay rent or anything. A part from the truly repulsive morality–it is just so Stupidparty–costing far more to administer the plan, than any of the zero benefits that can be expected.
(I must now leave you Sam—so sorry, must dash, I must rush off to oversee a crisis on a different planet–something about technological singularity being imminent on a planet, not so unlike Earth, yet far far away enough to be in a different galaxy. Do I plump for mass extermination or the total destruction of mythical thinking? Can I be made redundant? Tough call. What would my beloved Son do? Fortunately the rest of this Kansas narrative can pretty much write itself.)
“Limiting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefit withdrawals to $25 per day. Many pointed out that not only was this burdensome in terms of time and effort, many ATMs only distribute money in $20 increments and add fees to outside withdrawals. The law also enacted some other limits on welfare benefits, including a lifetime cap of 36 months, drug testing, and restrictions on spending benefits on a variety of expenses deemed to be frivolous, including movie theaters and cruise ships. (This is on top of Kansas also kicking more than 20,000 people off food stamps.) The vote rolling back the daily limit kept those other restrictions in place.”
If he carried on with these nutty ideas, Kansas would stand to lose $100m of federal funding.
But it gets worse. Schools are facing a $197 million shortfall. Some have even brought lawsuits against the state, saying that Brownback’s cuts to school funding, which caused dramatic disparities between rich and poor districts, are unconstitutional. The Kansas Supreme Stupidparty Court agrees.
So the courts are threatening to undermine his efforts to bludgeon education–the lack of which has already caused people like Sam Brownback to get elected in the first place, indicating that ignorance was Brownback’s road to power and the only way to protect his future.
So the law is getting in his way. No problem. And now we actually get a glimpse of how a post democratic oligarchy would live on forever. Fascism, Kansas style. Brownback simply states that if the judiciary rules against him, he will defund the judiciary.
I guess it could be argued that Kansas schools are hardly worth saving. They already teach creation – a subject that does not belong in any school, not even in kindergarten.
“On November 8, 2005 the Kansas Board of Education approved the following changes to its science standards:
- Add to the mission statement a goal that science education should seek to help students make “informed” decisions.
- Provide a definition of science that is not strictly limited to natural explanations.
- Allow intelligent design to be presented as an alternative explanation to evolution as presented in mainstream biology textbooks, without endorsing it.
- State that evolution is a theory and not a fact.
- Require informing students of purported scientific controversies regarding evolution.
Opposition to new standards
In addition to the over 70 scientific societies, institutions and other scientific professional groups that have issued statements supporting evolution education and opposing intelligent design, the Kansas Board of Education was presented a letter from 38 Nobel laureates, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Nobel Laureates Initiative, calling upon the Board of Education to reject intelligent design and support the teaching of evolution. It stated:
“Logically derived from confirm-able evidence, evolution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. As the foundation of modern biology, its indispensable role has been further strengthened by the capacity to study DNA. In contrast, intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent.”
It seems that many schools have extremely backward notions about reality, freedom of expression. They are interested in one thing–producing brainwashed stupid people.
A bill in the Kansas Legislature could lead to teachers facing criminal charges for showing students materials that parents would consider harmful and offensive. Now bear in mind that facts are offensive to Stupidparty disciples–in fact they glory in their bigotry and ignorance. Now a teacher even mentioning same sex marriage, well you don’t even want to go there. Repent thee and you shalt have your liberty to be free or free will handed back to you by the divine Brownback, oh glory be his merciful name.
Living in a self-creationist mythical universe has multiple side effects. It allows such a dearth of critical thinking capabilities as to make places like Kansas one of the most backward places on the planet.
Taking the above chart, plus data about religion along with stats on Mississippi and Alabama, one can now start connecting the dots to figure out that probably less than 20% of Kansas Stupidparty disciples believe in evolution—one quarter of what one would expect, all things being equal.
It is within this environment that virtually any myth can take hold. I would hazard to guess that more than 80% of Kansan Stupidparty disciples believe that the more guns one has the safer you are. This claptrap is promoted by such charlatan mathematicians as John Lott–now of his own personal institute, because no one else would employ him. It’s easy to debunk all of his claptrap.
When your heart is in the wrong place where does that leave you?
He said in a speech in 2013 that his economic acumen is not based on “mental principles, but things that connect through the heart.”
“That was one of the main headings on Brownback’s campaign website and obviously he assumes people suffering under his typically Republican economic agenda are unaware that Kansas’ economy is not leading the nation. Part and parcel of Brownback’s storied “red state model” economic agenda was following trickle-down champion Arthur Laffer’s instructions to Republican legislators that if they slashed taxes for the rich and reduced the state’s revenue, the state would be awash in new revenue. Now that the state has suffered several credit downgrades due to a lack of revenue, over a hundred current and former Republican leaders have endorsed Brownback’s Democratic opponent and warned Kansas residents that Brownback’s tax cuts will bankrupt the state within two years if not sooner. It is what Brownback’s campaign calls growing the Kansas economy.”
But in an ocean teaming with such ignorance, Kansas has little chance of producing any intelligent design for themselves. Why bother if you can simply surrender your brain to your delusion. So back to that post-apocalyptic Kansan Mad Max world. God is evidently no longer allowed to bring plagues upon peoples that he despises—you know you are a good parent when your child turns out better than you. But God has figured out that he longer needs to manufacture plagues, when they will happen without the need for a divine catalyst.
The Ten self-inflicted plagues of Kansas:
1) Kansas sits on the high plains aquifer, which provides 30% of the nations irrigated ground water. Because of its asset stripping cattle industry (among others), Kansas is drawing down water from the High Plains Aquifer at more than six times the natural rate of recharge. This blood money will lead to no water, leading to a ravaged wasteland.
2) The frogs will stand by in awe and watch a plague of grasshoppers ravage crops. Favorable factors include warm, dry summers to facilitate egg production followed by warm, moist springs to promote hatching and nymphal emergence, according to Kansas State. Several consecutive favorable seasons will result in large populations.
3) Lice or mites or something else killing off honey bees in addition to the lack of water will complicate the ability of Kansas farmers to make a living. This living is only feasible now due to federal farm subsidies and the myopic enthusiastic thirst for the asset stripping of dwindling water resources.
4) Due to lack of water and feed, livestock to be abandoned to die in the wastelands. Flies will come and feast on these decaying carcasses – creating clouds of their brethren.
5) There will be no boils – instead the increasing heat shall allow Kansans to boil their eggs on the tarmac of their driveways.
6) Gun-crazed high plain drifter wannabees will get increasingly mad with everyone and start behaving like wild animals, creating checkpoints, fearing immigrants, gays, teachers, blacks, Yankees, the United Nations and the invasion of federal forces demanding back all the nations wasted subsidies on Kansas.
7) The hoax of climate change will lead to more massive storms and tornadoes and ripping all singing girls and their dogs out of Kansas, out over the eternal rainbow.
8) Those swarming grasshoppers having already evolved from frogs will now evolve into more mobile locusts, rapidly eating the last of the rapidly diminishing crops. The Governor will send urgent notes to Chris Nolan asking how they can build a spacecraft that can fly them to a parallel universe where myth can rule over math.
9) A combination of unfettered pollution, global warming, swarms of flies and massive dust storms will cloud the sky–the sun not be to seen again for at least 40 days, or was it 40 years?
10) No firstborns shall ever be born in Kansas again. The lack of hospitals, schools and other government services, will mean that parents will seek to give birth in other states.
But here is the bottom line for the rest of us–who have to watch this train wreck. This is mortal man’s message to Kansas as explained by Jon Stewart:
“Kansas is a welfare state on the federal dole. At $30 billion in debt, the state takes in $1.29 for every tax dollar it sends to Washington DC. According to Stewart, that means Kansas can’t be trusted and needs to be punished the same way Kansas Republicans are punishing welfare recipients.
“If you need to take tax money from New York and Illinois, it’s OK,” Stewart said. “Just remember, the fact that you’re accepting government assistance shows you can’t be trusted to make your own decisions.”
Kansas, you will never be as big as Texas, so stop trying to out stupid them–stop mooching off our brains. A plague be upon you for wasting our money, all because you are just so so Stupidparty.
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