May 2, 2014

Moody's downgraded Kansas credit rating on Thursday, citing Kansas' sluggish economy and below-expected revenue collections due to a 2012 tax cut bill passed by the Republican legislature.

The tax cuts were only for wealthy folks, of course. People like Charles Koch, who lives in Kansas and owns the majority of it either politically or otherwise. Austerity is killing Kansas, and Governor Sam Brownback owns that.

The dip in the state’s credit rating comes in the wake of sharply dropping revenue figures released Wednesday. Brownback and other state leaders blamed those numbers on economic policies of the Obama administration.

Yet Missouri’s Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a massive tax cut bill Thursday, using the rising profile of Kansas’ finances to fight back a coming override battle.

The Missouri cuts were designed partly to keep pace with Kansas’.

While Kansas is still considered a solid credit risk, the downgrade reflects the state’s diminished financial position in the context of a sluggish economic recovery.

Analysts said the Kansas tax cuts aren’t the only factor adding to state budget problems.

Moody’s also pointed to $129 million in new spending on schools in response to a state Supreme Court ruling plus $16.7 billion in unfunded pension liability. A cut in the state sales tax hasn’t helped either, it said.

What happened to all that liberty that comes with tax cuts? Why isn't the state overflowing with jobs, milk and honey? Because that's what they sell, right? Liberty wrapped in a tax cut?

This is basic math. If you have obligations -- like schools and public pensions -- you don't cut revenues, and you especially don't cut revenues which can and should be paid by the wealthiest people in your state.

Isn't it obvious by now that the idea of "liberty via tax cut" is really just a formula for destruction? The billionaires are standing by to pick up Kansas' assets for pennies on the dollar, but this isn't any way to run a state.

Those Kansans in that video singing Brownback's praises are the reason the Kochs fork over megamillions to the religious righties. As long as they can keep the culture wars raging, they can ravage the state. It's working for them, but no one else.

And then there's this:

State Rep. Richard Carlson, chairman of the House tax committee, said he thinks the state needs to concentrate more on reducing spending. He said the state needs to let the private sector grow faster than government so it produces more money for government services.

Has anyone bothered to tell this doofus that private sector employment has been growing while government employment has been shrinking? What does he smoke before making statements like this?

Brownback predictably blamed Obama's national policies for Kansas' troubles. There's just one problem with that. For the past three years, Obama's national policies have gone nowhere, thanks to the Teabagger House of Kochheads Representatives. Furthermore, other states are recovering at a faster pace than Kansas. Brownback can try and blame Obama, but anyone with half a brain and the capacity to add and subtract understands that when you cut tax revenues and have obligations to meet, something is out of balance.

It's not a national problem. It's a Republican problem.

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