Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Dear people of Kansas,

 

We all know that the election is over and Brownback is set to govern for another term. Now that it’s over, we’ve got ourselves a little problem.  It’s no biggie really – just a teeny, tiny  problem.  In case you haven’t heard, we are broke.  I’m not just talking a little broke, I’m talking broke with a capital “B” as in there ain’t no mo’ money.  We all know that Brownback implemented some pretty extreme tax cuts (that’s the understatement of the century) and now our budget is in what I like to call “danger, danger Will Robinson” crisis mode.1458

 

Since I picture Brownback in my head as Dana Carvey doing a SNL George Bush Sr. impression saying, “read my lips, no new taxes”, we find ourselves in quite a bind.
 
 

For his part, House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, has been unwilling to budge on the income tax cuts.

“The new revenue estimates only highlight the continuing need to protect core services while streamlining state government,” Merrick said in a statement. “We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”

I like this tactic of just ignoring that taxes are now too low to support our budget.  We will just blame everything on our “spending problem.”  Like my issue with buying too many cute shoes every time it’s payday, the state of Kansas has a spending problem. How big of a spending problem?  We have to cut our budget by…..insert drum roll….$279 million dollars!

 
 

I’m attaching the budget memo that outlines everything.  I’m not a numbers girl so feel free to geek yourselves out over this attachment and join me again when you are done.  2014_CRE_ShortMemo-11-10-14

 
 

Holy shit batman that’s a lot of dough!

 
 

Grab your red pens, get comfy and let’s offer suggestions to Governor Brownback on where he can come up with $279 MILLION dollars in budget savings for the state of Kansas.  When your state budget goes from resembling filet mignon to Hamburger Helper, I think all suggestion should be on the table.  I’m not exactly sure what Ray Merrick thinks are “core services” versus take ’em or leave ’em services so I’ll just have to do my best to guess on that.

 
 

1.  Education – I understand that 50% of the Kansas state budget comes from education.  I heard that parents of Kansas students, like me, have nothing to worry about when it comes to further cuts to education.  Wink. Wink.  Sure I believe that.  We all know that Kansas has pretty much cut  the hell out of education in the past few years.  How about we just cut to the chase and do away with education altogether?   That’s right grab your red pen and just mark out education.  It’s not really a “core service” anyway.  Just the other day I noticed my daughter can read at a 2nd grade level, because she’s in 2nd grade and I thought to myself….she’s good.  No need to go any proceed with any more education.

 
 

See how easy this is. I’m saving money left and right.

 
 

2.  Prisons and law enforcement – In case you haven’t noticed, Kansas put’s the PRO in the pro-gun movement.  That said, we can do away with prisons and law enforcement.  Every citizen will be issued a firearm and there you go! We will bring back the Old West mentality when it comes to law enforcement.  I don’t know about you, but I trust my bat-shit crazy neighbor to enforce the law on my block and keep me safe from any shenanigans that might erupt.

 
 

3.  Senior and disability services – Grandma and Grandpa, I think you have just about had enough when it comes to senior services.  Kansas needs to cut funds and this is when it’s time to call your ungrateful kids and tell them it’s time to pony up.  No more senior meals, transportation and prescription drug assistance.  Hey peeps – guess what?  Because Kansas can’t balance their budget, mom and dad are going to have to move in with you!

 
 

4.  Cutting the WIC programs for women, infants and children – nothing says being a good Christian like cutting out the WIC program.  Think about all the money it could save the state!  Instead of providing nutritional assistance to women and their families who qualify, the state of Kansas can just give them a cardboard sign and a marker and show them which street corner is appropriate to beg on.  What’s the saying?  It helps build character.

 
 

These are just some of my suggestions.  I’m sure you can offer more.

 
 

Hopefully you realize that my suggestions are a joke.  I’m afraid that the Kansas legislature and Sam Brownback won’t realize this and will actually take steps to cut these valuable programs.  They have already cut millions of dollars in funding to valuable programs like education and taken extreme measures like privatizing Medicaid which has ended up with disastrous results.  Coming up with $279 million dollars in budget cuts can only mean that more important programs will be on the chopping block.  When will they realize that keeping taxes at this unrealistic level is hurting Kansas, Kansas families and our Kansas children?

 
 

Now excuse me.  It’s payday and that can only mean one thing – it’s time to buy some cute shoes!
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13 thoughts on “Attention People of KS – We Are Broke! Urgent Action Required

  1. Ken Jansen says:

    RE: rebuttal article

    ‘If Brownback triumphs, the pie shrinks – which means there just won’t be as much taxpayer money to divide up in the future.’

    Just to be clear “The Pie” is made up if core services of government. Core services such as K-12 Education. Oops, I mean 1-12 Education. Since KS does not mandate Kindergarten.

    Part of government is the ability to provide services that businesses do not provide. Serving everyone is not a profitable business. Government is not meant to be run as a business. We help those who cannot help themselves because it is the right thing to do. We educate our citizens because it is the right thing to do and makes our society better. Feeding the elderly and children, a state police force, schools, roads and other infrastructure, libraries, courts, elections, our various elected officials, the DMV. Those are not things that are part of an optional dessert of ‘pie’. That is how civilization works.

    Insinuating that government just gives away money to everyone, this ‘share the wealth’ idiom, is false. We help those who cannot help themselves. It is the right thing to do.

    This fantasy land of no government being a good thing is just fantasy. How did Gault’s Gulch work out in the real world? http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/35591/Wendy-McElroy-The-Fate-of-Galts-Gulch-Chile/ Not so hot.

    So as you drive to your job or business tomorrow – just mentally jot down how many government products or services you see or use on the way. Your drive on a road right? Your vehicle was manufactured according to government (that is us by the way, you and me) safety standards. How about those stop signs, traffic lights, lines down the middle of road, curbs, water run off sewers? Were most people driving reasonable close to the speed limit? Or speed limit plus 15mph? We, the people, the government, said hey, lets not drive however fast we want wherever we want. People seem to die from that. The police officer sitting or driving in their cruiser. Well, it may surprise you, but some folks don’t like to follow the rules. So we share the cost of a police force to help enforce those rules.

    This probably seems a little elementary. It is. The constant repetition of ‘government bad’ in a newscaster/politician style bad Frankenstein impression needs to stop. Or maybe we can offer tax deductions for one way tickets to Gault’s Gulch tours.

  2. David Murphy says:

    It’s not government that’s bad.. it’s bloated slushfundy government that’s bad. <<not something I've ever heard on NPR by the way! I hear the typical public school has double the budget of it's private counterpart. It doesn't sound like the schools are about to shut down,exactly does it? Are we allowed to ask after the 2008 econo-bomb.. if there is any bloat in public education? Is it evil to take a hard look at teachers/students/principals.. and say.. hmmm.. can we actually find a way to reward teachers since KS teachers are pretty under paid.. but THEN.. can we look at all the non-teaching staff and see if there are things that are extraneous? And again, I'm not saying it's all extraneous. I just just rarely hear any discussion of these things. It's just cartoon characters and projections of idiocy on conservatives.. and 'republicans are against the children' rhetoric. With lots of companies having annual layoffs for the past 5 years.. is it a bad thing to look at states like California and IL and say.. jeez.. let's not be like them.. let's go a different direction and make it work for the future? What's the unfunded pension amount for Missouri? Does anyone know? How many tens of billions of dollars? And I'm not saying hard working people don't deserve every penny of the deal they made over the past several decades. I just think.. what's going to be left for kids today when they grow up since so many states are broke as hell. With the economy as slow as it is.. and the recovery so glacial… do you want to raise taxes? Excuse me.. "revenues" I should say. I call them taxes. Kansas has a long history on both sides of the aisle of never meeting a tax increase they didn't like. Property taxes as far I can tell personally are generally higher here than in IL where I moved from years ago. And that's saying something! I'll leave you with this Ken… the Johnson County DMV is a thing of rare beauty.. efficient as heck. I use that text to get in line thingy.. totally shattered the stereotype DMV joke over the years in the past. There's some good government for you. As far as helping those in need. I think every agrees those programs are necessary. The question is.. are they necessary for 50% of the population? or 15%? E.G. what about Social Security Disability fraud. Here you have some folks who truly need the help they are getting.. and some who are abusing the system. Clean out the fraud and make those programs as efficient as possible and eliminate the chance of a slush fund.. and we can all agree to keep those programs thriving. Is that not a reasonable goal? Thanks for reading and have a good evening all.

  3. Ken Jansen says:

    RE: Social Security fraud

    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=391588

    ‘ *Chairman Johnson. I appreciate that. Mr. Becerra, you are recognized.

    *Mr. Becerra. Thank you all for your testimony and for helping us on this issue.

    I think we should make one thing clear. None of us wants to see the bad apples. They ruin it for everyone else. As I think you have all indicated, these are earned benefits. And so, any American who has truly lost the ability to work should be able to turn to a program that was established as a result of his or her taxes that he or she paid into the system for this very reason.

    But when you see a video of someone who is trying to take advantage of the system, it gets you very angry. And we have to kill that, because if we don’t, then it not only makes it difficult for us to have confidence that we are giving out these taxpayer benefits that have been earned when they are rightfully earned, but it also, I think, undermines the confidence that the public has to have in the system.

    And so, I want to make sure we make a point here. Mr. O’Carroll, you pointed out some cases — I have got some numbers here. Tell me if I am wrong. There were some ‑‑ in 2012 some 13 people who were subject to criminal prosecution as a result of some of your work, the CDI work, right?

    *Mr. O’Carroll. Yes, sir.

    *Mr. Becerra. I have a number that 19 other cases were subject to civil monetary penalties. So 19 other people were subject to civil monetary penalty, as a result of all your CDI work.

    *Mr. O’Carroll. That is correct.

    *Mr. Becerra. That is 32 people. The number of people that you investigated is somewhere around 3,300.

    *Mr. O’Carroll. Yes, sir.

    *Mr. Becerra. So of the 3,300, about 32 you found cause to go after them civilly or criminally. That number is based on 3.2 million people who apply for disability insurance benefits. And so I want to make something very clear. We have to beef up your units so you all can find these folks. But there were 32 that you found out of 3.2 million who applied for disability insurance benefits. And so it is not rampant, but it sure makes you mad when you find it. And so we have to go after those bad apples.”

    So. 32. Out of 3.2 Million. “..it [Social Security Disability Insurance Fraud] is not rampant.”

    RE: Can you define ‘slush-fundy’ budgets and provide some specific kansas public school examples of what you are referring to.

    I am unclear about which specific school staff should be discussed as extraneous. Ok, let’s open the discussion of extraneous non teacher staff. Specifically which positions are you referring to? Janitors? Bus Drivers? Librarians? The administrative school office staff? Cross walk traffic guards? Grounds maintenance? The lunch ladies? School counselors? School nurses? Coaching staff? I am unclear about specifically which school staff should be discussed as being extraneous. Trophy duster? 🙂

  4. David Murphy says:

    Here’s one example of bloat/slushfundiness: http://www.kctv5.com/story/24012937/kctv5-uncovers-surprising-spending-in-kansas-schools

    I’m sure I can find others.

    That link fuels my thoughts about Teachers getting the shaft and non-teaching staff in some cases making a killing. Do we dare ask about the breakdown of all the “consultants” or other non teaching staff and how they are being measured and what functions they are specifically providing? Obviously some are essential..but are they all? Is there anywhere to cut that makes sense?

    What exactly are you asking for? That KS education have a bottomless pit of funds? Where exactly are the shortfalls currently, specifically? Is there NO PLACE to “tighten the belt?”

    It’s as if I’m the devil for posing these questions. I beg to differ.

    As to the fraud in social programs.. nice on your example there.. but do you really think the less than 1% of spending on those programs is fraudulent and the programs are all essentially inline and ok to remain as it is today or hell even be expanded?

    What progress has been made with the LBJ Great Society? Where are your results to justify continuing the SLUSHFUNDY approach? Where is the accountability? What are the metrics? How are these programs measured? What is the success criteria?

    Show me the results? Is it Detroit? I think FDR would maybe puke if he saw how long and wide and far reaching many of the social programs started in the 30s have become. Should they be measured by how many folks get off those programs after getting the help they needed? Again, am I allowed to pose such a question or am I monster!?

    Essentially the World is having to tighten it’s financial belt but KS government programs are immune from tightening theirs?

    Scratching my head, here.

    The Dems portray conservatives as being 100% against all social programs. That’s a LIE!

    Most of the traditional print/broadcast media perpetrates that fraud and has for decades and it likely give Dems 5-10% more votes than they really deserve. Maybe the tide is turning a bit on that

    Look at Global Warming for example(switching topics).. um.. I mean Climate Change :>) .. and the recently documented expanding polar ice caps and the fact that temps haven’t risen in 15 years….even Mindy on the Mindy Project jokes about it being a fraud now… so I view that as progress!

    DM

  5. Ken Jansen says:

    91 custodians making more than most teachers. Sound to me like the Teachers need a big raise. Could you define slushfundy for me? I think I do not understand what exactly you mean by slush fund. Slush fund to me would mean extra funds laying around that you could spend on whatever you might need or want. Is the slush fund portion that school districts have custodial employees or is the slush fund the difference in pay between school employee custodians versus contracted custodians. There are not links to verify the difference in the pay between private contracts and employee custodians. Perhaps it may be that school employees have some of their healthcare paid for, or other benefits that subcontracted labor would not have to provide?

    Specifically what I am asking for is specific suggestion on what positions are you suggesting as unnecessary ? Asking for your specific solutions is not equivalent to calling you the devil.

    No one suggested that KS have a bottomless pit of funds.

    The quotes regarding the degree of fraud are from the US House Ways and Means Committee testimony. Not my personal point of view. If you have data that differs from that please provide it.

    In that testimony they also discuss how to report suspected fraud. If you are aware of some ongoing fraud, please report it.

    Its a relatively free country, ask away with your questions. What metrics are you proposing to measure success?

    I did not suggest that Republicans are against all social programs. Republicans do seem to be against increasing public school budgets that would increase teacher pay, against increasing pay for police officers and fire fighters, against pay increases for our armed service members, against raising minimum wage to a level where a person working 40 hours can support themselves with the need for food stamps. So it does get difficult to, off the top of my head, think of a social program that Republicans are championing and trying to expand due to its success. Which social programs are Republicans trying to grow?

    Re: Climate change, let me guess, you are not a scientist. Which data are you referring to regarding expanding polar ice caps? Please cite your source for no temperature change in the last 15 years. Which temperature are you referring to? Is Mindy from the Mindy Project a climatologist? I thought she was a comedienne.

    Climate change is a fact. It is science. Science is true whether you believe it or not. I know Inhofe thinks climate change is a hoax because, you know, Genesis.

  6. David Murphy says:

    Well the US Ways and Means committee example you listed was speaking to a very, very small portion of “Social programs” participants. My point was that’s a pretty small piece of the Billions-of-dollars puzzle. Google Social Security Disability fraud and get back to me on what you find. And to be fair.. I see arguments pro and against. My point is.. why aren’t we allowed to debate these things? Most the press doesn’t include countering viewpoints.

    As to my personal experience on the topic, I do have actual first hand experience where I saw the $ a person was receiving and it was so much that they didn’t have an incentive to get back int he workforce and they were absolutely capable of getting back in the workforce.

    You don’t like the term Slushfundy… but it represents the current Democrat approach to taxes and expansion of government in dozens of areas while we all know.. the kitty is empty!

    Man-mad global warming is theory, not a fact! Even the “climate scientist community” admits that!
    And mentioning Mindy was funny no? I thought it was obvious the point I made by mentioning Mindy. If pop culture references to the fraud of Man-made global warming are popping out on NBC prime time sitcom.. that’s noteworthy!

    There are dozens and dozens of articles/news stories on the topic.
    Here’s a recent one: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2738653/Stunning-satellite-images-summer-ice-cap-thicker-covers-1-7million-square-kilometres-MORE-2-years-ago-despite-Al-Gore-s-prediction-ICE-FREE-now.html

    Back to the SLUSH FUND MENTALITY (does that work better?) of all the funding of green energy like Solyndra and similar firms – did that give you any pause? Was that fraudulent? I know NPR/Huffpo and Andrea Mitchell all gave it a pass! But the masses not so much, thankfully!

    You say this:
    Republicans do seem to be against increasing public school budgets that would increase teacher pay, against increasing pay for police officers and fire fighters, against pay increases for our armed service members, against raising minimum wage to a level where a person working 40 hours can support themselves with the need for food stamps
    … you threw alot in there. And you weren’t as vicious as most of the press typically is… which usually goes something like this….”republicans are against the teachers, police officers and fire fighters and military”… really..? So Dems are champions of anything military? that’s funny actually! I don’t to be fair hear too much of conservatives not being supportive in any way to anything military!

    The Minimum Wage thing deserves more scrutiny than the child-like way you portray it, no? Is there any impact on the businesses with increasing those wages that ultimately lead to less jobs in total? What are the case studies?
    There’s one of the few silver linings for you from last week as min. wages were bumped up in red states.

    I may wind up at a fast food joint again (my first job was at one).. with all the layoffs going on ..but I have no expectation of having a long career there. .. it would hopefully be a way to get some place else.. a better job/higher paying. I’m not going to demand any specific salary… If I don’t see an opportunity for a long term career there.. I’ll look elsewhere.

    Look at food stamp usage which has skyrocketed in recent years. Are you saying we just need to double down and keep heaving money at that program or should we be looking for ways to reduce it..by improving the economy and creating jobs? Republicans want everyone to have a shot at being successful. The business of many of the Democrats (certainly the current Dem leadership) is to establish as many people and groups as victims and have them rely on programs indefinitely.

    Is that healthy in the long run for the country?

    DM

  7. David Murphy says:

    I do appreciate the chance to debate and I might be a little outnumbered here in AimeeLand… and I respect people who’s views counter mine. It’s people who tune out that I don’t suffer as gladly! Cheers.
    David

  8. Ken Jansen says:

    The testimony on the House Ways and Means committees was specifically about Social Security Disability fraud

    If you have first hand knowledge of disability fraud, please report it.

    Slush fundy – I need a specific definition of what that means. Some custodians making more than some teachers does not strike me as slush fundy so I think I need a better idea of what it is you mean by slush fundy. Paying for our representatives to get drunk and go skinny dipping seems slush fundy to me.

    I did not say Republicans were against the military, I said they seem to be against paying our military service members. Also, paying our veterans their promised VA benefits.

    Did I write my minimum wage statements in crayon? Where does child like come from? Raising the minimum wage has been studied. http://www.dol.gov/minwage/mythbuster.htm is a good place to start.

    Here is another http://arindube.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/dube_minwagejobgrowth.pdf

    Mentioning Mindy was funny, I agree. Repeating nonsense about climate scientists not having overwhelmingly agreed that climate change is real or humans don’t have an effect on climate change is just..wrong.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_LONGERREPORT.pdf

  9. David Murphy says:

    Man-made global warming or climate change (or whatever name it has to be changed to to meet the situation!) is a THEORY. not a fact! Can you prove me wrong?

    Childlike.. means implying that I’m against letting someone work 40 hours a week and support their family.
    That came acorss as naive. Raising the minimum wage isn’t universally accepted as a smart or beneficial idea.

    It’s that projecting how Republicans are against the little people. The last election proves the masses are calling B.S. on that! Let me try putting it in child like terms…..When someone is drowning.. do you tell them to stay in the water and order more and more resources to come to the site or do you help them get out of the water as quickly as possible? That’s a pleasantly eccentric (! if I say so, right?) metaphor illustrating the difference between liberalism and conservatism.

    Who’s running the VA? Who’s in charge for the past several years? Who’s responsible? Hard to get away from that, huh? I know Obama claims he saw it on the news and was outraged! He said that about 39 other fiascos of his administration as well!

    Here’s a vantage point on forced higher min. wages from Seattle for you:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2014/05/06/seattle-will-hurt-local-economy-with-15-an-hour-minimum-wage/

    How do Climate Scientists get their grants, their funding? By proving to themselves and to their sources of finance that man-made global warming exists! Seems like a conflict of interest, no? What if they find it doesn’t? Do they send the grants back and resign their positions?

    What of the Hockey-stick graph fraud a couple of years ago?
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/403256/global-warming-bombshell/
    Falsified data… how about just the facts on the temperature of the planet this century? I can’t believe it when I see folks standing by the fraud that is man-made global warming. Stunning. Did you see the satellite images of the poles? What say you? Probably photo-shopped by Fox News? Is that what you think?

    What if the earth had warmed in the past 15 years.. I know what we’d be hearing about every day.. but the reality is.. it hasn’t! Recently voters were polled and they care less about this issue than ANYTHING ELSE!
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/little-green-machine-1415319154

    And our current Sec. of State calls it the greatest threat the world faces!

    They way you say Republicans are “against paying our military service members” has a seriously patronizing tone to it! Feel free to stow that! Our current Democrat leadership loathes the military and everything about it, clearly!

    (HERE’S MY MAIN POINT!!!!!>>>>) Are you aware of the budgetary shortfalls all over the US.. whole states falling in the abyss? Do you care? Does it give you pause? Is some change needed? No? Spend more you say?
    Does anything need to change?

    Noone cares about the skinny dipping! Keep grinding on that stuff if it makes you feel better! HA HA!

    Check this out: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/food-stamp-use-climbed-to-record-46-7-million-in-june-u-s-says.html

    $80 billion in food stamps? 50,000,000 people participating. Again, FDR would puke if he saw that.
    Do you have any issue with that?

    Why do you insist on continuing and expanding a SLUSH FUND MENTALITY when it comes to the government’s role in our lives?

    Ken.. there’s just no more money! The party is over! Take off your hat and put down your kazoo!

  10. Ken Jansen says:

    BINGO! Thanks Dave, I was afraid I would not fill out my RWNJ bingo card.I just needed “Falsified Data” . I suppose if I had bothered to keep playing I could have completed by card by 1) Five or more exclamation points 2) ‘there is no more money’ 3) All caps 4) Personal insults to belittle my points.

    Maybe I should have brought out my expanded edition cards : ‘Murica! or OBAMA! ?

    If you had managed to through in ‘Urban’, ‘Benghazi’, ‘Makers and Takers’, I would have filled my card.

    Good Day.

    1. David Murphy says:

      This is a comment section of a blog and you call it personal insults? How personally insulting of you! Such a thin skin all of the sudden! Really?

      Talking about Man Made Global Warming really isn’t fair. It’s like shooting fishies in a very small green, solar-paneled shot glass. And I’m not getting much blowback from you on that point.. so we can just take that off the table just to make it fair!

      There really isn’t any more money by the way! The masses seem to be fed up (last week at least!) with continuing to blow through tens of trillions of dollars in the Great Society approach that you cherish.

      Let me leave you with few final thoughts: Did it at least for a moment give you pause when you learned that Saul Alinsky dedicated Rules For Radicals to Lucifer? Was that the least bit off-putting?

      Let’s hope my Bingo card pushes it way onto CNN, NPR and all the rest in the coming years.

      Take a look at the plans for the Hall Of Scandals in the soon to be built Obama Presidential Library. PIck any one of the episodes randomly, and then ask yourself if a Republican was in the White House what would be the reaction of the American Left including the press and academia and Hollywood? How many people would be burning their Bodabags on Pennsylvania Avenue demanding a resignation?

      You have to know that’s true.

  11. David Murphy says:

    It’s late. and I just re-read and noticed your RWNJ line. Right wing nut job. Really?

    You took it to that level first.. let the record show!

    Ha HA HA HA! DING DING DING DING!

    Ad hominem attacks! Prove you lose chief!

    Good day to you!

    P. S. And don’t forget the Hockey Stick scandal. The data was falsified! That’s a fact!

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