What happens when “austerity” budget cutting blows up on the GOP? See Kansas


Kansas finds itself in a big, big pickle.

Republican Governor Sam Brownback managed to get the legislature to make massive tax cuts, claiming it would boost jobs in Kansas and stimulate the Kansas economy, thereby  paying for themselves.

Instead the Kansas economy is failing. Massive cuts have gutted Kansas’s once-revered public education system, and deeper cuts will be necessary to keep the state government afloat, unless there is some change in tax policy, or a massive, miraculous influx of business beyond what even the Koch Bros. could arrange.

Gov. Brownback is running for re-election, and finds himself behind in popularity in Kansas — behind even President Barack Obama.

Wow.

Full story at Vox, “Kansas was supposed to be the GOP’s tax-cut paradise, but now can barely pay its bills.”

And of course, there is comedy of the kind that you couldn’t make up:  Brownback blames Obama.

Oy.

Chart from Vox, showing what happened to Kansas's surplus revenues, promised to balloon with the tax cuts Gov. Brownback asked for, and got.

Chart from Vox, showing what happened to Kansas’s surplus revenues, promised to balloon with the tax cuts Gov. Brownback asked for, and got.

Turns out Americans, and especially the citizens of Kansas, want government that works.  They’d like taxes to be low, but low taxes won’t make voters happy when the roads are bad and the kids’ schools are crappy.

Wonkblog's chart showing job creation in Kansas is terrible, also.

Wonkblog’s chart showing job creation in Kansas is lagging, also, contrary to the GOP promises when tax cuts were instituted.

Government’s first job is to govern; just governments are established among men to secure human rights, old Tom Jefferson wrote.  Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness make a snappy line in a patriotic reading on July 4, but when the crowd drives home, they don’t want to be dodging potholes, and they don’t want their kids to complain from the back seat of the car that they don’t know what the Declaration of Independence is or what it says, “and who is Jefferson — I thought it was just a street in Dallas?”  When government fails to do basic jobs, voters may not be happy.

Will false advertising be able to bail Sam Brownback out?  Watch Kansas.

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30 Responses to What happens when “austerity” budget cutting blows up on the GOP? See Kansas

  1. Black Flag® says:

    But you do, Ed, and you merely mind-block it.

    You demand that a man must accept your poor trade, even when he said “No, thanks”. You advocate government violence to force him to agree.

    You need not use a gun yourself, but your advocacy and support for its use is just as evil.

    You want the ability to say no to the deals offered you, but you deny that to others. “Freedom for me, but not for you” is your mantra.

    Like

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    It is you who advocates the destruction of voluntary exchange, and try to hide your evil under the pretense you are protecting their rights!

    May have a longer answer later, but for now, I gotta say that’s some potent stuff you’re taking there. Not sure I’d like those hallucinations.

    You attribute much evil to me, none of which I advocate. Wow.

    Like

  3. Black Flag® says:

    More Ed-ish nonsense.,,,

    You believe that voluntary exchange is people oppressing you.

    To you, voluntary association is a form of oppression and coercion upon others to your demands is a form of freedom.

    Perfect “1984” double-speak, Ed.

    That’s not the way societies work in a longer view

    Wrong again, Ed.
    That is exactly how society works right now.

    Voluntary action is the norm for most sub-national social arrangements among strangers.

    Visit a supermarket. Look around. You’ll see property rights being respected. You’ll see contracts being made, followed, and enforced. You’ll see voluntary exchanges galore.

    You’ll find no one taking it upon himself or herself (or colluding with other shoppers or cashiers) to prohibit shopper Suzy from buying as many cans of soda as she wishes, or to demand that shopper Sam buy packages of condoms that he would prefer not to buy.

    You’ll find no one – again, either acting alone or in concert with others – ‘redistributing’ wealth from the purse of shopper Sally to the wallet of shopper Steve.

    You’ll see no one conscripting some young shoppers into a military battalion to be unleashed on a rival supermarket.

    You’ll find people minding their own business and, while being civil and polite to others, never officiously attempting to boss each other around.

    You’ll see people spontaneously creating and following law (such as, for example, the law of not leaving your shopping cart in a position to block an aisle).

    Voluntary action is the default arrangement among most groups of strangers in modern bourgeois societies.

    But because you are blinded by your envy, you ignore this fundamental operation of society.

    “Just governments derive their powers from the consent of the people governed.”

    You pretend that if you give your consent to your slavery, you require me to be a slave without my consent

    Consent all YOU want, Ed, but you do not rule me.

    “Just governments secure the basic unalienable rights of people.”

    You do not respect rights at all. You advocate their destruction!

    It is you who advocates the destruction of voluntary exchange, and try to hide your evil under the pretense you are protecting their rights!

    it’s equivalent to “point-of-a-gun” on the losing side, even without guns.

    What utter idiocy.

    You believe that when a man says “No, thanks” to your inadequate deal, you think this is the same as a man holding a gun to your families head.

    You cannot tell the difference between a bullet in your brain, and a dollar in your pocket.

    Like

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Point is it’s your comrades that do the oppressing, BF. No wonder you like the order — you think you’re in with the commissariat.

    That’s not the way societies work in a longer view — generally longer than a year. And it’s not a sustainable way to run without guns, which is why the libertarians generally gun up. That’s a point you wish weren’t true, I’m sure, but history tells a much different story.

    Just governments derive their powers from the consent of the people governed. Just governments secure the basic unalienable rights of people. You assume unjust government, but the reality is that injustice and unjust government generally flows from the weak government scenarios you envision, because your comrades, perhaps honestly (and gullibly), but probably in error, get paranoid and gun up so they can “conserve” their own position at the expense of other people.

    Contracting requires a different, non-gunned up atmosphere. It’s how good societies work well. Contracting also requires equal bargaining footing, and close to equal bargaining power — else, it’s equivalent to “point-of-a-gun” on the losing side, even without guns.

    Carnegie’s workers could not bargain with him for their jobs individually, because Carnegie could always ignore one measly peon. But banded together as a union, Carnegie had to deal them. The bargaining table was a more-nearly level playing field.

    That is, it was more fair.

    Fairness is another one of those greases that make societies work well. Fairness is assured in regulated markets, not libertarian, snake-eat-rat and dog-eat-dog markets.

    Like

  5. Black Flag® says:

    You *want this to correct the choices of non-violent men in trade.

    Like

  6. Black Flag® says:

    What do you think government is, Ed?

    It is FORCE and VIOLENCE to enforce an edict.

    You what this to correct the choices of non-violent men in trade.

    Clue in, sir.

    Like

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re the one who said there were guns.

    Libertarians can’t keep straight what they claim even from one post to the next?

    Like

  8. Black Flag® says:

    “It never even occurs to you that the side with no money may be the side without guns, and that “negotiating” in that case is just continuing oppression.”

    Open your eyes.

    In a free market, no one brings guns.

    You want to correct this with guns of government.

    Like

  9. Ed Darrell says:

    It never even occurs to you that the side with no money may be the side without guns, and that “negotiating” in that case is just continuing oppression.

    God gave you two eyes. Use ‘em both. Open.

    Like

  10. Black Flag® says:

    “I’ve done several thousand contract negotiations, in labor, property, goods — and in none of them did the party with no money win.”

    So your argument is when you went to trade you had nothing to trade.

    To you, this is the problem of the other side.

    Instead, you want to bring guns to the table. Government is guns, Ed.

    Like

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ve done several thousand contract negotiations, in labor, property, goods — and in none of them did the party with no money win.

    The right to contract requires equal footing. Government regulation is the ONLY solution we’ve found to make that work without guns.

    Like

  12. Black Flag® says:

    They negotiated with someone, Ed.

    And you ply some bizarre ancient history to defend your present idiocy. If you want to discuss history, discuss it in the context of its time, not some bizarre comparison to today. Those workers were a lot better off then their prehistoric ancestors, yet you don’t make that comparison, do you?

    And you continue to argue that men with guns and forcing people is a better solution to a problem then agreeing or disagreeing voluntarily.

    You believe, bizarrely, free men are vicious but violent men who force upon others are angels.

    Like

  13. Ed Darrell says:

    “In an unregulated, libertarian market, money makes the rules.”

    Bullshit assertion.

    You are arguing that men, in voluntary action, are coerced.
    The very statement you present is a contradiction.

    How many of his workers did Andrew Carnegie actually meet, personally, to negotiate working conditions and pay?

    In an unregulated, libertarian market, money walks, the black flag gets trampled in the mud.

    Like

  14. Prof. Olsen says:

    Reblogged this on Professor Olsen @ Large and commented:
    Very astute observation.

    Like

  15. Black Flag® says:

    “In an unregulated, libertarian market, money makes the rules.”

    Bullshit assertion.

    You are arguing that men, in voluntary action, are coerced.
    The very statement you present is a contradiction.

    “People without money do not have the power to bargain, to contract fairly with entities that have a lot of cash.”

    More bullshit. They have their talent and labor, the most valued commodity on the planet.

    You merely have no appreciation for such a thing, so discard it.

    “Unregulated markets are not free; they are slaughterhouses for the average person.”

    -The free market is not a free market-.
    It is amazing you can tie your shoes.

    Like

  16. Ed Darrell says:

    In an unregulated, libertarian market, money makes the rules. People without money do not have the power to bargain, to contract fairly with entities that have a lot of cash.

    Unregulated markets are not free; they are slaughterhouses for the average person.

    Regulated markets, like those regulated by the U.S. government, offer opportunities for liberty to all people, not just the wealthy or conniving few.

    It’s explained in the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    In order to secure the rights to liberty to all, we have instituted a government to put some controls on the markets to make them fair. The most obvious is antitrust law, which makes it illegal for one large entity to control a market to impair competitiveness.

    It turns out that “free market” isn’t really what we need. We need competitive markets; and in all places, at all times, it turns out there needs to be some form of governance to keep competition alive and fair.

    A pure libertarian market cannot fill those needs of liberty.

    Like

  17. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,
    You reek in contradictions

    “The poor win in a free market. In a libertarian market (which is not free, because those with the money make the rules), the poor lose big.”

    Utterly dumbfounding.

    Money does not make the rules. Individuals decide, freely, whether they wish to transact or not.

    You hate this, because you have little of value to trade. You believe this is not your fault – though it is wholly under your command – but the fault of others who have value.

    You demand violent force to correct your own defect.

    Like

  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Because you don’t listen, you think you advocate for free markets; I do that.

    The poor win in a free market. In a libertarian market (which is not free, because those with the money make the rules), the poor lose big.

    You believe the poor don’t pay. I know they pay too much already, especially in taxes. Texas need to be fairly apportioned to be really effective.

    You believe that we should give up on the future because we can’t know anything. I understand we can learn from history, and science, and adjust the sails when the wind changes.

    Cats are the ultimate libertarians, I see a poster on Facebook and Twitter says: They are wholly dependent on others, but they think they are wholly independent, and so give those to whom they owe thanks, snubs.

    Like

  19. Black Flag® says:

    It is not a “libertarian” paradise. It is government in action.

    Like

  20. Black Flag® says:

    Because you have no economic sense, you believe the rich are the only ones that gain in the free market.

    Yet, by fact, the poor are the biggest winners.

    You equally believe the poor do not pay. Yet, they are the ones that pay the most under your system for goods they do not need.

    You believe that because the future is uncertain, people should continue to do what does not work, because it is certain it does not work.

    Like

  21. Ed Darrell says:

    Interesting comparison; I’ve never regarded the NY-NJ Port Authority as quite that corrupt, but you have a point with enough validity to cause a thinking person to ponder.

    Cheekos, stick around.

    Like

  22. cheekos says:

    Privatization is somewhat akin to the NY-NJ Port Authority. It is an off-Balance Sheet cookie jar that the two Governors can raid whenever they wish. By meeting state necessities through such abracadabra methods, the prior revenues would be lost to the state, since they are now earmarked for the various slush funds.

    Then, as Brownback is now discovering–like Chris Christie before him–he has to find just one more pot of gold, rather than–horror of horrors, raise taxes. It can be just one more ponzi scheme.

    Like

  23. cheekos says:

    Gov. Sam Brownback surely demonstrated why Austerity, which sure hasn’t worked in Europe, won’t work in the U. S. Contracting an economy merely reduces the tax receipts; however, the debt remains the same. Brownback has definitely placed Kansas in a Lose-Lose situation.

    Like

  24. Ed Darrell says:

    Kansas’s economic woes seem to have nothing to do with their lack of toll roads.

    Quite the opposite; Gov. Brownback’s leading the state into a “libertarian paradise” such as you imagine, BF, caused their economic decline.

    Turns out private enterprise doesn’t step up to fill the gaps, nor can people afford the bill were it to happen.

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Of course replacing government roads is possible. There is nothing “impossible” about it. It is a matter of choice, not “impossibility”.

    Well, then offer us a few examples of where such replacement has been done, for a significant amount of public roads including residential streets, and the system neither requires great wealth, nor has come to smash.

    Private roads work for the very rich, and in very congested areas — but they don’t fill the potholes in the backroads, they don’t fill the potholes in rural Alabama where filling the potholes prevents malaria.

    I think Milton Friedman was correct when he urged that we don’t leap into silly, chilly and uncharted waters without someone having made a pilot project that proves the workability and sustainability of an idea.

    Show us examples of where privatizing roads has worked, for everyone, not just the filthy rich.

    Like

  26. Black Flag® says:

    You sure could use an economics course or two, Ed.

    Yeah, “free” government roads due tend to bankrupt other “private” roads, just like free government apples will bankrupt apple sellers, and in a real example, free food to Africans bankrupted their agriculture industry.

    Of course replacing government roads is possible. There is nothing “impossible” about it. It is a matter of choice, not “impossibility”.

    But none of that is the issue. You hate pot holes. Highway 407 has no pot holes, but the “public”‘ one right beside it does.

    Like

  27. Ed Darrell says:

    That’s lovely for a high traffic road where tolls can be charged (it is a toll road, right?).

    It doesn’t work so well for 1313 Dreary Lane, where there are just a handful of autos passing by daily, and a garbage truck once a week.

    Private enterprise has not been able to compete except for some highly trafficked roads; which we could learn by looking at the history of turnpikes and toll roads in North America. In the 19th century there were quite a few, almost all of them running into financial difficulty, and few surviving into the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Here in Texas we use toll roads, chiefly to avoid the ballot difficulties for getting bonds for public roads. Arguably they function better than public roads, but not in all cases; with few exceptions the toll roads’ usage outpaces its design before the road is paid for.

    You offer one Canadian road; in the U.S. we have more than 10,000 counties, each with roads that cannot be paid for by tolls, where private enterprise dares not to tread.

    Happy for the one that works. Hey, the Golden Gate Bridge is a toll road, too — though a public enterprise.

    One exception, in highly exceptional circumstances, doesn’t make the point that private enterprise could replace North America’s roads. Simply not possible.

    Currently, there are 4.09 million miles of road in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration, including Alaska and Hawaii. The core of the nation’s highway system is the 47,432 miles of Interstate Highways, which comprise just over one percent of highway mileage but carry one-quarter of all highway traffic. The Interstates plus another 175,514 miles of major roads comprise the National Highway System, which carries most of the highway freight and traffic in the U.S.

    Most of the roads in the U.S., 2.98 million miles, are located in rural areas, with the remaining 1.11 million miles located in urban areas. Local governments are responsible for maintaining and improving 3.17 million miles of road or 77.5 percent of the total. State highway agencies are responsible for 780 thousand miles of road, or 19.1 percent. The federal government is responsible for only 140 thousand miles of road or 3.4 percent, largely roads in national parks, military bases and Indian reservations.

    Of the 4.09 million miles of road, about 2.65 million miles are paved, which includes most roads in urban areas. However, 1.42 million miles or more than one-third of all road miles in the U.S. are still unpaved gravel or dirt roads. These are largely local roads or minor collectors in rural areas of the country. (Source: Highway Statistics 2012 Table HM-20, HM-10, HM-12, HM-15)

    See: http://www.artba.org/about/transportation-faqs/#9

    Toll roads have a role to play, but replacing public roads is not possible, as anyone can see comparing the mileage of toll roads with the mileage of public roads (above):

    There are 5,244 miles of toll roads in the U.S., operating in 35 states. Tolling has been in use in some form in America for more than 350 years

    http://arvada.org/pages/facts-about-toll-roads

    Toll roads equal 0.13% of public roads, barely more than a tent of one percent.

    Like

  28. Black Flag® says:

    The 108 km Highway 407 ETR through the Greater Toronto Area is operated privately under a 99-year lease agreement

    The original section of Highway 407, between Highway 410 and Highway 404, was the first highway in almost thirty years since Highway 427 to be surfaced with concrete instead of asphalt, which despite involving a costlier initial investment, lasts significantly longer and has better reflective capabilities (although motorists have a noisier ride). Unlike most American concrete highways where the concrete is a continuous surface on both roadway and bridge surfaces, all 407 bridge decks are covered with an Ontario styled asphalt wearing surface to protect a waterproofing layer placed on top of the underlying concrete deck. Also, some sections of the 407 are paved with asphalt instead of concrete since these sections opened much later (QEW (west terminus) to Highway 403; Markham Road to Highway 7 (east terminus)). It also has a high-pressure sodium high-mast lighting system installed throughout the length of the freeway; only 4 lamps are needed instead of the usual 8-12 since the concrete pavement reflects light better than asphalt. The 407 (along with other recent suburban and rural Ontario freeways) has been designed with aesthetics in mind, with landscaped embankments and storm drainage ponds at interchanges.

    Like

  29. Ed Darrell says:

    Tell about this marketplace solution for potholes. Where was it tried? How did it work?

    Like

  30. Black Flag® says:

    Government never solves any problems, only makes them worse.

    You complain about pot holes, a simple problem long solved by the marketplace – but as the market place is displaced by government violence, you fret that the holes are not repaired. You argue for more of the problem as a solution.

    Tax cuts without budget cuts is worthless. Using violence to solve the problems of education only makes education worse.

    Cut government, end their monopoly, and the marketplace will solve.

    Like

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