Last week we warned you about the work that was being done in the Kansas Legislature to dismantle public education in the name of maintaining the income tax cuts of 2012. And we also told you to watch out for the distraction bills, each critical in its own right, but meant to keep you from seeing the big picture.
Today, we are bringing you the solution. Not to the ideologue, religiously-conservative social bills like abortion, sex education, or civil rights, no. But to the big one, to the budget and education and transportation and KPERS and all the rest.
Restore the revenue.
It really is that simple. Sure, the implementation isn't simple, but then government isn't simple. But the reason we are in crisis, the reason legislators are having to vote on either defaulting on school payments or eliminating funds for early childhood education, is because Kansas has no money.
Why do we have no money? Simply put, because our Governor believes that starving the state will make economic growth magically appear. But the money trees are barren in Brownback's sunny day in Kansas. So they are turning the school kids upside down and shaking out their pockets for loose change. They are digging between the seats in our transportation budget. They are shaking down the retirees for their pension money. Anything they can do to avoid having to raise taxes... oh, wait. No, it's okay to raise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, though that wouldn't be but a drop in the bucket. And maybe we could add some sales tax? If we have to? Just so long as the Engineers of our Economy are not inconvenienced in their work of boosting Kansas and trickling pennies down to the rest of the citizens (so they can pay their sales tax).
It sounds so... melodramatic. Because it is. The solution is so simple, restoring the revenue that has been lost, that anything else is tantamount to tying Kansas to the tracks and waiting for the express train.
This crisis has been inflicted upon Kansas by her Governor and his allies in the Kansas Legislature.