Sam Brownback is probably the most conservative Kansas governor in my life time. And yet … he will ask state lawmakers to increase spending in the coming year at about three times the rate of inflation.
Brownback wants to eliminate 2,000 unfilled state positions and eliminate eight state agencies. He proposes doing this by eliminating duplication of duties in most cases. He also proposes cutting state aid to K-12 education by $232 per pupil. There is less money coming to Kansas from the federal government next year, and the state faces a revenue shortfall of more than 500 million dollars.
And yet … Brownback’s budget plan projects a general fund spending increase of 350 million dollars, or about 6%. Most of that hike would go to pay for increased costs of social service caseloads.
I suppose if the economy rallies this year Kansas will see enough increased tax revenue to cover a budget that seeks a spending increase three or four times the rate of inflation, while cutting aid to education.
Our thought for today is from George Bernard Shaw:
“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”