Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What A Crock...

“The lopsided approach of only cutting expenditures isn’t working. The state clearly needs additional revenue, and it’s time the Legislature quit listening to lobbyists’ gloom and doom predictions and come up with a plan to deal with the issue.”

Those are the words of a lady from Lecompton in a letter to the editor the other day. And in my own humble opinion, it’s a completely, bass-akward way of thinking.

How about this, how about instead of constantly raising our taxes, how about we hold our elected officials personally responsible for the decisions they make as far as how they spend the tax dollars they’ve all promised to be good stewards of.

They tell us we’re $400 million short of being able to balance the budget. It’s a crisis they say. Yeah it probably is too. You don’t think it has anything to do with the wasteful spending they’ve done in past years, do you? Of course not. We’ve already cut government expenses to the bone.

How vital was it to dump $300 million into the bottomless pit otherwise known as our State Capital Building right here in Topeka when most of us in the private sector are doing our best just to put food on the table and keep the lights on.

Locally, our know it all, Topeka City Council, in all their collective, infinite wisdom told us the City’s broke and the only way we can have decent streets to drive on is to approve a tax increase. Okay, enough of us fell for it and voted to give them just what they asked for.

Yeah, the City’s broke alright. So broke that they approved some of the most ridiculously, expensive projects I’ve ever heard of in the middle of a recession. Yeah, we really “needed” to spend $1.2 million dollars to replace the cart paths at the Topeka Public Golf Course. There must be an overwhelming “need” to have a new building at Gage Park’s Helen Hocker Theater. I mean, the need must be huge if we’re willing to put up $853,000 dollars to build it, right? Oh yeah, let’s not forget the Landon Trail. They approved an additional $145,000 dollars to extend it. What a crock.

Oh yeah, how about those poor ol’ school districts out there. They’re just barely getting by, right? That’s another crock and those of us who pay attention, know it too.

Tell me, what’d they do with the $700 million the Supreme Court handed them a few years ago. How many new gyms did they build? How many new band and football uniforms did that money buy? How many new football and soccer fields have we paid for? What about baseball diamonds? And once you build all these impressive facilities, you simply have to have new stadiums to go along with them, right? Whatever!

I was working in Hays a couple of weeks ago. And it just so happened they were hosting a big wrestling tournament. Schools were in town from all over western Kansas. Nothing wrong with that. But you should have seen what they were driving. Parking lots all over town were loaded with top of the line, School District, Chevy Suburbans and Ford Expeditions.

Yeah, they’re broke alright. They’re talking about closing and consolidating schools. Talking about cutting programs and laying off teachers. But there’s no way in hell the administrators should have to travel in anything but the best.
What a crock…

Kevin McGinty


  1. The state and its local politicans and bureaucrats will always tell you government has a crisis when economic hard times hit the rest of us. Our federal government would have long since been in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Court, forced to cut back/reorganize. It is time to do just that at the state and, particularly, county level. County government is a leftover relic from the 19th century and should be abolished, along with its hugh property and sales tax loads. School districts should be shed of their unfunded state and federal mandates, allowed to operate as local voters support. City government the same. Throw the tea in the Kansas River.

  2. I check in on and look at the Historical Budget Data from time to time. Revenues took two huge dives under Bush II in this decade, first because of 9/11 and then the housing bubble bursting. But between 2003 and 2007, revenues grew phenomenally. When the economy recovers they will grow phenomenally again. Obama and the Congress could easily balance the budget in two years if they really wanted, just by indexing the growth of spending to inflation. They could even exempt a few items and still balance the budget. My point is this. Tax rates are just about right. We're paying plenty and more than enough to keep those guys funded. They have to be told "no." We have to send people to D.C. who will say no.

  3. It's funny you brought up the crisis thing, Hawk. A few years ago when we first went to a City Manager form of government, the new City Manager went straight into CRISIS mode. The first thing he said was that in order for the city to meet all it's obligations was to reduce the number of police officers and firemen.

    What a crock...

    And, Fred. You're exactly right about sending people to D.C. that will say no. But I think too many of them arrive there with good intentions but once they get settled in, they kinda go crazy...