BBQ at Sam's house!

As the people of Kansas head into the long weekend, they should take a moment to give thanks that their elected representatives are so dedicated to serving their needs. The state’s fiscal year is winding down and legislators are still looking for a way to make Sam Brownback’s mathematical delusions mesh with the real world, and taxpayers are shelling out over $40,000 a day for a special session because their representatives couldn’t fix the governor-inflicted budget damage by the deadline.

The state’s normal legislative session ended [May 15] without producing a bill to address the $765 million deficit for the fiscal year that begins this summer. Even assuming that legislators employ a handful of one-time fund transfers proposed by Brownback, there’s still over $400 million of ground to make up. Lawmakers are staying in Topeka to hammer out a deal, but there has been little progress so far in establishing a consensus on how to fill the gap. Even operating with a barebones staff, each extra day of the session is adding $43,000 to the wrong side of the cash-strapped state’s ledger.

Don’t worry, Kansans: legislators are being smart with your money. After spending four extra days failing to do their jobs, they’ve stopped the clock on their overtime while they’re out enjoying an extended holiday weekend. Republican leadership in the House and Senate adjourned about 3:00 Thursday afternoon, but they’ll be back, sunburned and bloated and costing you $43K a day, on Tuesday to keep not solving your state’s problems.

If House Bill 2435 is any indication, Kansas’s heavily Republican legislature hasn’t given up on scraping the last bit of pulp out of the melon rind of money that public schools have left. This proposal, which would supposedly reclaim $150 million in revenue, would end sales tax exemptions for contractors purchasing materials for public projects. With contractors bidding higher for jobs to account for the tax, public entities like school districts would have even less purchasing power with the meager funds the state will still throw them for new construction and repairs.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that “during a hearing Wednesday in the House Tax Committee, only Rodger Woods, with Americans for Prosperity, testified in favor of House Bill 2435.” That’s weird, since Americans for Prosperity never wants anyone to pay more tax for things. But Woods thinks making schools’ contractors chip in would create a “perpetual motion machine” in which the state could take in more sales tax revenue that would then recirculate through different parts of the government. Would Kansas maybe give some of that revenue to the schools so they could still fix things when contractors are all charging more? Going on recent experience with Kansas Republicans, we are guessing not.

Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-Kansas City, pressed Woods on whether districts would have to cut back projects if they can’t pass along costs to taxpayers. Woods said it is likely they would have to do that.

“If you’re increasing the cost of the project by the sales tax, you have a finite budget, you’re going to have to cut back future projects. It seems like that has a negative effect on the economy, construction, jobs, all of that,” Wolfe Moore said.

Look, Kathy, everyone has to give up a little something to keep the state afloat. And before you go trying to repeal some of the ludicrously outsized income tax breaks that Gov. Brownback has handed to the state’s top earners, try to have a little faith in GOP budget magic, which says the less-taxed rich will just be cold creating all the jobs the second one of their dollars is liberated from taxation.

And if a couple of years go by and your state’s falling apart because that budget magic turns out to be a tattered trick top hat with a dead rabbit in its hidden compartment, just find some “efficiencies” to trim from your budget, like food for hungry kids and navigable roads. And while you’re fighting over the details of that, take a break to give your state’s chief voter suppressionist, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, some new powers to personally prosecute alleged voter fraud cases, since that’s a key priority.

And if it gets past lunchtime the day before the four day weekend, don’t get bogged down in some debate over taxes that holds the key to saving your state from financial ruin, since you might get stuck in traffic trying to get out of Topeka.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, Kansas Republicans! See you next Tuesday.

[ ThinkProgress / Topeka Capital-Journal ]

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  • weejee

    Bridges build and maintain themselves as any fool knows. Skools too, also.

  • cousin itt

    Keep fucking that Jayhawk, Kansas.

  • ThePuckStopsHere

    Note to Kansas Lege: Look, reducing taxes increases revenues. That’s just math. So here’s what you do. Cut taxes to zero and enjoy your weekend. Head off to Branson and catch Donny and Marie’s act, go to a Royals game, fuck some pigs in the ass or whatever in the fuck it is that you for entertainment over there.

    • JohnBull

      Ugh. Who wants to see the Royals play?

      • myexisinthetrunk

        Actually, as a Giants fan, I relish watching our former opponents. Neener neener

      • FlownOver


  • RoyalUglyDude

    Woods thinks making schools’ contractors chip in would create a “perpetual motion machine”

    Note to the Kansas legislature: You can’t actually change the laws of Thermodynamics.

    • SK

      But Jesus can. Isn’t that enough?

    • BadKitty904

      “I’m not a scientist, butt…”

      • willi0000000

        . . . and i’m not a scientist’s butt.

    • weejee

      They’re trying to repeat the success of cold fusion.

    • Ima Witstup

      Is this the same legislature that voted to change the value of pi to a more rational value, like 3?

      • Latverian Diplomat

        That was Indiana, and while the story is a little more complicated than that, it’s Indiana, so it’s not like they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

    • Anarchy Pony

      That’s just a commie conspiracy.

  • Nounverb911

    Last person to leave Kansas please turn out the lights.

    • clever_sobriquet

      No need, the electric company is about to take care of that for them.

    • BadKitty904

      What lights?

  • Sam “is it santorum” Brownback vs. Rick “Skeletor” Scott in Goobernator screwup-off.

    • memzilla

      Winner faces off against Scott “Fuck Unions” Walker, to see who can put their state underwater the deepest and fastest.

    • marxalot

      But charging in the northeast is Paul “Face Like a Cat’s Arse” LePage, aiming to go hard on the poors and go home for a nice catered lunch.

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      Don’t overlook hard-chargin’ Loosiana guvner Bobby “Piyush” Jindal, who will fuck you over all by hissown self if he can’t force the lege to do it!

    • MrBlobfish

      Losing steam fast along the backstretch is Chris “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” Christie.

  • Nounverb911
    • willi0000000

      Technicolor™ will do that to you.

  • memzilla

    Brownback’s simple solution: sell Kansas to the Chinese, charge them for YouTube rights to footage of tornado destruction. Problem solved!

    • SK

      Extend those tunnels from the Tejas Wal-Mart, then?

    • BadKitty904

      I guess would be that Brokeback is planning to invade Oklahoma for its oil…if they can afford any bullets.

      • NationalGalleryofClipArt

        Oklahoma might win, is why not.

        Finally, revenge for the 1988 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final.

  • dslindc

    Next week they will propose a bill that will replace all school repair and construction funding with a roll of duct tape and then fuck those lazy poors some more for the remaining balance.

  • exinkwretch

    The tax cuts will continue until revenue improves!

    • Anarchy Pony

      It’s Laffable.

      • PubOption

        A reasonable person’s view of the Laffer curve would be, if successive tax cuts reduce revenue, then the original tax rate was between zero and the peak. Therefore tax rates should go back to the original level, if not slightly higher. Repubs don’t seem to grasp this.

  • goonemeritus

    I’ve been to Kansas, I saw no evidence that the State ever had a budget.

    • MrBlobfish

      They have some excellent barbeque there.

      • willi0000000

        that’s not barbecue . . . barbecue is pig!

    • Bren

      Evidence? “That’s science and we Republicans don’t believe in all that stuff, 47% of people in the country don’t pay any mind to evidence. We know that ‘cos President Romney told us”

    • willi0000000

      i drove across Kansas for two weeks one day.

      every few miles there was a half-mile dirt driveway . . . at the end of the driveway was A House, A Barn, A Silo and A Tree . . . this went on forever! . . . the rest was flatter than a pool table and covered with corn and cows . . . got out of my VW camper and climbed onto the roof . . . beautiful sunny day with white puffy clouds . . . no matter where i pointed the camera it was a middle America cute postcard . . . until i got downwind of the cows . . . the film curled-up and caught fire at that point, so i gave up.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …I’ve always found the concept of Republicans who believe in cutting taxes, running for office on the notion that they will run the government like a business comical. What business in this world purposefully reduces revenue and still remain in business?

    • JohnBull

      Wouldn’t it be great if ANY journalist at any presidential debate asked that question, and not lose her job the next morning?

    • Skwerl King

      Yes, conservatives always claim to be good at the business, but when pressed they do not how how businesses actually work.

      • Beaumarchais?

        If you net it out, the only jobs Mitt Romney actually created were in China.

    • Vecciojohn

      Anyone who says government should be run more like a business clearly doesn’t know enough about how businesses are actually run.

  • cousin itt

    We’ll meet again,
    Don’t know where,don’t know when,
    But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

  • Beowoof14

    Well of course they took a 4 day weekend and that is probably the best thing to happen to the people of Kansas in quite awhile, at least now they will wait to fuck stuff up more until next Tuesday.

    • FlownOver

      Kochsters needed a couple extra days to be sure every legislator got the message – “Nice little campaign fund you got there… be a shame (etc.)”

  • dshwa

    Maths iz hard!

    • willi0000000

      where can i get some of this “math?” . . . is it a topical or a pill?

      [asking for a little friend]

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    Perhaps Kansans could invite some Chris Christie staffers in for the weekend to create a few traffic problems, thereby extending the 4-day weekend to, say, a 4-month break from “legislators” “legislating.”

  • FauxAntocles

    But have they taken a symbolic vote to repeal Obummercare? That would make $43k/day a bargain!

    • FlownOver

      Better yet – there’s a proposal to raise revenue by… (get this…) TAXING all the ACA insurance policies acquired through the federal exchange!

      Goddurn it, if Obummercare was’t bad enough its own self we’ll fix that by TAXING it!

  • BadKitty904

    Teabagger Amerika, ladies and gentlemen!!1!!

    • janecita


      • BadKitty904

        You voted for it, Kansas, and you got it!

  • BadKitty904

    State-wide bake-sale in 5…4…3…2…

    • FlownOver

      At least we have all the wheat we need.

      • NationalGalleryofClipArt

        What about the antigluten mafia in Lawrence? Do they get nothing?

  • They certainly are a bunch of See You Next Tuesday Stiffs, aren’t they?

  • Me not sure

    Brownback. I just can’t get past his fuckin’ eyes. Does he have his father’s eyes?

    • BadKitty904

      Your eyes would look like that, too, if your soul was in a glass jar on David Koch’s desk.

      • NationalGalleryofClipArt

        The Shills Have Eyes.

      • Jay B.

        It’s there to keep his balls company.

      • Me not sure

        Just one of a continuing series.

  • BadKitty904

    Hey, it beats workin’ for a livin’, amirite?!” ~ Kansas GOP legislature

    • That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it. Got the money for nothin’ and the chicks for free.

  • Tom Wilder

    Just klick you heels together three times and say “Please dear God don’t send me back home to Kansas.”

  • Gristle McThornbody
    • Me not sure

      This is what happens when GMOs go rogue.

  • BadKitty904

    While I sincerely hope the poor citizens of Kansas avoid any tornadoes this summer, I will be interested to see just how quickly Brokeback and his GOP ilk have their hands out for some of that sweet Federal aid money…

    • Latverian Diplomat

      That’s going to make for some very interesting prayers at Brownback’s church.

      “Oh Lord, please smite us mightily with you cumulonumbic wrath, that we might suck mightily on the Federal teat. And while said teat is surely a great offense to you as a perversion of your Son’s original draft of the Constitution, its sweet, sweet milk will surely atone for the fact that I, your humble servant, cannot do simple math.”

      • NationalGalleryofClipArt

        They could have just voted for Cthlhu in the first place.

        • Unforgotten


  • Spotts1701

    Man, I think it’d be better if they were just corrupt. They’re corrupt and dangerously stupid, which certainly means anyone who can make a run for it out of that hellhole should.

  • FlownOver

    “…you might get stuck in traffic trying to get out of Topeka.”

    At this rate the jam will extend clear to the state borders. The only folks sticking around to fill the LafferMagic™ new jobs will be the ones too dumb to leave, and by extension too dumb to do the work.

    • SterWonk

      What about those who are too poor to leave? :-(

      • Jay B.

        They will become wealthy because Kansas magic economy.

        • SterWonk

          Of course! <facepalm>

  • Latverian Diplomat

    I think Kansas is banking on a Bain Capital takeover to turn them around.

    • NationalGalleryofClipArt

      Why would they want to have to claim ownership when they & their ilk already call the shots?

    • Left Coast Tom

      Don’t outfits like Bain typically look for buyout targets with lots of assets and relatively lower earnings? Kansas seems a bit short on assets.

      • MrBlobfish

        Bumper crop of asses, tho.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Buy wheat futures, then close down the state to create a shortage? Sue Arkansas for trademark infringement?

        Try to figure out Superboy’s secret identity so they can do experiments on him?

        They’ll find something.

      • bozilingus

        Bain could sell all the government buildings, cars, and all other items needed to run a government. Then the free market can step in and finish pillaging what ever is left.

  • Ryan Denniston

    Good luck Kansas. When you are ready to return to Earth we will be waiting.

  • Olav_Pompatus

    Dear Kansas,

    I’ve reconsidered. Toto and I are going to stay here in Oz. It’s more real.


  • MrBlobfish

    They’re the real heroes.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    But a perpetual motion machine is a good thing, right?

    • Hardly Ideal

      It’s also, as far as human science understands, physically impossible.

      • JustPixelz

        Science does not apply to Republican policies.

  • Me not sure

    Finally, something we can agree on.

    • Hardly Ideal

      *leans out of cubicle, eyebrows raised*

  • Land Shark

    Sorry, Kansans, you voted them in ….

  • JustPixelz

    Kans-ass. hee hee.

  • Correction: C U Next Tuesday.

  • Mintie

    Between crap like this and the No, He Really Did Molest Little Girls Josh Dugger Scandal, I’m glad it’s a long weekend, because I need a drink. A big one.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    I believe Obama needs to act immediately to quarantine Kansas, not let anybody leave the state, so that we can stop the spread of this seemingly incurable Derpbola.

  • hipsteriac

    Is Kansas like an actual place? I thought it was like part of the tin man’s dream or some such shit.

  • Bill Slider

    Where are Wyatt Earp and Batt Masterson when you need them, Buffalo Bill, also too?

  • Gregory Brown

    Kansas is the living illustration of H.L. Mencken’s saying that democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it, good and hard.

  • Andrea_Rae

    Republican controlled middle America. . . . . a veritable fountain of common sense.

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