PDA

View Full Version : Using the DOT as a state 'bank'



David G
07-03-2016, 11:30 PM
Trying to cover up failures in policy --



Kansas has had trouble paying for much of anything since 2012, when conservative legislators decided to implement a bevy of right-wing economic policies—and lead their state into a fiscal crisis.

In order to keep funding its government despite dramatically decreased tax revenue, the Legislature has flipped all its piggy banks. One of them is the Kansas Department of Transportation—or what sarcastic Kansans now call “the Bank of KDOT,” for the stupendous quantity of money that has been diverted from its coffers to the Kansas general fund and state agencies.

Kneecapping the agency that builds roads isn’t just a great metaphor for Gov. Sam Brownback’s tenure. Like the cut to the state’s university funding (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/05/23/kansas-cuts-criticized-hurting-large-research-universities), this damage will be most keenly felt years from now, when deferred maintenance and high debt loads take their toll. An ex-head of the Kansas Turnpike Authority said (http://m.cjonline.com/news/2015-12-15/kdot-issues-record-400-million-bonds-exceeds-previous-debt-cap#gsc.tab=0) in December that the practice had created a “long-term disaster for our state highways.”

Here’s how my colleague Jordan Weissmann summed up (http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/04/20/kansas_tax_cuts_are_a_mistake_and_everyone_agrees. html) Brownback’s four-year experiment in April:*


As many expected, the reductions have been a calamity for the state's fiscal health. Kansas has found itself chronically short (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/opinion/kansas-ruinous-tax-cuts.html) of funds, forcing legislators to slash (http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article63347152.html) spending on things like education (http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article9376751.html) and help for the poor. The state's credit rating has been downgraded, (http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-kansas-ratings-idUSL2N0QC1MO20140806) and for all the trouble, its job growth (http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article22414056.html) has been absolutely anemic.



http://www.businessinsider.com/right-wing-experiment-on-kansas-roads-2016-7

CWSmith
07-04-2016, 08:13 AM
Some believe that when reality disagrees with your philosophy, double down on your philosophy. If you know you are right, the only problem can be that you didn't go far enough.

Others believe that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

elf
07-04-2016, 08:19 AM
I don't understand the problem. All that's needed is for some big business to come in, maintain and upgrade the roads and charge for their use. It's so easy now. Everyone has a transponder so there's no need for toll booths.

These people are not thinking outside the box.

As for the mess with schools, there's no real problem there. Just change the state constitution so that the state is not responsible for educating its children and poof! Private schools.

Good for religion, good for the wealthy, keeps the poor from getting enough education to understand the problem, only thing the state needs to do after that is build more prisons.

Canoeyawl
07-04-2016, 09:29 AM
Good for religion, good for the wealthy, keeps the poor from getting enough education to understand the problem, only thing the state needs to do after that is build more prisons.

Prisons are big business...

Canoeyawl
07-04-2016, 09:38 AM
Kansas prisons have all the meals catered (Privatized) happy meals I guess.

This one is dated but interesting...
Kansas again, the more I learn about Kansas the more sick it gets, give it a wide berth on a road trip methinks.


"Jails for Jesus" (https://www.privateprisonnews.org/news/2004/apr/15/jails-for-jesus/)