Politicians Need to be Reasonable

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I try to stay clear of politics here, but it has gotten to such a tipping point, it is nearly impossible to do.  Kansas might be more screwed up politically than it has ever been before.  And that is saying something, because Kansas has a history of jacked up politics.

Politics.  I sort of hate that word.  We elect politicians to represent us, our views and supposedly our needs, to form the government that guides us.  I’m not sure it is working nowadays. Actually, I’m really sure it isn’t working.  Not even close.

There is even a book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas”.  The book is about how Kansas has become a poster child for conservatism here in the US when it was initially left-wing, the People’s Party, which evolved into the Democratic Party.  It is pretty interesting.

Anyway, we all have our issue with politics.  I think most Americans are dismayed with this presidential election.  Trudi just returned from Europe and she said she was asked all the time about this election.  Europeans are more up to speed on our elections than most Americans. Most Europeans think we a nuts, which is probably an accurate observation.

Kansans are the proud owners of the Koch brothers.  David and Charles Koch are the post childs of warping elections by throwing money at elections.  They inherited Koch industries, which, makes its money by coming up with a new way of refining oil.  Their father Fred, was one of the founding fathers of the John Birch Society.  Obviously their agenda is very, very conservative. Their influence is approaching a billion dollars this year.   I think they are having a problem with this year’s Presidential election.

Anyway, we have some serious budget problems here in Kansas.  Our governor, Sam Brownback, cut taxes, seriously, 3 years ago.  He made a law that excludes any small business, any LLC, from paying any state tax.  Now we have nearly 200,000 LLC, out of a total population of 3 million.  Our Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, is bragging about how many “new” businesses are starting up and how it is a leading economic indicator.  Pretty delusional guy.  I don’t understand why Kris can’t see all the “new businesses” are starting because of the tax law?

Anyway, through this tax cuts, our state budget is in the hole seriously.  We’ve already taken nearly $500 million out of the state highway fund to balance the general budget.  And our roads suck.  Our legislators just gave up, today, on trying to figure it out.  And that is what we elected them for.  They are too scared to raise taxes, because of re-election, that they were rather do nothing, and get re-elected, than to do something and risk being not elected.  Maybe that says something about the people voting for them.  It is just wrong.

Our elected officials are there to do a job.  Somehow they became so entrenched in their political views that they have become dysfunctional.  Just look at Kansas as an example of what can happen when people dig in and don’t compromise.  They are completely unreasonable. We’re circling the drain and no one seems to want to put the stopper in.



Tucker had his first doggie cone yesterday.  He loved it as much as Bromont did.

Tucker had his first doggie cone yesterday. He loved it as much as Bromont did.



31 thoughts on “Politicians Need to be Reasonable

  1. Jim

    If you think Kansas is alone in this respect, you are not correct.
    I would bet a lot of money that there is no where in this country where politicians and beuracrats haven’t run their fiefdoms into the ground. Here in Ohio we have roads and bridges that are in terrible condition BUT we spend our money on sound barriers to keep road noise from houses that were built LONG after the roads were there. I can’t understand who actually approves projects like this but you can be sure that 5 years later the barriers are being replaced because they are falling apart.
    No accountibility is the name of the game.

    I might point out something that most people don’t seem to understand.
    Businesses do not pay taxes. They merely collect money from the consumer and pass it on to the state. If taxes go up, they raise their prices. If taxes were to somehow go down (not damned likely), in theory they could lower their prices. IOW, raising taxes on a business just takes more money out of the consumers pocket.

  2. Wildcat

    The problem is the money. Politics is big business. It shouldn’t be, but it is. There’s lots of money to be made in politics. And not just being an elected official – many people have life-long careers doing behind-the-scenes work. And then when they all retire they’re taken care of very well for the rest of their lives. We need to find a way to take the money out of politics – that’s the solution to the entire problem. Eliminate the two-party system and electoral college as well. Political offices should be volunteer positions – provide them room and board with small expense accounts. Plus have them work regular schedules like the rest of us. Forty hour weeks, six paid holidays, and five weeks per year personal vacation. If these crooks actually cared about the people they represent as much as they say they do we would have no shortage of volunteers.

  3. Andrew Ross

    The Republican Party Must Answer for What It Did to Kansas and Louisiana

    “In Bizarro America, the tea party never happened. Instead, the Great Recession sparked a left-wing populist movement that swept democratic socialists into statehouses all across the country. In Vermont, these Denmark-worshippers took full control of state government and implemented their radical agenda. They raised income taxes to unprecedented heights, upped the minimum wage to $15 an hour, made all state universities tuition-free, and established a single-payer health-care system. As he signed the last of these programs into law, Governor Bernie Sanders declared that Vermont would serve as a blue-state model, one that the Democratic Party’s 2016 ticket could use to say, “See, we’ve got a different way, and it works.”

    But by 2016, that model had collapsed. Every warning that conservatives had made about Sanders’s program proved prescient. The tax hikes chased all the job creators out of state. The new minimum wage didn’t raise low-income workers’ living standards; it raised their unemployment rate. The costs of free college and universal health care proved so onerous, the state was forced to raid its rainy-day funds and borrow at high interest rates just to keep the government running. Vermont now faced a billion-dollar deficit. Schools were shuttered. Pensions were cut. The state’s department of social services could no longer afford to investigate child abuse. The legal system could no longer provide indigent defendants with representation. Nonetheless, in the race for the White House, every Democratic candidate ran on some version of Sanders’s economic model.

    Wouldn’t it be important for those candidates to explain why their program wouldn’t fail the country in the same way it had failed the Green Mountain State? If you think yes, then you should demand that Donald Trump, John Kasich, and Ted Cruz explain why their tax policies won’t fail America in the same way they’ve failed the people of Kansas.”


  4. Andrew Ross

    Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire

    “The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year’s midterms. So far in this cycle, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate. (2014)

    What is less clear is where all that money comes from. Koch Industries is headquartered in a squat, smoked-glass building that rises above the prairie on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas. The building, like the brothers’ fiercely private firm, is literally and figuratively a black box. Koch touts only one top-line financial figure: $115 billion in annual revenue, as estimated by Forbes. By that metric, it is larger than IBM, Honda or Hewlett-Packard and is America’s second-largest private company after agribusiness colossus Cargill. The company’s stock response to inquiries from reporters: “We are privately held and don’t disclose this information.”

    But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. The company’s troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations, Department of Justice consent decrees, civil lawsuits and felony convictions – augmented by internal company documents, leaked State Department cables, Freedom of Information disclosures and company whistle­-blowers, combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire whose profits finance the modern GOP.

    Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch’s pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers.

    The volume of Koch Industries’ toxic output is staggering. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America’s air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. Thanks in part to its 2005 purchase of paper-mill giant Georgia-Pacific, Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation’s waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. The company ranks 13th in the nation for toxic air pollution. Koch’s climate pollution, meanwhile, outpaces oil giants including Valero, Chevron and Shell. Across its businesses, Koch generates 24 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.”


  5. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Some people say we need a third political party. I’d be satisfied with two.

  6. Jeff

    We collectively blame politicians. But, ultimately isn’t it the same “we” who elect these politicians? Political malfeasance will continue until it gets so bad that we voters feel the pain more directly and then realize elections are important and we should really understand who we’re voting for. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of voters to thoughtfully vet nominees and carry out our responsibility to vote. One last thought. We average Joes should reject consideration outright, of any candidates who are supported by entities like Koch (who don’t reflect our values and who will be beholden to their donors).

  7. Dog

    Well here is my stock farm boy answer to all the political and economic arguments.

    There is a cow, there is a deer, and there is a horse.
    The cow poops flat pies, the deer poops pellets, and the horse poops clumps.
    Why is that?

    Well if you can’t answer that simple concept. You don’t know shit, so why should I listen to you ranting on political and economic solutions to complex concepts?

  8. Larry T.

    The socialist stuff WORKS in those countries, why not ours too? Look up charts on the places the citizens are the happiest, then lay them over a chart on what countries have the highest tax rates. Seems the folks who pay a lot of tax get a lot of benefits and let’s face it, with automation there will likely never again be enough jobs to keep people occupied and financially solvent. Budget problems in the US of A? Easy fix, just take whatever is needed out of the bloated “defense” budget. Remember it was Eisenhower, a Republican who warned us about the dangers of the military-industrial complex.

  9. Larry T.

    Except it’s the POLITICIANS who get in there and gerry-mander their districts so they get relected over and over again. Then they hold “town hall meetings” where they claim to listen to their constituents but instead are really selling a predetermined scheme they’re behind…usually at the behest of their financial supporters like the Bros Koch. Sadly, most people are too stupid to see how they’re being had – though the Tea Party folks seem to have finally figured out the establishment Republicans have been playing them for fools. But Donald Trump’s playing a similar game, his tax scheme will put far more loot into the rich folks bank accounts than the average mouth-breathing Tea Partier’s wallet.

  10. channel_zero

    Kansas cut revenue so schools are being closed and pensions cut in Kansas too.

    Kansas is the biggest experiment in small government and it’s a total failure. Economic activity is down, employment is down, personal income growth one of the slowest in the U.S. More moderate States are soundly beating Kansas’ growth rates.

    Laffer’s concepts work up to a point. In Kansas they’ve taken it to an extreme and nothing good has come from it.

  11. channel_zero

    Political malfeasance will continue until it gets so bad that we voters feel the pain

    What has been going on for the last 20 years for the majority of Americans? They feel the pain and still vote for people selling free market rhetoric. For some reason they don’t examine their own behavior.

  12. old and slow

    So if you stop taxing Kansas farmers (who already get paid a BILLION Dollars every year by the despised Federal Gubmint for NOT Farming,) stop taxing them at the state level entirely, then a typhoon of job creation was naturally supposed to ensue?

    All these red state “rugged individualists” will presumably have to hire people to take all those six figure crop subsidy checks down to the bank and deposit them, I suppose?

    So how many times does the Koch Party really expect people to fall for that one? This supply side snake oil has never really worked anywhere, Reagan tripled the national debt and then invented “too big to fail” on his way out of town doing it.

    Speaking of the “too big to fail” endgame scenario, Chapter 11 failure boy Bush II tried it too and he only had the worst job creation record since they started keeping records.

    Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record

    By WSJ Staff

    President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.

    His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.

    Here’s a look at job creation under each president since the Labor Department started keeping payroll records in 1939. The counts are based on total payrolls between the start of the month the president took office (using the final payroll count for the end of the prior December) and his final December in office.

    Because the size of the economy and labor force varies, we also calculate in percentage terms how much the total payroll count expanded under each president. The current President Bush, once taking account how long he’s been in office, shows the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records. –Sudeep Reddy

  13. R

    Hey Andrew Ross – For starters, the Rolling Stone is the journalistic equivalent of the Weekly World News, only less credible. They’re the scumbags who knowingly printed that obviously false rape-hoax article about the UVA. Hopefully, their slanderous malpractice will put them out of business permanently. So, citing them for some conspiracy-mongering slander piece only reflects on your poor judgment.

    But apart from all that, do you ride a bike? If you do, you must know that your hobby is made possible SOLELY as a byproduct of our modern industrial world. EVERY last part of your bike is the end-product of an industrial process that pollutes our environment.

    The natural materials that your bike is made from is mined and/or refined. Steel is horribly destructive of the natural environment and consumes huge quantities of energy. Which, in itself, requires oil and gas and engines and turbines. Ti is absurdly bad for the environment. Carbon (clean by comparison) is STILL hugely energy intensive – and therefore pollution producing.

    The rubber on your tires, the steel cables, the grease, the lube, the mineral oil, the cork tape on your bars, the polystyrene in your helmet, the plastics in your Oakleys, the ball bearings in your hubs, the lycra in your kit…ALL of it requires energy and technology, which produces pollution.

    Not to mention the roads you ride on, the car you drive to races, the Power Bars you eat on rides, the water bottles, the filtered water you drink, the airplane you fly to attend big races, the television you watch the Tour on (and all technology involved in *that* enterprise) all of it produces pollution. Even assuming you drive a Tesla or a Prius or some other “green” technology….ALL of that involves pollution. Teslas AREN’T actually much cleaner than regular cars – all they do is move the pollution to where the energy is produced – which usually involves burning coal in some economically depressed area populated by an underclass.

    Listen, I like riding a bike in a clean environment as much as the next guy. But, I’m also pragmatic enough to know that the world involves trade-offs. Please take your conspiracy-mongering nonsense and post it on HuffPo or somewhere else where it will be appreciated.

  14. Bill K

    Illinois is almost as bad. We have a very conservative Republican Governor who wants to break all unions, and a Democratic controlled legislature. When it came time for a Budget, the Governor wanted to cut all sorts of programs that help the poor and minorities. The Legislature said ..”bite me”.
    Many months later…no Budget….State can’t pay bills….Power being shut off at interstate rest areas, and the one thing that people are crying about is that the State lottery is still selling tickets, but pay outs have been halted.

    How’s that for second place??

  15. Asocratic

    This is probably one of the best quotes about politics.

    Milton Friedman in 1975
    “ “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

  16. R

    So, if I read the comments on this thread correctly, those evil Republicans are to blame – as a matter of reflex. OK, fine.

    Explain California’s budget problems for me. California hasn’t had a majority Republican statehouse since the 1970s and the governor is a left winger’s wet dream.

    Explain Chicago’s failing municipality for me. That city has been run by Democrats and for Democrats (and unions) since the 50s.

    Explain the failure of Detroit for me. That city has been under monopoly Democrat control for 60+ years.

  17. R

    What has been going on for the last 20 years for the majority of Americans? I’ll tell you: They’ve been getting stupider and stupider and more dependent on the government, that’s what.

    They vote to give a LOT of power to whichever party promises to give them more free shit. And then they bitch and moan when the power they gave to the government is used by that same government to take their money to give free shit to someone else.

  18. Anamika

    Read, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right . Good luck ‘merica. U ain’t seen nothing yet.

  19. jinglenuts

    America is absolutely scrwed… http://www.usdebtclock.org/
    it owes close to 18,000,000,000 in debt. Trump helped sell off america, he made a boat load of money off of the easy stuff – real estate. Real estate doesn’t do a damn thing for GDP in a the long term.
    Y = C + I + G + (X – M) In fact, real estate just makes it harder for those living in the states and many foreign owners come in and buy stuff up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_oeJgnkvmI
    that’s the problem with america, it went from a super power that was innovative and created some great stuff with some great schools. Then it became one of super business that made education big business and it started selling itself off in all areas without much regard for the long term. Thus, over inflating the housing market thus forcing up salaries thus causing companies to search for cheaper labor, thus the chinese power house grew (as its 1.5 billion people very very hungry for the dollar).
    It scrwed itself, America did.
    For it to return to a super power, it will have to fall right on its face. Salaries would have to fall, real estate valuations would have to fall, etc… thus, bringing down the cost of living… it over priced itself out of business. Trump was part of that whole brigade.
    And, now … fools will elect him in cause he’s one hell of a good liar and good at deception (fake it till you make it) – ultimate narcissistic type. If that guy gets in power, america will be completely fcked… he’ll further separate america (Latinos, blacks, whites) and he’ll make america look foolish on a world’s stage (yah want to fck with a america, I’ll blow yah up… ). He’s a complete hot head in search of control/power… its all about image for him (self)… its not about america that’s for damn sure…
    fools will elect him in… might as well just elect a drunk into power, cause he’s addicted to power and himself (views himself as – I’m doing well the rest of yah are fcked up… pure characteristic of someone that is narcissistic border line psychopath…). The demise of america.

  20. jinglenuts

    need some people in power with humbleness and humility, for others will just be in power/control for their own self interest…

  21. Tony

    Bill K and R
    I would agree with R on California. Also look at Illinois governors in prison, only a few. Madigan in charge for decades in the house. Over 100 billion in under funded pension liabilities largely due to irresponsible democrats who have had majorities in house and senate for most part since 1975 and failed to pay up as decades went by.

  22. Andrew Ross

    R you’re wrong.

    California’s budget problems have vastly improved since Brown replaced the governator and Democrats regained legislative majorities. The economy is doing better than the nation as a whole and the budget is balanced.

  23. channel_zero

    California had budget problems. Mostly solved. Is California still the eighth largest economy in the world? It seems like something is working and has been working there for a while.

    It does you no good to call voters stupid. What is the system delivering these bad choices and how can the system be changed to improve outcomes? You have to get involved to work on that problem.

    The Democrats have no special advantage in piety. It’s not a D vs. R problem. As another comment posted states, it’s more a one party system that splits itself up for a bunch of different reasons.

  24. channel_zero

    The debt is borrowing money from yourself. The others countries holding the debt view it as the most stable bond in the world. As such, it serves more than one purpose. It is nothing like a mortgage, it isn’t credit card debt.


    We have GDP to easily service the debt and we’re still the World’s reserve currency for a reason. It’s a stable system and countries want to keep our debt, denominated in USD. Ronald Reagan ran enormous deficits we’re

  25. Andrew Ross

    Wow R! Do you have a PhD in logical fallacy? That was impressive. Guilt by association, false equivalence, and bullying. Well done.

    Since The Lancet retracted the falsified research by Dr. Wakefield linking vaccines to autism, must we disregard any other medical research they’ve published? How easy to just be able to discard anything we find inconvenient because another story with a different author and editor was pulled. It’s so much easier than actually addressing any of the accusations against the Kochs of crimes against the environment and worker safety.

    Because one uses industrial products one must accept the workplace practices and politics of industrialists? Weak sauce, dude. Mining, energy production, etc. can be done more or less safely, more or less environmentally friendly, but doing it the that way costs money. The Kochs roll this up into a pretty package they call libertarianism, and market it to rubes by telling them the government wants to take away their guns or tell them how big a soda they can buy, when it really means big corporations can rape the environment and pay nothing for its upkeep. Economically powerful industries need powerful government to keep them in check, because a corporation only exists to make money.

    If you don’t want to read my postings, ask Steve to remove them and/or block me. It’s his blog, not yours. It’s much easier to tell people to screw off then factually address their posts and refute what you find incorrect, but that would take work and intellect.

    I’m still waiting to hear why Kansas and Louisiana aren’t the supply side Meccas they’re supposed to be.

  26. daveeckstrom

    R, Others have explained how you’re wrong about California, but no one has discussed Chicago and Detroit.

    I think this one is pretty easy. Rust belt cities that thrived on factory-based economies are really struggling now that offshoring and automation have taken those jobs. That would have happened (probably actually has in other cities, but I’m not going to do your research for you) no matter which party was in charge.

    And Larry T. is right on with his comment about the effect of automation on jobs. We have to face the reality that “jobs” (in the traditional sense of the word) are not going to be the way most of us will receive our livelihood in the future. There just will not be enough jobs to go around.

    We have to accept this and get on with figuring out a way to feed, clothe and shelter millions of people who cannot support themselves through a conventional job. That will have to involve some brand of socialism and to do it, we will need politicians who are interested in getting work done, rather than just selling fear and anxiety to keep their positions, which is the point of Steve’s post, I think.

  27. Max Berlin

    The real problem is that Kansan’s aren’t willing to pay exorbitant prices to help fix the budget.

  28. 00

    all the republicans who comment on this thread kinda prove the point that their ignorance is what is responsible for the shitty state of affairs in states such as Kansas and the rise of morons like Trump.


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