www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Multiculturalism is a failure -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

State education rankings -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Kobach gone wild -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Bias prevents civil discussion of education issues -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Immigration is American -9/18/2014, 9:35 AM

Costs to states not expanding Medicaid -9/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Medicare threats -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Green fields in northwest Kansas -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Consolidation by starvation -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

School mergers tricky -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Hotel tipping -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Abuse video revealed nothing we didn't know -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Lessons from 13 years ago -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

The zero option -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Why branding ISIS matters -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

School efficiency -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Favors and loot for sale -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

The 'college experience' -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Ellis schools -9/11/2014, 10:10 AM

Hold on, Mr. President -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The best bathroom -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The day the world stood still -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

No one can play your part -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Playing candidate dress-up -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Congress at work -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Schmidt is the answer -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

The liabilities of cannabis use -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Downtown decision -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Why are red states so far behind? -9/8/2014, 9:20 AM

Taylor's next move -9/5/2014, 10:16 AM

Consider trees to spruce up yard -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Washington takes action to reform VA -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Umbehr stands out -9/4/2014, 12:25 PM

Leadership education -- it's not a scam -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

Not supporting Brownback's re-election -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

A fair fair debate -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Suicide in today's age -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Regulation overreach -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Sharpton, Kobach's common ground -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

In charge of all -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Pocket-book debate? -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Educating voters on education -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

An erosion of authenticity -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Blasphemy, free speech and the 'black mass' -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Flexing muscles -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

The leadership scam -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Green monster -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

The resurrection of Rick Perry -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Right to be heard? -8/26/2014, 10:08 AM

Over-covering Ferguson -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

Figuring out the tax debate -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Not-so-beautiful sunset -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Cannabis therapy -- Why bother? -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

James Foley: Courage in the face of danger -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Tuition pays for this -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

College textbook scam -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Policing a riot -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Evil strikes back -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Art appreciation -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Abuse of power -8/20/2014, 8:22 AM

Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Answer the bell -8/15/2014, 8:58 AM

Get ready for denials -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mental illness -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mindless drones -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Can-do attitude -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

Eyeing the Ogallala Aquifer -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

The cannabis conundrum -- we against us -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

The 'Almost' Revolution -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

Not a choice -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Ebola politics -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Too few voters -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A special breed -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A license to vote -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Another downgrade

Published on -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

When Moody's Investors Service downgraded Kansas' credit rating in April, the responses were telling if not somewhat predictable.

Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the downgrade is "more bad news for the state of Kansas and further evidence that (Gov. Sam) Brownback's tax plan is failing in a number of ways."

Brownback's office didn't address the downgrade in a prepared statement, instead focusing on: "The Moody report also cites our strengths which include fiscal best practices, a continued low unemployment rate, a strong ending balance and a debt service ratio which is lower than the national median."

Such divergent views were to be expected from the two candidates who will vie for the governorship in November.

An impartial observation came from Ken Kriz, the Regents' distinguished professor of public finance at Wichita State University's Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs. He said Moody's downgrade by itself wouldn't have much effect on interest rates for the state, but warned that could change if Standard & Poor's followed suit.

"When they both go, that's when markets start bidding down," Kriz told the Wichita Eagle at the time.

That time has come.

On Wednesday, the nation's other major rating agency lowered Kansas' bond rating and gave the state a "negative" outlook. Citing similar reasons as Moody's, Standard & Poor's said: "The downgrades reflect our view of a structurally unbalanced budget, following state income tax cuts that have not been matched with offsetting ongoing expenditure cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget."

Fresh off explaining his lackluster primary victory against a political nobody by saying Republican voters were irritated with all the bad things President Barack Obama has done for the country, Brownback continued spinning his fantastic version of reality by saying the ratings agencies did not understand Kansas.

"We're putting those dollars back into the economy, and the bond rating agencies don't like you cutting taxes," he said.

The governor said both Moody's and Standard & Poor's had faulty and incorrect analyses. If they are at fault for not believing Brownback's assertion that cutting taxes will stimulate the economy like a "shot of adrenaline," then so be it. The only people who believe Arthur Laffer's trickle-down economic theory actually works are those who conveniently forget the massive amount of debt that accompanied President Ronald Reagan's wonder years.

The super-rich will overlook such details because the tax cuts always benefit them. Why middle-class and lower-class voters continue to believe in an approach that harms them every time is beyond our comprehension. But there were at least 63 percent of Tuesday's GOP voters who continue to hold out hope in spite of all the countering facts.

Anybody who believes we can take billions of dollars out of the state budget and not cut education and social services simply is praying for the same miracle as Brownback.

The miracle won't happen. It can't. And because the neutral, non-partisan credit rating agencies have elevated the risk of our debt, the cost to service that debt will increase. Which will force even further cuts to education and social services. Those two categories comprise approximately 90 percent of the state budget.

Davis understands what is going on. Nothing has changed either to raise more revenue or cut more expenses on Brownback's Roadmap for Kansas. Davis basically just reissued April's response after Standard & Poor's downgrade last week, saying this "is terrible news for Kansas and is further evidence that the governor's economic experiment has failed."

Although we believe in the essence of what Davis is saying, we believe it is more correct to use the present tense. We would say the experiment is failing. If Brownback's prayers are not answered, and hard-to-persuade Kansans have to face the fact it has failed, it will be too late.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos