Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Serious Thoughts On an April Fools Day

1) The bigot law in Indiana doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon even though it's basically made Indiana the target of scorn and ire.

And the situation's getting worse.  Arkansas is looking to pass a similar-worded religious freedom religious bigotry law.  I've mentioned it before: when one Red State does something odious in the sphere of social-economic conservatism, the other Red States are certain to follow despite the consequences already shown.  (Update: the Arkansas governor is refusing to sign the bill and is asking the state legislature to re-word the RFRA to remove the discriminatory language)

2) Speaking of bad Republican acts in the sphere of social-economic conservatism, current news out of Kansas - where the Far Right governor and the Far Right legislature passed one of the deepest tax cuts agenda among the states - is that the hit to revenues those tax cuts caused are deeper than what the state can afford to cut in spending.  In short, Kansas is bleeding again, this time budget-wise.

State figures released Tuesday showed that tax revenue came in $11.2 million below expectations in March, the latest in a string of lower-than-expected tax receipts.
Lawmakers must fill a $344 million revenue shortfall by June, and Brownback has moved to plug Kansas’ fiscal hole by slashing education funding, gutting the state’s pension fund, and cutting infrastructure. Additionally, the governor has proposed new sales taxes, which disproportionately impact the poor, in order to proceed full steam ahead with his income tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

Kansas is getting to the point where there's not enough places to cut spending, and are already at the point they've cut education funds to where even (what's left of) the middle class is going to see the damage.  And this is cyclical: the cuts to public funding affects the overall economy to where people can't earn enough to get taxed, which creates more revenue shortfalls, which forces the GOP leaders to cut more funding, which... /headdesk  At some point, Kansas is going to be in worse shape than Mississippi (arguably one of the poorest and worst-funded states in the nation).

Just remember, Republicans WANT to destroy government: they want to wipe out our schools and our pensions, because those are the things they slash first in favor of giving their corporate golfing buddies not only massive tax cuts but also massive state contracts on privatized vendor services that overcharge and underserve everybody.

3) Here in Florida, the budget shortfalls are not slowing down the state legislature's love of massive spending projects that ignore higher priority needs.

4) In very local news, The West Pasco Republican club is apparently disbanding out of sheer spite between leading local figures.  Popular local figure Mike Fasano reportedly ticked off two of the three club officers, especially over Fasano's public support for Charlie Crist for governor over Rick "No Ethics" Scott last election cycle.  I've actually met Fasano years ago at a meeting: when asked about Scott's performance as governor, I watched him physically constrain himself from blurting out what needed to be said about Scott's evil ways (Fasano's career has been a more mainstream, almost moderate Republican record: he's one of the few Republicans I like).  So it didn't surprise me Fasano wouldn't back Scott in 2014.  It doesn't surprise me that the more severe members of the GOP would carry their purity purge to the point of wiping out their own groups like this.  Bad news is for my poor Republican parents, they just moved to West Pasco and were wondering about where the local GOP charter was meeting...

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