Kansas Republicans stood firm against Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' attempt to tax refunds and paychecks for government workers hostage in that state's recent budget crisis:
Sebelius’ budget director had asked the Kansas Finance Council — made up of Sebelius and eight top lawmakers — to approve the transfers Monday to get the state through a cash-flow problem. The state had already borrowed $550 million from healthy funds since July.
But the council’s Republican members argued the state couldn’t legally borrow any more from itself until it had a plan to erase its deficit. They called on Sebelius to sign a bill making reductions to the budget. Sebelius signed the bill and ended the standoff Tuesday.
The move alleviated Republican concerns, and the State Finance Council’s vote Wednesday was unanimous.
How much do you want to bet Sebelius wants out of Kansas as soon as possible?
On the other hand, California Republicans stuck it to the taxpayers earlier this morning, passing a $14 billion tax increase to go with $15 billion in so-called spending cuts and $11 billion in borrowing. Despite removing their Senate Minority Leader, he and a couple of others voted with the Democrats. In order to get the vote of one Republican, state Senator Abel Maldonado, here's what was negotiated:
In exchange for Maldonado's vote to raise taxes, Democrats agreed to place on the June 2010 ballot a pair of political reforms long sought by the senator: an overhaul of the state's electoral system to do away with partisan primaries and a refusal to raise lawmakers pay when the state is running a deficit.
Tell me how either of these things actually fix California's government spending problems. Yeah, yeah, I know...rhetorical question.
One proposal that was removed was a 12-cent/gallon gas tax. But, taxes are going up on these items: "a temporary 1-cent sales tax beginning in April, a personal income tax surcharge, and a vehicle license fee increase." There's more information in the piece, and I encourage everyone to go read it.
The article states that some Republicans believe agreeing to the deal could be a career-ender. And well it should be. We've already seen what happens when a very few Republican legislators act like Democrats; the taxpayers get stuck paying the bill. It's time for conservatives to start electing Republicans who actually believe in the conservatism the party claims to believe in, and get rid of those taking the state, and the country, to the brink of bankruptcy. One step would be to put up a credible Republican against the spend-happy Governator.