The Buzz

TheChat: Downsize or pay up? That’s the issue facing Kansas lawmakers


You wouldn’t know it’s January right now, would you?

▪ “What will it be? Will the decision-makers put all their time and energy into downsizing schools, highway maintenance and public safety programs, or will they make a realistic assessment of what it costs to pay for key services and figure out a fair way to fund that?” — Duane Goossen, a senior fellow at the Kansas Center for Economic Growth and a former 12-year Kansas budget director, on the budget dilemma facing lawmakers.

Goossen is a respected voice when it comes to Kansas fiscal policy. He says it’s the deep tax cuts that Gov. Sam Brownback implemented that’s the reason for the state’s budget crunch.

▪ “Anything that would involve a large amount of public funds, a large increase or extension of even tax credits, is just going to be an uphill climb.” — Missouri state Rep. Caleb Rowden, a Columbia Republican and chair of the House Economic Development Committee, on prospects that lawmakers will pony up to build a new St. Louis football stadium.

Saving the Rams increasingly looks a near-impossible task. Plans are on the table for a near $1 billion stadium, but it looks like taxpayers won’t be part of paying for it as they have in so many states. (link courtesy of

▪ “A heated race shouldn’t keep you on the wrong side of each other.” — David Steelman who was just appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon to the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

The two squared off in the highly contentious 1992 race for attorney general, with Nixon beating Steelman. The new curator said Nixon is an example of how politicians can set aside their differences.

▪ “The middle class has yet to experience the prosperity shown in the recovery.” — a senior administration official this weekend explaining to reporters President Barack Obama’s populist pitch on behalf of the middle class that he’ll make in this week’s State of the Union address.

The president is staying true to his pledge to remain on the offensive in the final years of his administration. Politico points out that in fighting for the middle class, Obama will practically be daring Republicans to oppose him.