Monday, January 16, 2006

The Republican Plan

Care of FKD's state of the state address:
First, we must alter our state's communistic school finance formula. Let local school districts raise as much money as they want.…
This would simply magnify inequities between rich and poor. I know Republicans have the Monty Burn image to uphold, but being this transparent is hardly wise. Ensuring equal opportunity is not "communistic," it's an expression of this nation's highest ideals.
Second, let's have a constitutional amendment that takes out the word "suitable" from the educational funding requirements and replace it with something like "whatever the heck the legislature decides."…
If you don't want suitable funding for schools, you want unsuitable funding. Q.E.D.
Third, speaking of those activist clowns [judges], let's pass another constitutional amendment that requires judges to be confirmed by the state Senate. If the U.S. Senate does it that way, then so should Kansas.
We also elect judges here, but not for the federal courts. And I doubt that any of the judges appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court would have had any trouble getting through a Senate confirmation.
Fourth, after we change Kansas' school finance system, let's find a way to reduce our state's property taxes. One of FKD's parents is up-in-arms over this problem, so let's fix it soon so some of us can complain about other things at the dinner table.
Anything to help, but combining state and local property taxes, Kansas ranks #30 for property tax per capita.
Fifth, let's all say no to Kathleen's radical health care proposal. This type of proposal hasn't worked before and it will bankrupt the state anyway.…
Surely FKD doesn't want to go deeper into the Monty Burns stereotype. How could $3.5 million to guarantee health insurance to every child will bankrupt the state? Federal programs to increase health care access have succeeded, though the effects are often obscured by a trend toward less employer-based health insurance.
Sixth, if we really want to lower health care costs, let's all try to intact stricter tort laws throughout Kansas.
There is no evidence that lawsuits increase malpractice premiums or health care costs. None. There is evidence that malpractice does. How about providing a publicly accessible database of doctors and the procedures they were sued over? Then you could make sure you were choosing the best doctor in your area. Or maybe ensuring that pharmacists aren't overworked at the beginning of the month? But that would spoil a way to demonize lawyers.

Stricter regulation of insurance companies also works, but fat chance of getting that through the legislature.
Seventh, let's pass some campaign finance reform that prevents a wealthy late-term abortionist from Wichita from buying elections. Surprisingly, we've heard that leading conservatives are blocking this reform. Cons, if you really care about Phill Kline re-elect, then pass some campaign finance reform soon.
I have nothing against campaign finance laws, but it's idiotic to think that any fair campaign finance reform would hit Tiller harder than, say, Koch, KRA, or the other conservative organizations that bankroll Phill Kline's political career.
And finally, let's stop all the silly infighting among Republicans.
It's up to you. A lot of the parts of this that I set aside were swipes at moderates, so I hope they read this post in front of a mirror.