GOP lawmakers are notorious for creating facts to support their conclusions. This time, Ray Merrick, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives in Kansas, has proclaimed that government workers “produce nothing” to justify his conclusion that services need to be slashed to correct a budget shortfall.
Via The Wichita Eagle:
Government employees produce nothing. They’re a net consumer. And you got that cost forever and ever and ever because they’re on the KPERS (pension) plan, they’re on all the government insurance and everything,” Merrick said. “That is employment to Democrats. Hire more (government employees). And that was Kathleen [Sebelius]; she’d brag about her employment number, ‘Oh I got a lot of people employed.’ Yeah, you got a lot more government employees employed. That doesn’t stimulate the economy.
Merrick finds that cutting government employees and services is the appropriate response instead of raising taxes and maintaining government services. Salon has a great summary of Merrick’s position here:
Kansas confronts a dire budget situation because of disastrous consequences of massive tax cuts for the wealthy pursued by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and the state Legislature, which has a Republican supermajority. Brownback narrowly won reelection over Democratic challenger Paul Davis this month, and the governor and Merrick have been adamant that they won’t reverse course on the tax cuts but will pursue spending cuts instead. But the state has already implemented large cuts in spending on items like education, Medicaid and mental health services.