Twice in explaining where she'd find the money for the tax cuts, Margaret Kelly talked about freezing a budget line that actually does not exist:
You could search for days -- through hundreds of pages of the state's official budget -- and you never would find that single 4.4 billion dollar appropriation line for bureaucracy that Kelly mentioned.
The state's budget is just not constructed that way.
Instead, the operating budget is composed of thousands of appropriation lines for things like staffing new prisons, state funding for local schools and universities.
The Republican candidate for Missouri's governor today (Thursday) unveiled the details for the cornerstone of her campaign -- cutting state general taxes by some ten percent. From Jefferson City, Phill Brooks reports on Democratic reaction:
Ludicrous and a fairy tale are the descriptions used by the Democratic governor's campaign manager to describe their opponent's tax cut plan.
Campaign Manager Roy Temple charges Margaret Kelly's plan for cutting taxes simply is based on some false statements about the state's budget:
Indeed, Kelly's budget figures -- at least as she presented them in the opening explanations of her tax plan -- do seem to be double counting budget figures to show how the state could afford the largest tax cut in the state's history without cutting essential state services.
Missouri's Republican candidate for governor has proposed a package of tax cuts totalling nearly two-thirds of a billion dollars. Phill Brooks has the story from Jefferson City:
Kelly proposes a package of near elimination of the state sales tax on groceries, a ten-percent income tax cut and elimination of the income tax on the first six-thousand dollars of private pensions.
To pay the 640-million dollar price tag for the tax cuts, Kelly proposes freezing state government's bureaucracy:
But the state's budget director says that operating budget Kelly wants to freeze covers more than just bureaucracy.
In fact, Mark Ward says if that budget were frozen, thousands of new prison spaces being built could not be opened -- forcing the state to let criminals back out on the streets.