Kathleen Sebelius | Kansas

A Nickel-and-Dimer Solves Debt Bit by Bit

For Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, the problem was simple. "There were too many cars in the parking lot," she says. Right after the Democrat surprised political experts in 2002 by winning the Governor's race in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats almost 2 to 1, she needed to erase a budget deficit estimated at $1.1 billion. A commission that Sebelius appointed to find government waste discovered that the state owned hundreds of cars it didn't use. So she sold 700 of them and forbade state agencies to buy more.

The money earned from the car sale was small, but it showed that...

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