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Where’s Wichita’s water?

Where’s Wichita’s water?

As part of the Community Investments Plan process, citizens have told the City of Wichita they're concerned about future water supply. Through both the mailed survey and direct feedback obtained in citizen forums, creating a reliable source of water was the top priority, according to city documents released this week. Those who have been paying attention might be surprised that there is a water crisis, and that citizens are concerned. That's because when Bob Knight was mayor, he was told that Wichita had sufficient water for the next 50 years. That was about ten years ago. More recently, the city…
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As landlord, Wichita has a few issues

As landlord, Wichita has a few issues

Commercial retail space owned by the City of Wichita in a desirable downtown location was built to be rented. But most is vacant, and maintenance issues go unresolved. At one time it was thought that the Wichita city-owned parking structure in the 400 block of East William Street would house retail shops along the street. But the present state of the property should cause us to be wary of government economic development efforts. As reported by the Wichita Eagle twenty years ago on Wednesday, October 20, 1993: The council also approved a plan to spend about $76 a square foot…
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Wichita planning documents hold sobering numbers

Wichita planning documents hold sobering numbers

This week the City of Wichita held a workshop where the Community Investments Plan Steering Committee delivered a progress report to the city council. The documents hold information that ought to make Wichitans think, and think hard. The amounts of money involved are large, and portions represent deferred maintenance. That is, the city has not been taking care of the assets that taxpayers have paid for. The time frame of this planning process is the period 2013 to 2035. Under the heading "Trends & Challenges" we find some troubling information. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer hinted at the problem last year…
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The relevance of income tax rates

The relevance of income tax rates

Jim Pinkerton, the journalist, Fox News contributor, and co-founder of the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition told an audience this: "The purpose of high taxes on the rich is not to get the rich to pay money, it's to get the middle class to feel better about paying high taxes." Pinkerton was speaking last week at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. His remarks, as he told the conference attendees, were based on the work of economist F.A. Hayek.…
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American economy is more competitive and carbon-efficient, says economist

American economy is more competitive and carbon-efficient, says economist

The oil and gas boom in America boosts our competitiveness in the world economy while at the same time reducing carbon emissions, says economist Stephen Moore. Moore recently left the Wall Street Journal to accept a position at Heritage Foundation as chief economist. He presented to an audience at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. A large portion of his presentation was on energy and its important role in the economy, and how radical environmentalists -- the "green" movement --…
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WichitaLiberty.TV February 23, 2014

WichitaLiberty.TV February 23, 2014

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: There are efforts to have the Kansas Legislature expand the open records law to include the spending records of several taxpayer-funded agencies, but the City of Wichita wants to keep the records secret. Then, did you know the Kansas teachers union has a media response team? Finally, Arthur Brooks makes the moral case for free enterprise. Episode 32, broadcast February 23, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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The purpose of high tax rates on the rich

The purpose of high tax rates on the rich

"The purpose of high taxes on the rich is not to get the rich to pay money, it's to get the middle class to feel better about paying high taxes." This is what Jim Pinkerton, the journalist, Fox News contributor, and co-founder of the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition told an audience at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Pinkerton was referring to the economist F.A. Hayek. Others have also noted that changes to marginal tax rates often have…
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Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

This week the Wichita City Council will consider its legislative agenda. This document contains many items that are contrary to economic freedom, capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty. Yet, Wichitans pay taxes to have someone in Topeka promote this agenda. I've excerpted the document here, and following are some of the most problematic items. Agenda: Existing economic development tools are essential for the continued growth and prosperity of our community. First. The premise of this item is incorrect. We don't have growth and prosperity in Wichita. Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. See…
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Kansas school employment: The statistics and the claims

Kansas school employment: The statistics and the claims

Claims made about Kansas schools don't match the state's statistics. Responding to the State of the State Address delivered by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas House of Representatives Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis provided figures regarding Kansas public schools, telling Kansans: "On top of that, public school class sizes are growing, [and] teachers have been laid off by the thousands." Statistics from Kansas State Department of Education, however, show that school employment has rebounded, both in terms of absolute numbers of teachers and certified employees, and the ratios of pupils to these employees. The story is not the…
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Kansas school test scores must be evaluated considering demographics

Kansas school test scores must be evaluated considering demographics

When comparing Kansas school test scores to those of other states, it's important to consider disaggregated data. Otherwise, we may form an inaccurate and unfounded impression of Kansas schools. Kansas school leaders are proud of Kansas schools, partly because of scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as "The Nation's Report Card." Kansas ranks pretty high among the states on this test. It's important, however, to examine the results from a few different angles to make sure we understand the entire situation. An illustrative video is available here, or at the end of this article. Data for…
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