Government waste

The lights are off, and then they’re off

The lights are off, and then they’re off

A problem with wasteful spending in downtown Wichita is gradually curing itself, creating another problem in its place. A bench at the heart of downtown Wichita should be illuminated at night by four lights. Only one light works, probably because the others have been left switched on 24 hours per day. So wasteful spending on street lights during the day is being replaced by unlit streets at night. What message does wasteful spending on street lights during the day send? Perhaps more importantly, what impression does nonfunctioning lights at night create -- three of four at this bench? And at…
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Wichita schools seek to rebrand

Wichita schools seek to rebrand

While poormouthing and suing taxpayers for more money, the Wichita school district wants to spend on a rebranding and marketing campaign. The idea that a government agency needs to market itself illustrates a few inconsistencies, as shown below. But spending any money on this effort shows that the district leadership is a little out of touch with the taxpayers. First, taxpayers are being sued for more money by a collection of Kansas school districts, including the Wichita district. So the district is using taxpayer money to extract more taxpayer money, and now it wants to spend more taxpayer money to…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: The need for reform at Wichita City Hall

WichitaLiberty.TV: The need for reform at Wichita City Hall

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: An episode this week at the Wichita city council meeting highlights the need for campaign finance reform in Wichita. We’ll examine a few incidents and see if there’s a way we can reform Wichita city government so that it is capitalism friendly instead of crony friendly. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 69, broadcast December 21, 2014.
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Campaign contribution stacking in Wichita

Campaign contribution stacking in Wichita

Those seeking favors from Wichita City Hall use campaign contribution stacking to bypass contribution limits. This has paid off handsomely for them, and has harmed everyone else. Not long ago a person who is politically active wrote a letter that was published in the Wichita Eagle. It criticized the role of campaign contributions in federal elections, noting “Corporations don’t spend money on politics because they are patriotic; rather, the companies expect a financial return.” Later the letter held this: “Locally, I understand that elections for the Wichita City Council underwent ideal, nonpartisan campaign-finance reform years ago, and that these limits…
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City of Wichita State Legislative Agenda: Passenger rail

City of Wichita State Legislative Agenda: Passenger rail

Instead of calling for the expansion of Amtrak -- perhaps the worst of all federal agencies -- the City of Wichita should do taxpayers a favor and call for an end to government subsidy of Amtrak everywhere. The City of Wichita’s legislative calls for the pursuit of money to pay for the funding of an environmental study of the proposed passenger rail extension to Oklahoma City. Not an actual rail line, just an environmental study. Amtrak is very expensive. In most parts of the country it relies on massive taxpayer subsidy. For example, for the line from Fort Worth to…
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In Kansas, voters want government to concentrate on efficiency and core services before asking for taxes

In Kansas, voters want government to concentrate on efficiency and core services before asking for taxes

A survey of Kansas voters finds that Kansas believe government is not operating efficiently. The also believe government should pursue efficiency savings, focus on core functions, and spend unnecessary cash reserves before cutting services or raising taxes. This month Kansas Policy Institute produced a survey asking registered voters in Kansas questions on the topic of school spending. The final four questions asked voters' opinion of government efficiency and how government should respond to budgetary issues. Question 9 asked this: "How much do you agree or disagree with this statement: Kansas state government operates pretty efficiently and makes effective use of…
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Wichita wants to expand water project, but abandons its website

Wichita wants to expand water project, but abandons its website

As the City of Wichita recommends voters spend $250 million on the expansion of a water project, the project's accompanying website was abandoned, and has now disappeared. The Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project is a Wichita water utility system. So far its cost has been $247 million. As part of the proposed Wichita one cent per dollar sales tax, another $250 million is earmarked to be spent on its expansion. To help Wichitans learn about the ASR system, the city built a website at wichitawaterproject.org. Nearby is how the front page of that website appeared in January 2012. As…
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Wichita sends educational mailer to non-Wichitans, using Wichita taxes

Wichita sends educational mailer to non-Wichitans, using Wichita taxes

Why is the City of Wichita spending taxpayer money mailing to voters who don't live in the city and can't vote on the issue? A resident of Bel Aire thought it was curious that she received an informational mailing regarding an issue she can't vote on. The issue is the proposed one cent per dollar Wichita city sales tax that is on the November ballot. What is curious about her receiving this mail about the Wichita sales tax? She can't vote on this issue because she lives in Bel Aire, not in Wichita. Only those voters who live in Wichita…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: The proposed one cent per dollar Wichita sales tax

WichitaLiberty.TV: The proposed one cent per dollar Wichita sales tax

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: We’ll talk about the proposed Wichita sales tax, including who pays it, and who gets special exemptions from paying it. Then, can we believe the promises the city makes about accountability and transparency? Finally, has the chosen solution for a future water supply proven itself as viable, and why are we asking low-income households to pay more sales tax on groceries for drought protection? View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 63, broadcast October 26, 2014.
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Government waste in Wichita

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: At the time Wichita city government asks for more tax revenue, government waste is abundant. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Originally broadcast September 7, 2014. For more on this issue, see For downtown Wichita, some progress in controlling waste and Wichita planning results in delay, waste.
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