Progressives

In Wichita, three Community Improvement Districts to be considered

In Wichita, three Community Improvement Districts to be considered

In Community Improvement Districts (CID), merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. Wichita may have an additional three, contributing to the problem of CID sprawl. This week the Wichita City Council will hold public hearings considering the formation of three Community Improvement Districts. In Kansas Community Improvement Districts, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. [1. Weeks, Bob. Community improvement districts in Kansas. Available at https://bobw7.sg-host.com/kansas-government/community-improvement-districts-kansas/.] Each of these CIDs will charge customers additional sales tax, with a cap on…
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Decoding Duane Goossen

Decoding Duane Goossen

The writing of Duane Goossen, a former Kansas budget director, requires decoding and explanation. This time, his vehicle is "Rise Up, Kansas." Duane Goossen was Kansas budget director from 1998 to 2010.[11. Goossen, Duane. Kansas Budget Blog. http://www.kansasbudget.com/.] He is critical of the administration of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and recent sessions of the Kansas Legislature. It's useful to examine his writings so that Kansans may become aware of the ramifications of his recommendations, and how during his years as budget director he was unable to adhere to the principles he now advocates. Following, some language from his recent article…
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How would higher Kansas taxes help?

How would higher Kansas taxes help?

Candidates in Kansas who promise more spending ought to explain just how higher taxes will -- purportedly -- help the Kansas economy. Are low taxes important to an economy, especially a state economy? When the Tax Foundation looked at the issue, it concluded this: "In this review of the literature, I find twenty-six such studies going back to 1983, and all but three of those studies, and every study in the last fifteen years, find a negative effect of taxes on growth."[1. McBride, William. What Is the Evidence on Taxes and Growth? Tax Foundation, 2012. http://taxfoundation.org/article/what-evidence-taxes-and-growth.] Many of these studies…
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They really are government schools

They really are government schools

What's wrong with the term "government schools?" A recent op-ed in the Wichita Eagle read: "Some have begun to call public schools 'government schools,' a calculated pejorative scorning both education and anything related to government."[1. Merritt, Davis. Can traditional conservatism save Kansas schools? Wichita Eagle, May 17, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article77969617.html.] This is not the only time people have objected to the term "government schools." Public schools bristle at use of the term. In a 2008 email from Wichita School Interim Superintendent Martin Libhart to Wichita school employees, he took issue with those who, using his words, "openly refer to…
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Intellectuals vs. the rest of us

Intellectuals vs. the rest of us

Why are so many opposed to private property and free exchange -- capitalism, in other words -- in favor of large-scale government interventionism? Lack of knowledge, or ignorance, is one answer, but there is another. From August 2013. At a recent educational meeting I attended, someone asked the question: Why doesn't everyone believe what we (most of the people attending) believe: that private property and free exchange -- capitalism, in other words -- are superior to government intervention and control over the economy? It's question that I've asked at conferences I've attended. The most hopeful answer is ignorance. While that…
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