Wichita Eagle opinion watch

Sales tax exemptions in Kansas

Sales tax exemptions in Kansas

Can eliminating sales tax exemptions in Kansas generate a pot of gold? Advocates of eliminating sales tax exemptions in Kansas point to the great amount of revenue that could be raised if Kansas eliminated these exemptions, estimated at some $5.9 billion per year. Analysis of the nature of the exemptions and the amounts of money involved, however, leads us to realize that the additional tax revenue that could be raised is much less than spending advocates claim, unless Kansas was to adopt a severely uncompetitive, and in some cases, unproductive and harshly regressive tax policy. A recent advocate for eliminating…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo

WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo talks about passing legislation like the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the Iran nuclear deal and his role in discovering the secret side deals, and other topics. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 94, broadcast August 30, 2015.
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Sedgwick County WATC funding trajectory following manager’s recommendations

Sedgwick County WATC funding trajectory following manager’s recommendations

Sedgwick County taxpayers have been generous with funding for Wichita Area Technical College, and the former county manager has recommended reducing its funding. During the July 16, 2014 meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, county manager Bill Buchanan presented the recommended budget for 2015. It included a cut in funding for Wichita Area Technical College in the amount of $150,000. In response to a question, Buchanan told the commissioners: "The new president has been assertive and aggressive in trying to deal with their financial issues. They have, he has turned that financial, that institution around financially. They are in pretty…
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Wichita Eagle editorial board on county budget

Wichita Eagle editorial board on county budget

When someone invokes "ideology" in their criticism of you, you know that they've either run short of actual arguments based on fact, or they don't know what ideological means. In its op-ed this Sunday, the Wichita Eagle editorial board blasts the Sedgwick County Commission for cuts to various programs, mentioning "Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, the Arts Council and Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition" specifically. I might invite the Eagle editorialists to revisit the county's recommended budget for 2013, prepared under the leadership of then-chairman Tim Norton, the body's sole Democrat, both then and now. According to county documents, Norton's…
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A big-picture look at the EDA

A big-picture look at the EDA

While praising the U.S. Economic Development Administration for a small grant to a local institution, the Wichita Eagle editorial board overlooks the big picture. While praising a grant to Wichita State University from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Wichita Eagle editorial board doesn't waste an opportunity remind us of its big-government, anti-taxpayer ideology. (Pompeo would eliminate source of WSU grants, July 11, 2015) The op-ed also criticizes U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, who has sponsored legislation and offered amendments to end the EDA. While the Eagle op-ed is designed to make us feel happy for Wichita State University (and bad…
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Brownback derangement syndrome on display

A newspaper op-ed illustrates some of the muddled thinking of Kansas newspaper editorialists, not to mention Brownback derangement syndrome. Recent discussion about restricting the ability to spend welfare benefits has lead one newspaper editorialist to compare elected politicians with welfare recipients. The writer is Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star, and his target is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Attempting to paint the governor as a government-paid freeloader, Helling wrote: "He’s earned his living from taxpayers almost all his life. He’s worked in state government, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and now as governor, where he earns around $100,000…
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Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

Intrust Bank Arena loss for 2014 is $5 million

The depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. But no one wants to talk about this. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true economics of the arena. What's missing…
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Legislation to end Economic Development Administration introduced

Legislation to end Economic Development Administration introduced

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo calls for an end to a wasteful federal economic development agency. If you think a proper function of the federal government is spending your tax dollars to build replicas of the Great Pyramids in Indiana or a gift shop in a winery, you're not going to like legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican who represents the Kansas fourth district, including the Wichita metropolitan area. Others, however, will appreciate H.R. 661: EDA Elimination Act of 2015. In the following article from 2012, Pompeo explains the harm of the Economic Development Administration, which he describes…
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