Boeing – Boeing officials are said to have told Kansas leaders that they would not consider a Wichita site to build the 777X passenger airliner because of the union situation. If these explanations are accurate, it seems that state and local leaders, along with Boeing and union officials, could get creative in coming up with a workable plan in which all parties would be winners. Kansas and Wichita should work hard to advance their reputation as a superior location to build airplanes and as a center of talented and highly productive workers.
Mortgage fee – The Kansas Bankers Association wants the Legislature to end the mortgage-registration fee, arguing it is really a tax collected only on borrowers, not generally. Most of the money goes to the counties where the fee is collected. A small share of the fee, .01 percent, goes to the Heritage Trust Fund, which provides matching grants for the preservation of historic properties. The bankers make the point that 41 other states do not have a mortgage-registration fee. We respect their argument but wonder if they have considered the impact of ending the fee on county governments, which already operate with significantly reduced financial cooperation from the state. And we wonder if the bankers really want to hamstring historic preservation, which has become an economic driver for many Kansas communities.
Winfield Daily Courier
Brownback – Gov. Sam Brownback knows you are hurting, and he wants you to know whose fault it is: the EPA. “Kansans are now feeling increased energy costs due to expensive regulations handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency. Kansas homeowners, businesses and schools are hurting to pay for the decisions being made in Washington, D.C.,” Brownback said. If the governor wants to mention things that are hurting people, he might do better to send out press releases about how he increased the state sales tax, although not by as much as he wanted. He also might mention his administration’s income-tax cuts. Yes, Kansans will have a little more jingle in their pockets because of the cuts, but how will the state make up for that lack of revenue?
Domestic violence – According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the number of domestic violence incidents in the state is higher than it has been since 1992 but the number of arrests is down. Finding the answer to why so many heinous crimes go unpunished may not be easy, but more effort must be put into the search.
Aqueduct – Building a 360-mile aqueduct to carry water from the Missouri River to irrigate crops in western Kansas has to be one of the most ludicrous ideas we’ve heard in the last, well, 31 years. In 1982, Kansas studied the idea of building the canal from near White Cloud to Utica, which is about 50 miles southwest of Hays in Ness County. The cost at that time was estimated at $3.6 billion, but now it could cost from $12.5 billion to $25 billion. A new study would make that determination. The study itself would cost $300,000 and take 18 months to complete. It is a waste of money – the study alone, not to mention even thinking about the cost of building such a thing.