Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday February 18, 2011

Wichita-area legislators to meet public. Tomorrow members of the South-Central Kansas Legislative Delegation will meet with the public. Tomorrow’s meeting is in the Sunflower Room of the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 21st and Tyler Rd, at 9:00 am. Generally these meetings last for two hours. The first of these meetings, two weeks ago, was focused more on hearing the concerns of citizens rather than allowing legislators to speak a lot. … Two other meetings have been scheduled. One is on March 19th — right before the legislature adjourns for its break — at Derby City Hall, 611 Mulberry Road. Then on April 23 — right before the “wrap-up session” — at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th Street (at Oliver).

This Week in Kansas. On This Week in Kansas Joe Aistrup of Kansas State University and co-author of of the new book on Kansas politics Kansas Politics and Government: The Clash of Political Cultures, Richard Schrock of Emporia State University and Education Frontlines, and myself join host Tim Brown to discuss immigration and abortion bills in Kansas, concealed carry on college campus, and public schools medicating students. This Week in Kansas airs on KAKE-TV channel 10 at 9:00 am Sunday.

Mandatory union political spending questioned. From Derrick Sontag of Americans for Prosperity, Kansas: “It was Thomas Jefferson who said, ‘To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.’ On that note the Kansas Legislature is considering House Bill 2130, commonly referred to as ‘paycheck protection.’ Money derived from public employee union membership dues, for example, is often spent on functions outside of bargaining and administrative activity. That’s certainly the prerogative of a union but the problem is in some instances members may not choose to support union political activity, yet their money is going towards just that. … This is not a bill designed to eliminate unions. Rather it provides workers the ability to protect themselves from financially supporting political candidates they otherwise wouldn’t support. The unions that effectively present their case as to why political activity should occur will more than likely earn the financial support of a number of its members. Members of public employee unions should have the right to fully safeguard against their money being spent on political causes and candidates they don’t support.”

Tom Woods: Rollback. This week I traveled to Kansas State University to attend a lecture by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.. His topic, mostly, was his new book Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse. Of the book, Woods explains: “The book does two things. First, it lays bare the true fiscal position of the U.S. government, and shows why some kind of default is not merely possible but inevitable. … By far the more central part of the book is this: the critical first step for reversing this mess and checking the seemingly unstoppable federal advance is to stick a dagger through the heart of the myths by which government has secured the confidence and consent of the people. We know these myths by heart. Government acts on behalf of the public good. It keeps us safe. It protects us against monopolies. It provides indispensable services we could not provide for ourselves. Without it, America would be populated by illiterates, half of us would be dead from quack medicine or exploding consumer products, and the other half would lead a feudal existence under the iron fist of private firms that worked them to the bone for a dollar a week. Thus Americans tolerate much government predation because they have bought into the myth that state intervention may be an irritant, but the alternative of a free society would be far worse.”

$100 million in cuts. It’s two years old, but this video places a proposal by President Barack Obama to cut $100 million from the federal budget in context. As the video explains, the scale of numbers so large — millions, billions, trillions — are often difficult to grasp. … Currently some Republicans in Congress are trying to cut $100 billion (1,000 times as much) from the federal budget, and it’s a difficult process. Even a cut of this size is not enough. As Tom Woods recently wrote in Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse: “America is staring default in the face, and the boldest proposal we hear is for trimming $100 billion. That’s like taking three dollars off a trip to the moon.”

Brownback plan ignored in Wichita. At this week’s meeting of the Wichita City Council I explained to council members a few points of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s economic development plan and how several actions the council was considering were directly in opposition to that plan. No council member asked a question. No Wichita news media reported on how the council ignored the governor’s plan. Especially troubling is how the Wichita Eagle had two reporters attending the meeting, yet there was no mention in that newspaper as to how the council voted several times against the principles of the Brownback plan. … Especially puzzling are the votes of Sue Schlapp, who held a leadership role in the Brownback campaign. Video and more is here.

National League of Cities junket defended. Speaking of Schlapp and other city council members, the Wichita Eagle printed a letter from the Executive Director of the National League of Cities defending the value of the conference for city council members. Fair enough. But the problem is that Wichita is sending council members to the conference who will serve less than one month after the conference. These council members — Sue Schlapp, Paul Gray, and Roger Smith — ought to refrain from spending taxpayer money on this trip, which is a junket for lame ducks.


2 thoughts on “Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday February 18, 2011”

  1. I’m sure the council members slept a lot better knowing Bob Weeks was there to explain the governor’s economic plan.

  2. Well BJ, they are not smart enough to comprehend it themselves and you sadly are probably not either. On another note, Thomas E. Woods is a brilliant writer and rising star in the libertarian movement. I am reading his previous book “Nullification” and love it! We should get Dr. Wood’s to come to Wichita and speak and perhaps he could explain to the economically illiterate Wichita City Council and
    Mayor about the free market and how it really works!

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