Show-Me Institute Policy Researcher Michael Rathbone provides a snapshot of the budget recently passed in Jefferson City. Much of it is worthwhile, but why are we spending money on a political convention in Kansas City?
Show-Me Institute CEO Brenda Talent congratulates Missouri's General Assembly for finally cutting the state's income tax, but she also notes that more needs to be done. For Missouri to become more competitive it has to reduce taxes further. The Show-Me Institute has written about how to accomplish this:
We caught up with some food truck vendors at the 2014 St. Louis Food Truck rally last Saturday. David Stokes asked them about the their fight against red tape in St. Louis city and county. Things are getting better, but there's still work to be done.
Many students in unaccredited school districts want and need better educational options. However, Missouri’s public school leaders do not want to provide those options through inter-district choice programs. They worry that inter-district choice would bankrupt struggling school districts and place an undue burden on the more successful ones. There is, however, an option that avoids these problems – private school choice financed through tax credit scholarship programs. These programs, which are in place in 14 states, expand educational opportunities for K-12 students by generating private investment in education.
The Show-Me Institute and the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise at Lindenwood University hosted a discussion about tax credit scholarships, explaining what they are and how they might be beneficial to Missouri. During the event, Jason Bedrick and Jonathan Butcher presented information from their recent Show-Me Institute case-studies and Paul DiPerna presented the findings of a new poll. The discussion also included a legislative panel that included Missouri Senators John Lamping and Maria Chappelle-Nadal and Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones. You can view the papers and video of the presentations via the links below.
The Show-Me Institute in partnership with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice conducted a poll of Missouri voters. Missourians overwhelmingly want school choice. The full results will be released May 6 at ShowMeInstitute.org.
In an effort to bring Obamacare to Missouri, legislators in Jefferson City have re-branded the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion as a "Medicaid transformation." Missouri voters have repeatedly rejected Obamacare and any piecemeal adoption of its requirements. Missouri's General Assembly should do so again.
You paid your income taxes earlier this week, but until tax freedom day, your still working for the government. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, this year's tax freedom day is April 21 nationally. Lowering or even eliminating income taxes would make it come even sooner and the Show-Me Institute has researched policies that would move Missouri in that direction:
Show-Me Institute Policy Researcher Michael Rathbone explains the causes of the Great Depression and the effects of government policies during that crisis in this presentation titled "Why was the Depression so Great?"
This presentation covers three main points: what caused the Great Depression; what caused it to go on for so long; and how did we finally get out of it.
Many believe that the cause was the stock market crash of 1929, which caused the Great Depression and a laissez-faire approach toward the crisis, ultimately making things worse. However, that is incorrect. In fact, while the crash started the crisis, it was a series of well-intentioned but poorly thought-out government actions that turned a sharp recession into a depression.
This presentation details how, in fact, President Roosevelt built upon the policies of President Hoover to combat the Depression. However, these policies did not get the country out of the Depression. In reality, it took a combination of events, including World War II, to actually end the Depression and restore strong economic growth. After watching this presentation, you will have a better understanding of that era in American history and the effects of public policy on the economy.
Gander Mountain just opened its first store in Missouri, in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, with plans to open more locations in the Show-Me State. David Stokes is excited about this new store because the corporate policy is to not take tax subsidies as the company expands around the country:
Voters across Missouri will go to the polls on April 8th to vote in local elections. Many will have the opportunity to vote on public financing issues that have been described as "no tax increase bonds". Dr. James Shuls explains how these bonds work:
Have you heard of the proposed Metro fare increases? Metro may need to raise fares to cover its rising expenses. Joseph Miller talks about strategies to raise fares that Metro should consider. He also notes that Metro should reduce or eliminate routes that require high taxpayer subsidies.
Show-Me Institute Director of Local Government Policy David Stokes recently released a case study about privatization efforts in Missouri. The study documents the variety of ways in which counties, cities, and towns can engage the private sector to effectively provide many public services. Examples of areas that can experience cost savings and service improvements through privatization include trash pick-up, ambulance service, swimming pool and golf course management, animal control, fleet management, government pharmacy services, and much more.
Missouri's legislature has upheld a 5% increase in farmland productive value. That means that there will be a slight increase in property taxes on farmland next year. David Stokes advocates for this increase because of the disparity in property taxes across the state.
The Kansas City Aviation Department has proposed building a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) that could cost $1.2 billion or more. While the city has attempted to collect information on the project independently, most of the data comes from the very people who support the project. In this discussion, the Show-Me Institute will share the results of its own research on the costs, challenges, and likely results of such an endeavor.
Patrick Tuohey explains that the cost of a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport would be passed along to passengers. Higher ticket prices would result and that could cause airlines and travelers to look for alternatives to KCI.
Michael Podgursky, Ph.D., responds to recent arguments to raise the minimum wage. While raising the minimum wage would help a few low-skill workers, it would also eliminate many low-skill jobs. Podgursky says there's a better way.