Polls are not promising for the GOP nominee and many Republicans fear they will lose not just the presidential race but also control of the Senate. Some even worry that the U.S. House will fall under Democratic control. As we're all aware, no one knows for sure at this point. If Republicans lose the presidency and both houses of congress, what does the GOP do to rebuild itself? If Democrats control the presidency and both houses of congress, what can Americans expect? What will change? Will taxes and regulation increase? What will happen to Obamacare? Will Hillary opt for a single payer system? What if Trump wins, what does that do to the GOP? Is fear of Trump in the White House a genuine concern? If Hillary is president, will that mark the end of debate over her private e-mail server?
The 16-acre plot of land at Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway has sat idle for a decade following closure of the Mission Mall. One developer, Tom Valenti, is still trying to find the package that will click with the Mission City Council and the community's residents. At a recent public meeting, Valenti told citizens he hopes to build the Mission Gateway project, but would need substantial financial backing from the city, including tax increment financing, a community improvement district designation, and general obligation bonds. And, Valenti pledged that the project would not include a Walmart, a feature strongly opposed by nearby businesses and residents. Is there still a reasonable chance that this project will come to fruition? Why would such an attractive site be difficult to develop? Was the recession the main impediment? Would it be prudent for the Mission City Council to okay various tax breaks? Other than a shopping area, what else might fit at that location?
The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council is looking at a plan to spend $350 thousand for consultants to study if tax breaks ultimately benefit the city that grants them. Do they produce jobs, enhance property values and provide other economic benefits? The Show-Me Institute says similar studies in other cities indicate they do not. Show-Me's Patrick Tuohey, writing on the think-tank's website, asks "Will the study assess results or promote successes?" In other words, will the facts come out regardless of what they show? How can this type of study be reliable? If the results suggest that tax breaks don't promote improvement, do you seriously think that will stop the city from granting them? Aren't tax breaks for business now a fact of life? Former Mayor Charles Wheeler, Jr., once described these tools as "The price you pay to play in the big leagues." Is he right? What would happen economically in Kansas City, Missouri, if it stopped granting these tax breaks? Would neighboring communities follow suit?
Ruckus offers viewpoints on top stories from four different panelists each week. The Ruckettes, who are public newsmakers and officials, provide a diversity of opinion through debate and discussion on issues affecting the Kansas City metro. Moderator Mike Shanin leads this ensemble of conservatives and liberals who provide lively round table talks about issues that face our community today.
Watch Ruckus Thursdays at 7 p.m. Join the conversation at @KCPT by using #RuckusKC and KCPT.
Mike Shanin’s been hosting Ruckus since the program’s debut in 1995 and in recent years, has also served as Managing Editor. A veteran Kansas City radio broadcaster, Shanin has worked as a talk show host, political analyst, news anchor and in management. Since leaving radio in early 2012, he’s done freelance pubic speaking and commercial radio and television projects. A graduate of both Northwest Missouri State University and Park University, Shanin’s academic emphasis was on Political Science, Social Science, and Public Administration. He served in the U.S. Army as a Broadcast and Information Specialist between1968 and 1970, stationed initially at Ft. McPherson, GA., and later with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. @MikeShanin
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