Daily Archives: May 22, 2013

Congratulations to McConnell on its tanker win

Wichita got a great, well-timed boost with today’s news that McConnell Air Force Base will be the main active-duty operating base for the KC-46A tankers, emerging the winner in the 54-base field. McConnell also was in the running to become a formal training base for the new tankers, a job won by Altus, Okla. But McConnell got what it wanted most with the Air Force’s decision, meaning it can expect to receive 36 new tankers in 2016 and the jobs and economic benefits of hosting them. That’s the perfect role for McConnell, which is currently the world’s largest tanker base, with 62 KC-135s, and the home of the Air Force’s 22nd Air Refueling Wing and the Air Force Reserves’ 931st Air Refueling Group. So even though Boeing Wichita won’t help build the tankers after all, due to Boeing’s decision to leave town by the end of this year, many of those planes will end up calling Wichita home. As Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, said in a statement: “We’re thrilled that McConnell AFB has been recognized as an indispensable part of America’s defenses and excited about the opportunities this creates for the rest of Kansas.” Congratulations and thanks to all who fought for and won this exciting new role for McConnell and Wichita.

Better news on the federal deficit

The federal budget deficit is expected to drop to $642 billion this year, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday. That’s still too high, but it’s the lowest level since the economic crisis hit in 2008, the Washington Post reported. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the deficit will fall below 3 percent of the overall economy by 2015 but will rise again by the end of the decade as more baby boomers retire.

Kansas cities among worst-performing

Economically, Lawrence is the second-worst-performing small-metropolitan area in the nation, according to a new study. But other Kansas communities didn’t do that well, either. Of 179 small metro areas studied by the Milken Institute, Lawrence ranked 178th for creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Topeka came in 144th – better but not good. Among 200 large cities studied, Wichita was 146th while Kansas City was 104th. The ranking emphasized high-tech jobs, which is one reason why Kansas didn’t rank higher.