Governor Jay Nixon—we are not making this up—bought a plane. The King Air 250 cost $5.6 million, seats up to ten passengers in addition to crew and has a range of 1,610 miles. Its manufacturer goes on to say that,
With a spacious, handcrafted interior, the King Air 250 is remarkably versatile and comfortable. New ergonomic yokes and a standard lighted chart holder increase crew comfort, while the square-oval cabin provides passengers with generous head and shoulder room. Elegant interior touches make the King Air 250 a serious business solution with outstanding amenities to match.
Sounds nice, but not everyone is impressed. The News-Tribune editorialized on the purchase thusly,
We appreciate the desire of the governor — or any governor — to remain close to constituents, but let’s be candid about much of this travel.
Many of the governor’s flights are self-serving, dog-and-pony show photo opportunities.
The chief executive is dunning his own departments to stave off spending from his own budget. It’s a pathetic practice and poor public policy.
State Democrats are also not pleased. We imagine one of them must be Sen. Claire McCaskill who sold her own "damn" plan at a loss for $1.9 million in 2011. We did some quick research and came up with the following table comparing the two planes.
| McCaskill Pilatus PC-12
|| Nixon King Air 250
| Cruise speed
|| 312.5 MPH
|| 356.8 MPH
|Range|| 1,753 miles
|| 1,610 miles
|Cost|| $1.9 million
|| $5.6 million
It looks like Nixon could have saved a few million dollars and gotten a comparable plane and even helped McCaskill break even. But don't worry, it's not like he was spending his own money—he was spending yours.
UPDATE: Missourinet reports that Sen. Brad Lager says of the purchase that,
some aircraft owner-friends of his have told him they “never would have even thought of buying a brand new aircraft right now because on the used market right now they’re paying 35 to 38 cents on the dollar.”
1/23/2013 5:08:25 PM
Answering individual aggression with government aggression will not lead us to the society we desire.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is wrong when it says that Kansas is going to fall of a fiscal cliff with its pro-growth tax reforms, and that Missouri will do the same if it follows the same path.
Randy Georges Sr. moved to the U.S. to obtain a good education; now, he may have to move across town so his kids can have the same opportunity. This is a sad state, especially when alternatives, such as giving families private school options, exist.
Missouri has at least two chances to win the Border War.
The state’s foundation formula for K-12 education is currently underfunded. Some are calling for more spending, but freedom, not money, is the answer to our problem.
Should Missouri and other states accept an offer of “free money” from Uncle Sam to expand the Medicaid program in their states? Instead of acting as enablers of fiscal profligacy, Missouri and other states should say “no.”
Conservatives ought to consider these items before ceding state power to the federal government.
Proposition B might have brought some much-needed funding for education, but voters turned down the measure. The “no” vote may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise if legislators act on the need to address school funding issues.
Letters regarding Jacob Turk's race for Congress.
Missouri and Kansas have maintained a steady rivalry for decades, but Kansas' latest tax reforms have changed the competitive landscape between the two states — decidedly in Kansas' favor.
The state board of education voted to grant provisional accreditation to the Saint Louis Public School District, which is the correct decision, but this distinction will mean very little to schools or students.
Subsidies to Ballpark Village and other big-city sports complexes are a gift to some of our wealthiest citizens — sports team owners — that provide little or no broader economic benefit.
Strong teachers’ unions in large public school districts with multiple failing schools will do everything possible to maintain their jobs and benefits. If it is to happen, major reform must come from outside the existing system — through increased competition and choice.
Taxpayer-funded lobbying for local government entities likely will not be banned so it is time to create transparency so citizens can see how their money is being spent.
Despite a final judgment in the school transfer case, the issue remains unresolved and neither taxpayers nor students will benefit.