Vice President Mike Pence travels to Kansas City Wednesday. He's here to raise some campaign cash for U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas and to talk about the national tax cuts signed into law last year.
We'll listen closely for the words "debt" and "deficit." We won't hold our breath.
Beyond that, though, a visit by any vice president is welcome and encouraging. It's good for national leaders to escape the Beltway once in a while.
In this case, Vice President Pence should take a few notes:
After that, you'll travel across the Missouri River to get downtown. Will you use the Buck O'Neil bridge? It's under repair.
We want to build a new bridge to replace it, but it's expensive. Missouri has ducked its obligation to replace a bridge it owns, so we've agreed to provide some local funding.
It would be great, though, if the federal government could step in and pick up more of the cost. Talk with Rep. Sam Graves about this. Part of the bridge is in his Missouri district.
Be sure and note the tangled highway on the south part of the loop. Stakeholders are trying to figure out how to fix this mess, but as always, the biggest hurdle is price. Again, Washington could help.
You probably won't get a glimpse of the streetcar during your visit. That's a shame. Even The New York Times thinks it's great. Please don't hold that against us.
You see, we took you and President Donald Trump seriously when you talked about a national infrastructure program several months ago. As you know, "infrastructure week" is now a national joke.
But transportation remains a major issue for cities like ours, as well as the suburbs. Here, infrastructure isn't a joke.
We're doing our part. We're in the middle of a massive, expensive sewer upgrade. We're going to build a new airport terminal. We're rebuilding roads into Kansas. Like many local governments, we're not waiting for Washington.
But Washington could provide additional muscle for major infrastructure upgrades in the years to come. Think of the jobs, Mr. Vice President.
And don't bother trying to fool us with chatter about public-private partnerships and financing "innovation." Cities need real investment, not a prospectus.
The government could cut taxes for the rich again and watch roads and bridges crumble. We hope you'll decide after your visit here that there is a better way.
And we hope you'll come back. When you do, we can talk about affordable housing, health care, education, guns and other issues Kansas Citians care about.