Governor’s rhetoric is not reality
We sent e-mails to Gov. Sam Brownback urging him not to sign the tax-cut bill. We received an e-mail from the governor calling this a “pro-growth tax law which will leave $2 billion in Kansans’ pockets to save, spend and invest.”
We do not agree. The tax cut will cause substantial growth, but it will be in property taxes. With the reduction in income tax and the rollback of sales tax, property tax will be the only source available to replace the lost revenue.
“There is no better guide to tough decision-making than the views and concerns of my fellow Kansans,” Brownback also wrote. Yet we have been unable to find even one newspaper editorial that supports this decision. And the vote in the House was 64-59, which means many Republicans opposed it.
“But let me be clear,” Brownback wrote, “my administration will meet the needs of our schools, and our most vulnerable, and our roads will get built.” Huh? They voted to replace $58 per pupil in funding to public education, which did not come close to replacing the $600 million that has been cut since 2008.
If Brownback’s plan leads to the deficit predicted and the jobs don’t come, public education continues to suffer, and property taxes skyrocket, what will Brownback do?
Don’t close ranch
It is appalling that the Sedgwick County Commission is considering closing Judge Riddel Boys Ranch (June 3 Eagle). I implore citizens to contact members of the commission and attempt everything possible to save this facility.
The ranch has been a model program for 51 years, and I believe the young men who need help turning their lives around should be embraced by our communities and provided every chance to become successful, law-abiding citizens. If we don’t invest in these youths by supporting them with educational opportunities and programs like the Boys Ranch, we will lose many of them to lives of crime. I don’t believe we can afford to abandon any proven program that gives troubled youths a way to rescue their lives.
Do with less?
Now that another round of debate over school funding is upon us, many will argue that schools would be just fine with much less. I agree. But there are a few things that have to happen to make that work.
For example, kids would have to be prepared for school when they get there. Parents would have to become much more involved with teaching their children the basics of reading and writing even before they start school. Parents would have to reinforce good study habits by setting positive examples for their children. That might require that parents put down their phones and TV remotes and pick up the occasional book.
Kids also would have to be well-fed and have stable homes to go back to after school. Employers therefore would need to pay parents a living wage so they could afford food and decent housing.
Last, kids would need a culture that supports learning instead of promoting anti-intellectualism and ridiculing intelligence. Our presidential candidates would have to stop calling people “snobs” for their college aspirations.
Sure, schools can be cheap. But not while they’re doing the jobs of parents and employers while simultaneously fighting a culture of stupidity.
More and more often I hear elected officials state they are avoiding tough decisions because certain pressing problems are controversial, and they do not want to offend the electorate and lose votes in the next election. This is more evidence of how far our local, county, state and federal governments have strayed from their purpose for existing.
For these representatives, congressmen, commissioners, etc., to state their top priority is being re-elected shows how arrogant they are – and how complacent so much of the electorate is, as most of these politicians do indeed get re-elected.
ARDEN D. PETERS
The Koch brothers should be pleased they got what they paid for, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election. This was just an opening volley in the vendetta of corporate America doing away with unions.
Because it’s been harder to hire cheap labor out of Mexico, corporations have come after unions with big money. It will happen state by state, until unions are a thing of the past and the workingman (middle class) has no place to raise money to do anything.
Corporate America would do anything to get labor back to minimum wages. And Republicans fought increases in the minimum wage for years, so you know whose side they’re on.
Wake up, workingman, before it’s too late and you’re making minimum wages with no sick time, vacations, 401(k), retirement and possibly no Social Security or Medicare to fall back on.
After reading in the newspaper and seeing the TV news reports on the experiences of others in dealing with renewing a driver’s license, I was dreading the experience. I arrived at the Twin Lakes Shopping Center office at 6:50 a.m. and got in line behind the 50-60 people who had gotten there earlier. The first person in line said he had arrived at 4 a.m.
The staff opened the doors promptly at 7, and I found the efficiency and speed of the process to be very impressive. The 10 stations called people regularly, and I was back home (eight miles away) by 7:55 a.m. Many people were smiling as they completed their renewal, and no one will hear any complaints from me on the subject.
Great job, and thanks to the Division of Vehicles staffers.