Ban fireworks or make them legal
The Wichita ordinance regarding fireworks is a complete joke. All over town on the night of July Fourth there were fireworks being shot off that clearly violated the law.
There is no way the police and fire departments can possibly enforce the ordinance and tend to other duties at the same time. It’s time to either make virtually all fireworks legal or simply outlaw fireworks inside the city limits.
Ban gives freedom
The second anniversary of the Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act was July 1. We should all take a moment to not only recognize the significant health benefits that this law provides us, but also the freedom it has given the residents of our great state. This freedom comes from being able to venture to and work in any public place without the worry of exposure to dangerous secondhand smoke.
With our nation having celebrated its independence this past week, it is time to thank our decision makers who provided this protection for all residents, and to ask them to remain steadfast in their efforts to support and uphold this law without further compromise. Our nation was built upon a foundation of equal protection for all. Laws that restrict smoking in public places are instrumental in providing that protection from preventable health hazards.
Kansas was the 28th state to adopt a clean indoor air law for its residents. By doing so, we joined the majority of the nation in making strides toward improving the quality of life for all.
Tobacco Free Wichita
Not real solutions
Our congressional representatives from Kansas are good at shouting “repeal, replace” regarding the health care law. But when you ask them about their plan, the typical response is: “Next question, please.” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, at least had the courage to offer some insight into what the replacement plan should be, however naive and uninformed it may be (July 1 Opinion).
Pompeo said we should reform Medicaid. Well, I guess we will see how that goes in the state of Kansas. It is certainly going to be tough, as Medicaid doesn’t pay enough to cover providers’ costs now. There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act that prohibits Medicaid reform.
Pompeo also favors health savings accounts. But these are for the 1 percent and result in another tax break for the very wealthy. They are not practical for the vast majority of the poor and middle class.
Comprehensive medical-malpractice reform has been around for years and gone nowhere. It seems like no one is supportive of limiting financial compensation and punitive damages for the poor guy whose incompetent surgeon just paralyzed him for life.
The Affordable Care Act outlaws denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allows our college-age children to stay on our health plans, provides preventive-care mandates, and will cover millions more people with insurance.
If GOP lawmakers have better ideas, they need to put their legislative pen where there mouths are.
DAVID M. SHAW
Regarding “Repeal, replace health care law” (July 1 Opinion): Was the commentary by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, just a propaganda piece for the faithful, or did he want to communicate to all his constituents? There were certain words and phrases proper for one group but not the other.
Instead of calling it the Affordable Care Act, Pompeo called it “Obamacare” 10 times in his commentary. Instead of saying “President Obama,” he twice just said “the president.”
Pompeo needs to show some class and some respect for the office of the president. I don’t need Pompeo to like or agree with Obama, but I do expect him to show respect and maintain civil discourse. I also expect him to respect the diversity of his constituents.
If Pompeo wants us to listen to what he has to say, then code words and disrespect for the president are inappropriate.
End corporate tax
A letter writer said that “businesses should pay a certain amount of taxes” (“Pay fair share,” May 24 Letters to the Editor). Why?
Companies simply pass on their income-tax expenses to us, their customers, or else endanger their futures and the jobs of their employees. But it is worse than this. The substantial expenses incurred by companies in preparing and filing income-tax returns also must be included in the prices of their products. This means that we consumers pay extra without realizing any benefit in return.
So when we think we are sticking it to the companies, we actually are sticking it to ourselves.
The United States should completely eliminate its corporate income tax, which is the highest in the industrialized world. If we did so, our domestic corporations would no longer have cause to move business to other countries because of high income taxes, and foreign companies would have good incentive to move money and business to our shores. This could do wonders for our economy and even usher in a new era of prosperity.
DAVID J. GUDEMAN
Room for all
My afternoon was interrupted July 1 by a phone call with a 316 area code ID that turned out to be a political survey. The first few questions were simply an attempt to determine whether I am a conservative or moderate. That’s fair. Then the questions became leading and prejudicial.
I asked whom the caller represented. He answered, “the Kansas Republican Party.” I asked the caller’s location and he answered, “Virginia.” When I then asked why a Virginia Republican was calling on behalf of Kansas Senate candidate Gary Mason, the caller answered, “I have no idea.”
The questions being asked eventually could destroy the integrity of the Kansas Republican Party. I am tired of Kansas Republicans fighting among themselves. There should be room for all Republicans in the Kansas Republican Party.
Don’t bring Washington, D.C., polarizing politics into Kansas. We don’t need it. That’s not who we are.
When I vote in the Republican primary, I will vote for someone who is civil and respectful, and who treats me as an intelligent human being, not a statistic in a survey.
Source of benefit
I would respectfully request that any time a reference is made to a government program, such as government health care, the writer change the wording to “taxpayer-funded.” Such a simple change would correctly identify the source of the benefit.
The federal, state and local governments are not a machine for direct revenue generation; rather, they tax all forms of wealth and distribute it as empowered by the electorate.
By correctly identifying the source of funds, the general public and government officials can honestly describe the role of the government to collect and utilize tax monies for the common good. For example: taxpayer-funded health care, taxpayer-funded education, taxpayer-funded roads, taxpayer-funded airport expansion, taxpayer-funded modernization of the Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles.
When the word “taxpayer” is stated, a personal sense of ownership and duty can be felt.
Almost every individual pays some form of tax, such as sales taxes, fuel taxes, “sin” taxes, property taxes, vehicle taxes, state and federal income taxes, and payroll taxes. Whether people are rich or poor, their investment into the government is taxpayer funding. Become engaged and realize there is no such thing as “government-funded.”
GERALD D. FRASER