Letters to the editor on Social Security, citizen oppression, Kansas Democrats, student loans

08/10/2013 12:00 AM

08/09/2013 6:12 PM

Survivor benefits are just wrong

The Social Security survivors benefit needs to be changed. Say a person pays $50 every two weeks for 40 years into Social Security. That’s $52,000, not including interest. If this person dies before retirement age and has no children or spouse, the parents will get a one-time $255 survivors benefit. Not only is this discriminatory toward single people, it’s just wrong.

I’ve heard people describe Social Security as the greatest pyramid scheme ever invented, and they’re right.

RUSSELL SHONK

Wichita

Citizen oppression?

I have to have a current photo ID to drive a car and must produce it if asked by a police officer. When I open a bank account, cash a check or even withdraw certain amounts of my own money from my own bank account, I have to provide a photo ID. When I go to the hospital, I have to provide a photo ID. When I go to a pharmacy to pick up meds the doctor prescribed for me, I have to provide a photo ID. If I’m picking up Allegra-D, I have to show a photo ID and sign for the medication, and the records are forwarded to law enforcement authorities.

For any and all of these normal, everyday activities, we’re required to produce a photo ID, and we’re given absolutely no choice in the matter.

Yet somehow when it comes to requiring a photo ID in order to vote in elections – including those in which I’m voting on who will be the president of the United States of America, arguably the most powerful man in the free world – it then and only then becomes an infringement on my rights as an American citizen?

That makes no demonstrable sense.

If it’s considered “voter suppression” to require a photo ID to vote, then it should be considered “citizen oppression” to require a photo ID in any less-important area of public concern.

KEVIN HENDERSON

Halstead

Take a stand

Have the state Democratic leaders introduced any legislation that has gained significant statewide attention with voters? In my opinion, that failure is the party’s problem.

The Republican Chamber of Commerce Religion Right Party clearly identifies itself. For what does the Kansas Democratic Party stand? It should take a clear stand in support of organized labor and separation between religion and government, as Founding Father James Madison wanted. It should be introducing legislation to increase the state minimum wage to a living wage, and it should move to eliminate legislative chaplains.

Of course, neither proposal would pass the Republican-controlled Legislature, and that is my point. Until voters clearly see the difference between the two party organizations, they obviously will continue to vote for Republican candidates who do not hesitate to emphasize pro-religion and anti-union positions. The Kansas Democratic Party needs to take a stand for something, and these two propositions are where I would start. A winning political party needs to stand for clearly stated basic principles in contrast to those of its opposition.

GENE GARMAN

Pittsburg

Where’s outrage?

In 2012, the Obama administration was outraged by the profit made by the Exxon Mobil oil company. It threatened to penalize “big oil.” Based on federal accounting rules, the Obama government is projected to make $51 billion on the student loan program in 2013. This is more than Exxon’s profit. Why aren’t Republicans in Congress outraged? Why aren’t students upset? Most students I know voted for Obama.

STEPHEN L. GUGLETA

Bel Aire

Generous store

The Kansas Authors Club, a 109-year-old statewide organization for Kansas writers, held its recent board meeting at Natural Grocers, 1715 N. Rock Road. This was our first meeting at Natural Grocers.

The board members came to Wichita from across Kansas, and we were impressed with the friendly attitude of the employees. The variety, quality and reasonable prices of our luncheon deli choices also were impressive.

It was generous of the store to let our board members use the “break room.” In fact, the manager on duty, Michelle Adams, made our board feel comfortable in every way possible.

Thank you, Wichita, for having Natural Grocers within your city limits.

CAROL YOHO

Topeka

Thankful for aid

While I was visiting my mom on her birthday on July 30, we went for a morning walk. We got as far as 20th and Porter when Mom fell, opening quite a gash in her head. As I applied pressure, a gentleman stopped and kept my mom calm. After I called 911, more people stopped. One woman left a brown towel; others offered assistance.

We are so thankful. We took cookies to the firefighters down the street. But we wanted to also thank the emergency medical technicians, who were great, and the woman doctor who sewed up my mom “as if she were my own mother.”

Thank you, Wichita.

TOM COFFEY

York, Maine

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