Letters to the editor on Social Security, driver’s license office, rational debates, faulty question, dialysis cut
08/21/2013 5:31 PM
08/21/2013 5:31 PM
Social Security is not free money
I am a 72-year-old senior citizen whose only income is a small Social Security check. I have a hard time trying to meet expenses and pay for medications. I raised a family of seven children, three grandchildren. I also paid income tax and Social Security taxes.
Seniors worked hard to make a living. The salary we received through our blood, sweat and tears provided for our families. Believe me – Social Security is not free money; we earned it.
One more thing for younger people to remember: Where you are I once was, and where I am today you will be. Please have compassion for us and remember us when you take those wonderful vacations. Most seniors cannot even afford to go out to dinner.
Fix license problem
I knew when I wrote a letter about going to another county to get my driver’s license that someone would start charging extra fees to do that (“Open more offices,” July 14 Letters to the Editor). I also heard that the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles is planning to open an office in Derby.
I think that if the small towns in other counties can get you in and out in a few minutes, someone should take a look at how they do it and try to replicate it in Wichita. Our office is larger and has more employees and still can’t get the job done. Maybe the state should open more than one new office in another part of the county. Employees might need some additional training to learn to do the job more quickly.
With the number of people in Sedgwick County, the state really needs to correct the problem or not allow the other counties to charge extra money.
I received an end-of-session newsletter from my representative in the Kansas House, Rep. Mark Hutton, R-Wichita. I was delighted that he included a survey, until I read the questions.
After claiming that Kansas spends on average more that $12,000 per K-12 student, he asked: “What portion of spending should be spent in the classroom on instruction?”
The base state aid is $3,838 per pupil. What else is Hutton counting? Is he including federal dollars for special-needs students? Is he working with the numbers from Gov. Sam Brownback that have been debunked?
In addition, he asked the average non-budget-reading public to sort out the amount to spend in the “classroom.” Don’t we all want the entire education budget to be spent for student learning? Most of us have no idea how the costs are split among salaries, building maintenance and repair, utilities and classroom supplies (which teachers often have to buy themselves). He also seems to think that all the instruction is within the classroom only, disregarding the recess and physical ed equipment, the music and arts supplies, and library books and equipment.
And does he really think that schools don’t need a boss, as businesses do?
Climate change is a critically important issue that should be debated in a rational manner.
Each side of the controversy could select representatives to include major aspects of their side and present their arguments and counterarguments in a panel discussion – calm, deliberate discussion instead of street protests and slick propaganda. An independent instant fact-check panel could examine each assertion and decide its merits based on actual, verifiable data. It seems a reasonable alternative to demagoguery.
This could also be utilized in the abortion controversy. A panel including both sides could debate – calmly, factually – when the fetus acquires rights that supersede its mother’s, and when the government should become involved.
Neither of those two rational discussions will ever take place, of course, because the profit motive and religious sanctimony are involved, and those two implacable forces are not concerned with justice, morality or rational debate.
Don’t cut dialysis
This letter is on behalf of my father and many others who would be affected by a proposal to cut by 9.4 percent Medicare’s benefit reimbursement for dialysis services. Such a cut could take my father away from his family. He and others need dialysis to keep them alive.
I think the government could find other areas to cut, such as salaries. Lawmakers and federal officials should put themselves in my shoes. They should imagine if it were their father or grandfather.
REBECCA L. BLAINE-JOHNSON
On July 2, my Boy Scout troop sat in on a Wichita City Council meeting. While in the meeting, we heard about the widening of Kellogg and many other issues concerning the city.
Boy Scout Troop 515 and I would like to thank the City Council for allowing us to sit in on and participate in a meeting. I would also like to say that I look forward to seeing progress being made on Kellogg in the future.