Letters to the editor GOP lawmakers, Obama’s hypocrisy, CURB, power-plant rules, Derby sales tax, Paul Davis

09/29/2013 12:00 AM

09/27/2013 5:49 PM

GOP is acting like a little kid

I am an independent voter who thinks both parties have sold out to special interests. But I am particularly appalled by the Republican Party playing chicken with the president to the point of failure to govern. It is like a little boy threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue to have his way.

The most offensive area of obstruction is the way GOP lawmakers have behaved regarding the Affordable Care Act. Health care in the United States is far more costly and less effective than health care in any other “modern” nation. President Nixon tried to correct it. Hillary Clinton tried and failed because the “special interests” (GOP sponsors) fought it. The act that passed is inadequate, perhaps, but it is now the law.

If these lawmakers had spent one-tenth the amount of time and money they have spent denying the law, derailing the law and now defunding the law instead trying to improve the law, there might not have been so much paralysis in Congress.

Congress failed to rescind the ACA. The U.S. Supreme Court failed to rescind it. And now GOP lawmakers threaten to shut down the government so they can have their way. In my humble opinion, their actions smack of treason.

JACK OTTO

Wichita

Fix the product

When good businesses find they have a problem with one of their products, they fix it. They don’t throw away the product and abandon the customers. They focus on a fix that is good for the customer and the company.

Republican leaders need to think like good businesses. They work for the United States of America, and the Affordable Care Act is America’s product.

When I first started working, we could expect to work for a company most of our life. We didn’t have to worry about being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, because we kept the same insurance. But the times, economy and jobs have changed.

The average years that a good, reliable employee works for a company have been greatly reduced. More and more people are faced with finding a new job and a new insurance company that will accept a family member with a pre-existing condition.

Please don’t kill the ACA. Make changes, but don’t kill it.

Think how abandoned voters would vote next election.

JOHN COCHRAN

Pratt

Hypocritical trip

President Obama recently visited a Ford plant in Liberty, Mo., to tout his ability to save the auto industry by providing federal loans. The trip was about as hypocritical as anything he has done.

Ford’s CEO, Kansas native Alan Mulally, was chastised and criticized by Obama and Congress three years ago for his airplane and salary.

Self-made and successful, Mulally left the vice presidency at Boeing to lead Ford back to financial recovery. He brought Ford back with his engineering and product-development expertise – and without accepting one dime in federal loans.

Obama, who has never run a U.S. company, will take credit from anyone’s positive returns, but hasn’t performed one on his own in five years.

DONOVAN R. ENDORF

Wichita

Praise CURB

Every residential and small-business customer of Westar Energy should praise the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board for its meticulous examination of fact and its dogged determination to protect the interests of small ratepayers.

Westar is good at requesting rate increases several times a year, obfuscating facts as it moves numbers around in a continuous shell game. The latest request of Westar was to move costs to residential ratepayers so it could give a $50 million discount to large industries.

In a compromise worked out, small consumers will pay a much smaller portion of the increase requested, which only seems fair to most citizens (Sept. 24 Eagle). We should all thank CURB and its small staff for its continual support in doing the job it is supposed to do. We also should support The Eagle for its editorial support of CURB.

MARGARET J. MILLER

Wichita

Support EPA

Kansas Interfaith Power and Light and member congregations across the state stand in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for carbon pollution safeguards on new power plants.

We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to protect the health of all people, preserve creation, and leave a safe climate for future generations. The new EPA rules are an important first step in cutting carbon pollution and improving air quality nationwide. We aim to fulfill the call from God to be stewards of creation, and will be championing the EPA’s action in houses of worship across Kansas.

Power plants emit 40 percent of carbon pollution in the country, posing a major threat to creation and the welfare of humankind. Just as the EPA has enforced safeguards to protect our health from arsenic, mercury and lead, the EPA can and must protect our health and take action on dangerous carbon pollution.

A strong standard for carbon pollution from new power plants and an upcoming standard for existing power plants represent a historic effort to address the nation’s largest cause of global climate changing pollution.

Rabbi MOTI RIEBER

Director

Kansas Interfaith Power and Light

Lawrence

Back sales tax

On Oct. 8 the citizens of Derby will vote on the Derby Difference Sales Tax, a 0.5 percent retail sales tax that will replace the current 0.5 percent library sales tax. If this tax passes, the current tax will end on Dec. 31, 2014, and be replaced by the new tax the next day. There will be no tax increase; the tax rate will be the same as it is now.

The Derby Difference Sales Tax will run for 10 years and pay for development of the new Madison Avenue Central Park (a video of the proposed park can be viewed at derbyweb.com/salestax), construction of a much-needed tournament-quality baseball and softball complex, and development of an often-requested dog park. It will also fund the addition of critically needed emergency response personnel and equipment and ongoing library operations.

The tax will generate an estimated $2 million per year in revenue. Much of this revenue will come from nonresidents who visit Derby to shop, eat or play. Thus, the sales tax is a fair way to share the cost of city improvements among both residents and visitors who use our facilities but do not pay property taxes.

We encourage all citizens to vote “yes” on this issue.

GARY and COLENE READ

Derby

Davis’ values

My friends and I were elated to read that a woman of Jill Docking’s stature had publicly acknowledged her support of House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, in his run for governor (Sept. 22 WE Blog excerpts).

For too long, Gov. Sam Brownback seems to have backed the priorities of special-interest groups to the detriment of the needs of our Kansas families. It has been most frustrating to view his severe funding cuts for K-12 education, to see his administration cut food stamps for the working poor and unemployed, and to watch him solely select judges without attorney input. He also has been unwilling to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (refusing an estimated $3 billion in federal funding over seven years for Kansans’ health needs that could create 4,000 new Kansas jobs).

Davis, on the other hand, understands Kansans’ priorities to have “a moral obligation to educate our children, reward hard work, build a strong middle class and cooperate with one another.”

Kansans need to reflect prior to Election Day – when I hope the state will allow us to vote – whether we want ultraconservative Republicans to dictate how we should live, as Brownback has done, or want our state to follow the values of Davis and Docking.

DORIS WELLER

Wichita

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