Letters to the editor on Praeger, homework, wind tax credit, tea party

10/07/2013 12:00 AM

10/04/2013 5:38 PM

Kansas blessed to have Praeger

In these difficult times, we should not forget to count our blessings.

We in Kansas are miraculously blessed to have Sandy Praeger as our insurance commissioner. She is a Republican who has stood up to the vast army of self-proclaimed Republicans who want to deprive Kansans of the opportunity to have health care if they do not already have it. Denied the funding offered by the federal government, she and her staff figured out a way to inform and educate us and create an exchange for our state.

Another blessing that rises to our attention at this time is that, in a nation full of self-proclaimed Christians who think other people’s health care opportunities are none of their business, the world has been given a pope who says that compassion is the most important Christian value. Praeger has put compassion into practice.

DOROTHY K. BILLINGS

Wichita

Read research

If Colvin Elementary School fourth-graders work double shifts (do their homework) for 100 days, one of their teachers will dye her hair orange (Sept 26 Eagle).

Has anybody at Colvin read the research on homework and rewards? Has anyone at Colvin read Alfie Kohn’s “Punished by Rewards” or “The Truth About Homework,” books that present powerful evidence against homework and rewards? (Check out his website, alfiekohn.org, for many articles on these topics.)

Policymakers and teachers are free to disagree with the research, but for the sake of these fourth-graders, they are not free to ignore it.

Colvin educators, do your homework before you make children do theirs.

STEPHEN KRASHEN

Los Angeles

Let PTC expire

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, has been a vocal opponent of the wind production tax credit, and his efforts should be applauded.

The congressman rightly recognizes the problems with providing government favors for wind energy. Recently, the American Energy Alliance, along with more than 20 free-market groups, explained to Congress that the wind PTC is an inefficient tax policy that increases energy prices, threatens power-grid reliability and wastes taxpayer dollars. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the 2012 extension of the PTC for just one year will cost taxpayers a staggering $12 billion.

The wind PTC has achieved its goal of getting the wind industry on its feet. Since the PTC was created almost 20 years ago, wind power has grown tremendously, expanding tenfold in the past 10 years alone. After decades of government handouts, the wind industry should be able to stand on its own.

Kansans should stand with Pompeo against wasteful taxpayer-funded subsidies. It’s time to let the wind PTC expire.

TOM PYLE

President

American Energy Alliance

Washington, D.C.

Held hostage

The nation’s well-being is held hostage by about 50 intransigent tea-drinking lawmakers, about 10 percent of both houses of Congress. They continue to insist they represent the vast majority of Americans on the issue of the Affordable Care Act – this despite the fact that Obamacare was passed by both houses of Congress, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and most likely cost the Republican Party the presidential election.

President Obama and the Democrats are not refusing to negotiate. All they’re saying to these renegades is: “Let’s get the government running again. Then we can discuss the ACA.” In fact, when the Senate sent the continuing resolution bill back to the House, stripped of the defunding provision, that bill contained the dollar figure the Republicans demanded. That was a compromise, but the teapots can’t afford to admit it.

This is clearly not about the ACA anymore. It’s about beating the president at any cost, regardless of the best interests of the nation. This has been their pattern since Obama was elected, and will be their pattern until their home districts finally wake up and vote them out of office.

J.T. (ZAK) MANUSZAK

Wichita

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