Letters on oil delegation, Keystone pipeline, Ex-Im Bank, city sales tax, race perceptions

08/26/2014 7:06 PM

08/27/2014 12:06 AM

Look out for the interest of citizens

Thanks, Wichita Eagle, for ruining my breakfast.

I opened the newspaper last week and it said in inch-high letters, “Kan. GOP lawmakers vow to look out for oil interests” (Aug. 19 Eagle). And Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., seemed proud of this.

Silly me, I thought we “hired” them to look out for the citizens.

Roberts said we could become energy independent with a few little changes, such as opening more federal lands for drilling and reforming the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts to make them more friendly to the oil business. Do they have no grandchildren? Don’t they care what they leave behind for future generations? Don’t we already have a problem with clean water?

Roberts said: “You can rest assured we’ll be fighting for your interests.” These are drill-happy oilmen’s interests, not my interests.

It’s time our members of Congress started catering to the voters’ interests if they would like to keep their jobs. I know what they’ve done for the oil companies. What have they done for me?

JACK OTTO

Wichita

‘No’ to pipeline

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, says that the House has passed many bills to provide jobs that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., won’t bring to a vote. These are ideas such as building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would go right over our Ogallala Aquifer, or bills with the last sentence of “repeal Obamacare.”

Spills or leaks in the pipeline could permanently ruin the water in the aquifer, which people in Kansas and Nebraska depend on for drinking water and for irrigation. Also, this pipeline would provide few permanent jobs. We would be taking all the risk, and big oil and Canada would take all the profits.

No, thanks. Let Canada take the risk for its own filthy tar sands oil. This oil would not benefit the American people, as it would be exported.

If Pompeo really wants to provide jobs for Americans, how about passing the American Jobs Act that President Obama presented to the House in 2011, which would repair our crumbling infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water treatment plants and electrical grids?

SANDY LOVE

Maize

Let bank expire

“Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank” (Aug. 20 Eagle Editorial) downplayed legitimate concerns of conservatives in Kansas and across the country while overstating the importance of the bank to U.S. exports.

All taxpayers are on the hook for risky Ex-Im Bank deals – totaling $140 billion in potential risk that businesses should be taking on themselves.

Proponents of the bank are forgetting that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn’t cost taxpayers anything, until they did. Kansans shouldn’t have to subsidize or take risk for big businesses like Boeing. That’s not philosophical; it’s a real concern.

Between 2007 and 2014, only 1 percent of Kansas exports were backed by Ex-Im, according to Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center.

For every Kansas firm receiving subsidies, many more are competing on the merits of their services and products. They are disadvantaged vis-a-vis domestic and foreign firms getting backing from Ex-Im.

A look at the real numbers and real risks the bank poses to taxpayers demonstrates why this corporate welfare slush fund needs to go. Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers in the economy, nor should it operate a program lining the pockets of the rich at the expense of taxpayers.

Congress needs to let the bank expire this fall.

JOSEPH WADE MILLER

Regional coordinator

Heritage Action for America

Dallas

Poorly spent

As a Kansan and a resident of Wichita, I pay high taxes. I also have to deal with crumbling infrastructure on a daily basis, such as roads, bridges, water systems, sewer systems, flood-control systems, schools, bus system, public library system, bike paths, public parks, zoo, museums and dangerous on- and off-ramps.

Perhaps there is a silver lining to the latest proposal for a city sales-tax increase; it has shown me just how poorly the tax money I already pay has been spent.

LONNIE LONG

Wichita

Race perceptions

As a young white woman, I have hesitated many times when the subject of racial inequality has come up. With the tragedies that occurred in Ferguson, Mo., and the excellent article in the Sunday Eagle (“Community leaders: much to learn from Ferguson,” Aug. 24 Eagle), I feel obliged to speak up.

I can remember reading the 1945 book “Black Boy” by Richard Wright and thinking how not much had changed. There is this vicious cycle perpetrated by both races, resulting in a lack of progress. Our history with each other is a tragic and convoluted one. Fortunately, there have been cases where people of both races put their perceptions aside and met with open eyes.

I have felt intimidated by people of color, fearing they won’t accept me. I have heard openly expressed feelings of hatred and mistrust from both white people and black people.

My small effort to change the way I’m perceived is to smile at people no matter what color they are. I want them to know I’m a person, just as they are. I want them to smile back at me. Is that too much to ask of everyone?

MICHELLE PRESNELL

Valley Center

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