False choices on the Kansas budget
In recent days Republican voices have continued to say that Kansas has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Despite anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist’s often-quoted desire to reduce government “to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” we have discovered (painfully in Kansas) that government does indeed matter.
Kansas does not have a “spending” problem. Where else do we cut to maintain the tax cuts for the well-off?
It is quite clear that the governor and the Legislature have focused on crushing public education. I grew up in a small town in western Kansas; I greatly fear what happens to rural Kansas if the drive to destroy public education succeeds. Many rural communities are inextricably tied up in their public schools. What happens to these communities when public schools are “drowned”?
Kansans value their public safety, public health and public education. Despite the extreme right’s dogmatic belief in tax cuts and smaller governments, we have discovered that government is important.
The Republican Party in Kansas has forced a false choice. The GOP is now forcing us to accept an inadequate and dangerous level of public services. There are services that only the government can provide.
Dalvin Yager, Derby
New York Times columnist David Brooks, on behalf of the Republican establishment, whined recently: “If not Trump, what?” He then concluded, in feigned sincerity, that “the job for the rest of us is to figure out the right response” to the widespread angst into which Donald Trump on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side have so deeply tapped.
However, these political pundits (and the conspiring establishments they salivatingly serve) deserve our derision, not our attention. They have arrogantly spouted unprincipled platitudes for decades with self-proclaimed divinity as they serially disobeyed the foundational truths and cast off the historical restraints on and by which the socioeconomic structures of the American republic once rested and consisted. Now that they have rent and ruined the fabric of society with their shameful experiments in “enlightened” policies, they would have us believe they are suddenly repentant pilgrims – but they are perpetual deceivers and should never be trusted again.
The American people have listened to these siren destroyers for far too long. If Trump and Sanders are the people’s first decisive steps away from the established demagogues, that is very good, even though it is obviously very dangerous. Only time will tell if the people retain the faith, humility, wisdom and courage to find their way to nonpartisan leaders who have never departed from the public principles and private practices that unify a nation and sustain “greatness” – first morally and then economically.
Bob Love, Wichita
To all of you who are so disturbed by the restroom issue: You’re objecting to a myth.
The danger here isn’t from people who identify as transgender. In fact, you may already have shared a restroom with the very folks whom you’re vilifying. If you Google “sexual assault in public restrooms,” you’ll discover that you’re ignoring the very real and present danger that actually exists.
The persons who are the threat to your little girls are pedophiles. Being lesbian, gay or transgender doesn’t mean you’re sexually attracted to children any more than it does for a straight male or female. The solution? It’s one that parents who are concerned for their children’s safety have already recognized: Never let your children, girls or boys, enter a public restroom alone.
Judy Crenshaw, Wichita
True price of energy
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., voted recently to restore $15 million for wind energy research to a House energy and water development bill (April 27 Eagle). Sen. Pat Roberts was opposed. The bill as it stands provides $95 million for wind, $632 million for fossil fuel and $1 billion for nuclear.
Clearly when it comes to winning subsidies, wind falls short. Legislators favoring carbon-based fuel spin the idea that if wind were economical, it could compete without government help. Well, what does that say about fossil fuel? It has been receiving billions in subsidies for decades.
Lopsided subsidies and favored treatment reveal the intent to pick winners and losers. A better solution is carbon fee and dividend legislation that cuts greenhouse gas emissions and corrects the artificially low price of fossil fuel created by tax dollars rigging the system against clean energy. Let markets reveal the true price of energy, and it will be the consumer who chooses the winner.
Darrel Hart, Wichita
I usually appreciate reading columnist Cal Thomas. I even find agreement sometimes. This time he puzzled me (“Do God and politics mix?” May 1 Opinion).
I had always thought Thomas’ comments were just exactly what he meant. In the column he mentioned Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, being openly Christian. Later, he listed a number of statements attributed to Jesus that I had always supposed to be guidelines, even marching orders for Christians. I was confused. I had listened to Cruz on TV. The ideas did not seem to match.
Now I realize Thomas is capable of a twist of irony, even sarcasm.
Hooray for Cal Thomas.
Milton H. Larsen, Wichita
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