Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on water rates, debt crisis, Brownback, obesity

City water rates should be same

Was anyone else shocked at the contrast between two front-page articles in the Sunday Eagle — the history article about Kansans’ struggle for equality and the expose about the pro posed increase in our water rates? The latter story had no essence of equality in it.

Wichita City Manager Robert Layton explained that the Water Utilities Advisory Committee “wasn’t meant to be representative of all the customer base.” No, indeed; it is dominated by business interests. And those interests could not countenance a plan aimed at equalizing water rates between residential and commercial customers.

The rates should be the same for all customers. Anything else negates the struggle for equality laid out so well in the article on equality in Kansas.

COLLEEN KELLY JOHNSTON Wichita

Need certainty

Small businesses and entrepreneurs who hire the most employees face many uncertainties. How much will health insurance cost as Obamacare is implemented? What will electricity cost when Environmental Protection Agency regulations shut down or require expensive retrofits to generating plants that burn coal? What will income-tax rates be at the end of this year, and in 2013 when the Bush-era tax cuts expire? What federal government programs will be cut, and by how much? Will domestic energy production, including Gulf oil drilling, be impeded or encouraged? Can an expanding company with a union workforce build its next plant in a right-to-work state? How will the unsustainable costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid be addressed? With all these uncertainties, it is not surprising that many businesses are frozen, sitting on cash, and refusing to hire. Our political leaders should focus on resolving these uncertainties. Increased employment will follow.

DON HILL Wichita

Join boycott

The United States has managed to avert a debt crisis and yet suffered a ratings downgrade, and there remains a stain on our reputation — a scarlet “A” for budgetary “abuse” that will not disappear.

The whole world was watching, and what it saw was a dysfunctional government taking its country to the financial precipice and backing off at the last moment. As David Stockman, former Reagan budget director, said: “Shades of a Banana Republic.”

Now comes Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is urging business leaders to join him in a boycott of Washington, D.C. Schultz is asking business to forgo political contributions until Congress and the president deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people. He’s right in saying the lack of cooperation and the irresponsi bility among elected officials have put partisan agendas before the people’s agenda.

The people are fed up with Washington politicians. My tiny company, Gaston Marketing, will join in the boycott. How about your company? How about you as an individual? Let’s stop supporting dysfunction.

BARRY GASTON Wichita

Undue influence

The political stances that our governor has taken have become of even greater concern to me of late. His specific views on public education and the arts are frightening. He continues to profess the small-government talking points of the political far right, but in the same breath he is unilaterally destroying programs that the majority of the public supports.

Sam Brownback has made the governor’s office a religious pulpit from which he claims validity for his positions. But the Founding Fathers worked hard to publicly state and support that there should not be unnecessary ties between church and state.

Decisions by the government should be for the best interest of the constituents and should not have undue influence by religious associations. Just as churches do not want political positions interfering with their messages, the government should not sanction religions either. The slippery slope of claiming that churches should have influence in politics, specifically Christian churches, puts personal religious ideologies above the interest of all in that state or nation.

The Great Plains chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is having Rob Boston come to Wichita on Sept. 16 to speak about this topic. I, for one, will attend to hear what he has to share.

MICHAEL ALLDAFFER Wichita

Obese police?

A recent Opinion Line comment said: “People who are obese drive up health care costs and use more resources like gasoline and food. They cause more wear and tear on appliances and furnishings because of their excessive weight.”

So round ’em up. Weigh every potentially obese person — man, woman or child. Grab these people off the street; we shouldn’t have to look at them. Don’t let them in our homes. After all, who wants sagging furniture after a visit from one of them? As for appliances: Be careful. They fill those pots so full of food that the stove will break down, and the refrigerator doors will break because of so much opening and shutting. And gasoline? Surely, because they are so heavy, they use more of the gas we thin and normal people need. An outrage.

What shall we do with all those butterballs of humanity? We need obese police. Officers can be appointed by the government.

SANDRA CLAYTON Wellington

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