Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on tax cut, radical agenda, Bryant Elementary, city buses, fear, beef month

Tax experience was tried, and it failed

What is wrong with Kansas? The Legislature.

Gov. Sam Brownback and those Republicans who follow him passed a tax cut that could throw the state into a more than $2 billion deficit. Not to worry, they say. Growth will keep us out of the red budget ink.

Really? Brownback is using the same economist who advised President Reagan and whose philosophy guided President George W. Bush’s massive tax breaks, which resulted in massive federal deficits. Now the governor wants to try the same experiment in Kansas.

Hey, it’s already been tried and we know what happened: massive failure.

How about taxing people their fair share to pay our state bills? Figure out what Kansans need, tax for that amount of money and pay the bills. It shouldn’t be that hard to do.



Radical agenda

To those unhappy with the radical and destructive agenda of Gov. Sam Brownback: What did you expect? This is the agenda of the new radicalized Republicans.

If you don’t like the draconian cuts to education, services for the disabled, the arts, Medicaid, etc., vote for a Democrat or a moderate Republican.

Our state did just fine under the direction of Democrat Kathleen Sebelius. Brownback’s tax cuts could put our state more than $2 billion in debt within five years.

We need to vote him out of office before he completely destroys our state.



Goodbye, Bryant

The community was invited Saturday to John B. Bryant Elementary School to say “goodbye.” Closing the school meant more than packing boxes, sending teachers to new schools and taking down the flag in the parking lot. Former students came to remember field days, science experiments gone awry and favorite teachers who brought the world into the classroom. Parents came to thank teachers for helping them prepare their children for life beyond the innocent days of pre-K through sixth grade. Former teachers came to assure the current educators that they would still have an impact on children – just in a different place.

It was a time to remember, a time to laugh and a time to say “thank you.”

John Bryant’s picture was moved from the front hall to the wonderful collection of memorabilia displayed in the gym. Stuffed animals sent out to travel the world had returned to sit beside albums full of pictures of children on other continents. Class pictures brought smiles and memories of childhood friends.

Bryant’s portrait may go into storage, but his school equipped the community’s young people with a quality education. As a former Bryant teacher, I would like to thank parents, students and staff for making Wichita a better place to live and work.



Use fines for buses

A funding source to help close the city bus system’s $500,000 budget gap seems simple to me: fines for those guilty of driving under the influence.

These are some of the folks who, after losing driving privileges, desperately need transportation to keep jobs, get their lives back on track and be productive citizens.

I grew up in Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound area. You could get anywhere on the bus system – even Seattle to Tacoma and other major cities in the area.

If paying DUI fines is paying a debt to society, the money also could be used to help folks be part of a productive society, if they can get to work.



Reason over fear

Fear is a good thing, most of the time. It keeps us from many dangerous encounters. However, fear, like other emotions, must be subject to reason.

Unfortunately, we humans too often have allowed differences of size, color, shape and language to exacerbate our fears. Our biggest mistake is to assume other human beings should be like us. And we become frightened if some of them are not like us – sometimes unreasonably frightened.

One example in history has been how frightened humans with white skin have been about humans with colored skin. And this has made humans with colored skin fearful of people with white skin.

More recently, heterosexual humans also have been confronted by the fact that not all humans are heterosexual.

The first reaction often has been fear: “It might be contagious.” “It could destroy religion and civilization.” “It’s a shameful corruption of what humans are supposed to be.”

Actually, differences are normal. No part of any human is exactly like that of another human. Neither are human actions nor thoughts exactly alike. Sexual orientation is the same.

Fear needs the supervision of reason, especially when it comes to human differences and relationships. Every person is unique and unrepeatable, and of value and worth.



Grill some beef

Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed May as Beef Month in Kansas. Beef is the largest agricultural commodity in the state of Kansas.

Did you know that Kansas ranked third nationally with 6.1 million cattle on ranches and in feed yards as of Jan. 1, 2012, according to Kansas Agricultural Statistics? That is more than twice the state’s human population.

In honor of Beef Month, fill your grill with healthy foods, including lean beef.