Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on government pay, Hawker bonuses, health care law, Obama and jobs, paycheck fairness

Government should change pay system

There is a deep divide between businesses and government agencies over the amount of regulation in our daily lives. The fault lies with how we pay our government managers.

For example, when we created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we hired people and told them to make the workplace safer. They created all sorts of rules and regulations. When they finished, they still had jobs, and they still were told to make us safer. So they thought up more rules and regulations and hired more people to carry them out. Can’t blame them; it’s what they’re paid to do.

This process was repeated over and over until OSHA became gigantic, and it has no incentive to reduce its size.

Maybe we should change the compensation system and pay people to get more efficient. Pay them to look for ways to reduce their department while not putting safety at risk.

If we are ever going to solve this country’s spending issues, it has to start with changing the mindset of the people who are being paid to grow it. And the easiest way to do that is through the compensation system.



Block bonuses

Hawker Beechcraft executives want millions of dollars in bonuses? Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t these the people guiding the company as it went from profitability to bankruptcy? Weren’t these the decision makers through all the turmoil and layoffs?

How can anyone seriously consider rewarding them for doing such a lousy job of managing a company? Isn’t it usual when employees fail to perform at the level required that they are fired, not rewarded?

It’s no wonder American industry is in such dire straits and foreign companies are becoming the largest suppliers of what traditionally were American goods and products. When a board of directors decides to turn a blind eye to ineffective management and instead offers more money to bad managers to stay on and run the company further into debt or defeat, it says something very terrible about American corporations and the boards that head them.

I would ask Hawker to consider how much more stable the company would be if it invested those millions of dollars in correcting what’s wrong, instead of investing in what is obviously bad upper management.



GOP fallacies

In case you missed it, let me fill you in on something that happened last month. You remember the health care bill that President Obama and the Democrats passed and signed into law. The Republicans came unglued. They named it Obamacare, even though it was far from what the president had wanted. And they said it was unconstitutional, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was not.

Republicans also claimed the law would raise the deficit. But last month the Congressional Budget Office reported that the Affordable Care Act would lower the projected federal deficit over the next decade. That’s not all. It also reported that the Republican legislation to repeal it would increase the deficit by $109 billion. The CBO is a nonpartisan group that reads the bills (unlike most members of Congress) and scores them, actually breaking down what they will and will not do.



Wrong focus

Can President Obama be believed? He said that jobs were the first thing he thought about after waking up and the last thing he thought about before going to bed. So why are more than 13 million people out of work? Why do initial jobless claims keep increasing? Why hasn’t his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness met since January?

Meanwhile, Obama has had more than 100 campaign fundraisers. Air Force One is creating a mighty big carbon footprint.

Obama thinks only about keeping his job.


Bel Aire

Against fair pay

Lilly Ledbetter, who worked 20 years alongside men doing the same job, was preparing to retire when someone slipped her a note telling her she had not been fairly paid. The award from a jury was $3.8 million.

But Ledbetter didn’t get a penny of this money because the law said she should have filed her discrimination suit within 180 days of her first paycheck. Not only did she lose the pay, but it reduced her Social Security and pension.

To correct present discriminatory practices, the Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced. But our Kansas senators, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, voted against this bill to create gender equity in the workplace.

In June the Senate voted 52-47, which is the majority in favor of this bill. However, without a 60-vote majority, the GOP was able to filibuster the bill.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: “This is a commonsense measure with broad public support. Nine out of 10 Americans – including 81 percent of men and 77 percent of Republicans – support this legislation. But once again, the only Republicans who are left opposing a commonsense measure to improve our economy and help middle-class families are the ones here in Washington.”