Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on Federal Reserve, GOP questions, bad ideas, Obamacare

Why are interest rates so low?

The Eagle reported that the city of Wichita is paying down its debts by refinancing at historically low rates and reducing what it would otherwise be obliged to pay in interest (Jan. 26 Local & State). Just how those rates got so darned low wasn’t exactly explained – but who cares? Just think of it as the work of some financial Robin Hood, and hope that however he does it, he keeps the relief coming, right?

Well, Wichita’s unexpected interest expense savings comes from somewhere – pension fund interest income, which has been devastated. Once upon a time, Wichita and other debtors (including Washington, D.C.) had to go hat in hand to middle-class savers and pension funds to borrow. Those people charged interest on their hard-earned money, which made it hard to borrow enough to buy everything “needed.” No more. Borrowing rates are so low because the Federal Reserve doesn’t have to save any money before it can lend it; it just prints it.

In effect, Wichita (like America) is merely consuming its own future. It is shifting future pensions to present debt payments. It is robbing Peter Pension to pay Paul Present. So someday when Peter Pension goes flat broke, remember that Paul Present had a great time running up and paying down his debts.

This illusion of self-consumption portrayed as financial responsibility is courtesy of your local Wall Street and Federal Reserve banks.



Simple questions

A few simple questions to ponder:

How can anyone who calls himself Christian give more credence to one verse (Leviticus 18:22) in a biblical book of codes or laws written by and for the Levite priests, and having little or no application to the common people, than to the verses in Chapter 8 and Chapter 25 of the book of Matthew, in which Jesus Christ tells us not to judge and to attend to the needs of others? It should also be noted that all or nearly all of the hundreds of other Levite laws are ignored. It would seem that if one is to be obeyed, then all should be. Also, it is noted that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. If it was really that important, would he not have had at least something to say about it?

How can any Christian be so concerned with praying in public (in schools or other public places) when, again, Jesus Christ very specifically told us (Matthew 6) that when we pray, we should go into our home, into the closet, shut the door and pray in private?

Why are conservatives so concerned with the four deaths in Benghazi, tragic as they were, when they show absolutely no concern with the more than 60 deaths that occurred in American embassies, consulates and compounds during the George W. Bush administration, or the few hundred during the Reagan administration?



Bad-ideas gap

I read that the Legislature is considering attaching itself to a “health care compact,” an absurd exercise in crypto-nullification where Kansas will opt out of the letter of the Affordable Care Act while retaining all its monetary benefits (Jan. 31 Local & State). This bad idea originated in Texas.

Meanwhile, the main cause championed by our congressman is the Keystone XL pipeline. The oil will flow right through the state, and the benefits to Kansans who are not oil tycoons will be insignificant while the state itself faces significant environmental hazards. This bad idea originated in Canada.

Is this what we’ve come to? I remember when Kansas used to be a major producer of bad ideas, like teaching young-earth creationism in public schools. Now, we’re merely outsourcing. We need to step up and close the gap.



Too soon to tell

“Don’t forget” (Jan. 30 Letters to the Editor) may have overlooked some important information. A prime example is a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study that revealed a steady rise in health insurance premiums for at least the past 15 years. This trend began long before Barack Obama was elected president.

One must also take into consideration that most of the Affordable Care Act was not scheduled to go into effect until 2014, so not enough time has passed to determine what effect it has had or will have on premiums. It is much too soon to say that premiums won’t go down, and it is certainly too soon to say that President Obama lied about premiums going down. Whether he is wrong remains to be seen. Some of us remember that there was originally considerable controversy regarding Medicare.

Regarding the suggestion that Obama “explained his falling popularity by insinuating there’s still racism in America”: The tone of Obama’s actual statement is quite different from what the letter writer implied. Obama said: “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president. Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president.”

One wonders if the letter writer repeated something a detractor said rather than having read the actual article.