Vote them out
House Speaker Paul Ryan often reminds us that Social Security is about to run out of money. Why is this? Americans have contributed more than enough to fund current payouts.
The money is not there because members of Congress, including Democrats and Republicans, have chosen to use the money for other purposes. Ryan and others try to mask the robbery by calling Social Security payouts “entitlements,” as if they were an unearned gift. The truth is these payouts reflect contributions made by citizens. A bank operating like this would be prosecuted for fraud.
Our recourse is to elect new members to the U.S. Congress. Turn out the incumbents, dare I say, and work for term limits.
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Dwight Oxley, Wichita
Sunshine in contributing
The unexpected just continues to happen in our nation. Who would have thought only five years ago that this day would ever come?
The newest of these, a day after our president sides with our country’s longtime nemesis, our Treasury Department head, Steven Mnuchin, announces the removal of the requirement for non-profit organizations to report the names and addresses of donors who contribute non-deductible amounts of more than $5,000 to nonprofits (such as the NRA, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, Chamber of Commerce organizations).
Most are the non-profits that drive our political elections by the uber wealthy. We have now learned that there were even contributions from foreign oligarchs and outsiders that helped to put their political choices into the current offices. These are the same government offices that are helping to bring our country to the edge of our democracy downfall.
Outsiders should have no say as to who should be elected. There are even those who say that “illegal immigrants” have voted or swayed the elections. Shouldn’t those same people be worried about the foreigners and oligarchs who put money into the political coffers to sway the election?
Have we lost our minds to continue to allow this?
Tricia Glidewell, Wichita
Perspective on the present
As a Republican, I dislike the current Populism of protectionism, trade wars and anti-immigration sentiment. Populism is an old man’s movement. Progress and science are advancing slowly, funeral by funeral.
We seemed to be threatened day to day by news of racism, inequality, terrorism, and social unrest, but the media and citizens need to put events into historical context and realize how much better we all are. Much work is left to do.
Democracy is a delicate balance. Citizens have a lot to lose when charismatic leaders create a “crisis,” then trample over democratic norms and institutions and command their country (or state) by the force of their personality.
Hoyt Hillman, Wichita
Playing race for support
President Trump recently made public statements that Maxine Waters, Don Lemon and LeBron James are not intelligent. Targeting the intelligence of three prominent black people plays into racist views held by a portion of Trump’s base.
Shoring up support among racists is a plus for Trump — a true windfall, really, because racially-prejudiced votes count just like others.
A vast majority in the U.S. agrees that racial discrimination and prejudice is bad. We are not as united in agreeing on how bad it is. The “not so bad anymore” camp argues that U.S. race relations have progressed to the point that all that is needed now is color-blindness. Under a color-blind standard, all Trump needs to do is point to any non-racial reason for his statements, and then he gets a pass.
But others feel and know that we still have huge issues of racial injustice and prejudice that need to be remedied. That being the case, politicians like Trump cannot get a pass when they pander to the racist attitudes of some voters.
Like it or not, Trump and his tactics are defining who we are as Americans. It’s not about him. It’s about us. I say no.
Kenneth Jack, Goddard