Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on Estes, tariffs, bicycling and priorities (June 8, 2019)

Billions

Rep. Ron Estes explained his vote against the recently passed disaster relief bill by saying that it was bloated with “19 billion unbudgeted dollars that will be tacked onto our national debt.” But he also said it should have had money for the president’s border plans. So, apparently, 25 billion unbudgeted dollars that will be tacked onto our national debt is fine to build a wall, but 6 billion dollars less for farmers and homeowners who were hard hit by the recent spate of disasters is just too darn much.

Richard Vogt, Newton

Tariffs

Tariffs are NOT a tax on the foreign power, like China; they are a tax effectively paid by American companies and, when they raise their prices, on consumers. The president’s statement about a $16 billion bailout to farmers, that the money “all comes from China,” was patently false.

Yes, tariffs may cause marginal difficulty for the adversary nation because it will sell fewer goods to the United States. But tariffs on China are most damaging for Americans – to markets for our soybeans and other grains, and higher prices for us at the store or online. One example: most of the shoes we buy in this country are made in China.

With rare exceptions, tariffs are bad business. They primarily damage the citizens of the country imposing them. China presently purchases more of our federal debt than any other nation. We could be brought to our financial knees if the Chinese ceased such purchases.

China is here to stay on the world scene. When in conflict, imposing tariffs is a truly hazardous policy choice. And now, the United States may impose tariffs on Mexico. The impact of such tariffs on the American economy could be disastrous.

David A. Nichols, Winfield

Surprising problem

Walking and bicycling in the area has one surprising problem. Drivers of cars want to be helpful so they slow down as I’m waiting for them to pass so I can cross the street. They think they’re helping, but in reality it’s dangerous! They don’t always see the car coming from behind that may not be ready to stop. I’m counting on them passing at normal speed so I can cross in the gap. They slow, ruin the gap and so I turn back and wait for the next time. It happens a lot. Please don’t be a “Bad Samaritan” by trying to help, just go! I will cross when it’s safe for me to cross, it doesn’t involve you.

Jack Murphy, Wichita

Grandstanding?

These two stories were among those on page 2A of the May 16 Eagle: “Man gets probation after pleading guilty in fatal DUI crash” and “Kansas bans lower sex crime penalties based on underage aggressors.” This is a revealing set of priorities!

Might I ask Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Legislature: What if the charges on the same minors in the reduced-sentence case had been accused of especially heinous murders instead of getting paid for sex?

Is it not suspicious that minors can form all the necessary intent to commit cold-blooded murder, but can’t possibly ever engage in prostitution before reaching the magical age of 18? You think maybe this legislation was a bit of family values political grandstanding?

So now the legislative branch not only can keep a judge off of the Court of Appeals for exercising his First Amendment right not to like President Trump –and heaven forbid use curse words – they now can also interfere in judges’ ability to lessen sentences when they see good cause for doing so.

Interesting balance of powers between the Kansas Legislature and the Kansas judiciary I’d say!

John Williamson, Wichita

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