Letters to the Editor

Letters on sales tax, inept leaders, lessons from history, Obamacare, expanding Medicaid

Taxing consumers is wrong answer

Talk about killing a fire by pouring gasoline on it.

Our beloved governor and his flunkies reduced taxes for certain business owners so they could create jobs. But they took the money and ran. So to make up the deficit, the governor wants to punish the only people who can create jobs – consumers with disposable income.

Our economy is driven by consumers. Sales tax is the most unfair tax of all. We already pay more sales tax than any surrounding state.

If we raise sales tax, the workers will have less disposable income. The Koch brothers will hardly notice. The business owners will wallow in their “ill-gotten” gains.

The answer to this problem is so simple a third-grader could fix it. How come our “overtime” legislators won’t do it? To quote comedian Henny Youngman: “Doc, it hurts when I do this.” Doc says: “Don’t do that.”

Yet if they do try to fix it, the emperor will veto it (June 1 Eagle).

“Veto” is a political word. So is “impeach.”



Study in ineptitude

News flash: Not all Republicans are bad.

But the ones currently in control in Topeka are a study in ineptitude. They were all efficiency getting the good state of Kansas into financial difficulty, passing the income tax reduction package for business. Now they can’t fix the problem.

Due to their inability to come up with a solution in both houses of the Legislature, which they control (with help of our Republican governor), they are close to adding another $1 million to the more than $400 million shortage in revenue – and might have to furlough state workers. And who wants to take responsibility for voting them in?



Lessons from history

During the rationing and food shortages of World War II, children were told to finish the food on their plates and to remember the starving Armenians. Unfortunately, they did not know who or what an Armenian was. We should be grateful that PBS put out an hourlong documentary on the 100-year anniversary of the massacre of the Armenian people by the Young Turks in the Ottoman Empire. It skillfully presented this horror in detail.

About 1.5 million Armenian residents of what is now Turkey were murdered simply because they were Christian. At the same time, another million non-Armenian Christians were also eliminated from adjacent parts of the Ottoman Empire for the same reason. Christians were once a large percentage of the population of what is now Turkey and Syria, and, sadly, they are largely just memories. Therefore, we conclude that what the Islamic State is up to is not new but a continuation of an established practice.

Another film in theaters, “Woman in Gold,” deals with the Nazi Holocaust and trying to recover stolen art. These two presentations remind us of how widespread and current this bloody practice of ethnic elimination is.



Overreached facts

I believe that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer significantly overreached the facts in his attempt to give President Obama’s health care plan all the blame for turning physicians into mere “providers” and flooding them with rivers of paperwork that result in hours of extra time and the possibility of reduced care (“Physicians spend too much time on data entry,” May 30 Opinion). I believe that this phenomenon actually began with the coming of a behemoth called “managed care” that was set up by health insurance companies to reduce costs several decades ago.

Along with increased paperwork came “managers,” sometimes with limited experience, who decided what the particular physician was allowed to do according to the patient’s policy. The results created a major adjustment within the field of health care. Most of those who could not adapt had already left the field before the government lent a hand in the process.

“Obamacare” simply stepped into a system already essentially set up by the insurance companies, and added some benefits to those who most needed them. Obama did not invent it.

I would appreciate it if Krauthammer, and others of his belief system, would depend more on facts rather than feelings and impressions.



Government math

As Gov. Sam Brownback continues to be criticized for opting Kansas out of expanded Medicaid, it continues to become apparent that it has in fact been a wise move.

In Illinois, one of the “blue” states that opted to expand Medicaid, the numbers are in, and the government math isn’t adding up.

For example, a three-hospital group in southern Illinois was able to save $9 million in unpaid bills through Medicaid expansion. But the hospitals provided about $28 million in care for Medicaid patients. After they were reimbursed for those services, the $9 million “savings” resulted in a net loss of $5 million.



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Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.