Balancing budget at expense of others
The choices for the optional budget cuts by Gov. Sam Brownback confirm that he and his Republican cohorts are determined to balance the budget at the expense of low-income, disabled and middle-class Kansans (“Brownback’s $62.6 million in budget cuts announced,” July 31 Eagle).
Why do Brownback and his cronies continue to cut funding for education, highways, science and research, health care for the poor, elderly and disabled, along with social amenities for the benefit of all Kansans? The answer, of course, is to allow 330,000 business owners to pay no state income tax. If you are poor or middle class, you just got the biggest tax increase in our history while the richest are still enjoying the biggest tax decrease in our history.
Kansas is on a fast track to be the worst state, with the worst governing body in the nation. The Republicans will not govern for all the people of Kansas, and the Democrats sit whimpering in the corner like scared children. Who or what business would want to relocate to Kansas?
With the giant tax increase on low-income or middle-class consumers, who will be left to support business?
There should be two ways of collecting tax and spending it. The first would be for the real responsibilities that the state should legally be spending tax on, such as infrastructure and defense. The second would be for the bleeding-heart-liberal charity moocher programs. Whatever you “owe” in taxes, you can split between the two – each decides how much – then let’s see where the funding ends up.
Taxes being spent the right way should then be a required follow-up with no social shenanigans and moocher programs. No more excuses about potholes and falling bridges, and no new pet projects until that’s taken care of. Furthermore, the second type of funds can’t be personally counted as a charitable deduction. I predict no more mooching funds would follow.
Keep water utility
There is a lot of talk these days that government should be run like a business, but it cannot, because the two serve different purposes.
The Wichita water department has the obligation to provide safe, clean water to the citizens. If a business owned the water department, its obligation would be to make money for the investors. If I were investing in the water company, I would want to earn some money, so that is logical.
A local example of this difference is Westar Energy, which is making money for investors, and that is why our rates keep going up.
Our City Council feels trapped when thinking of the future because of the tax vote last November. However, I believe there are better ways to present the problem to voters and better ways of solving the problem than selling our water and our future to big business.
Power of acquittal
Kyler Carricker’s trial ended July 30, and there has not been anything in The Eagle regarding the significance of the jury’s acquittal on the felony murder count (“Man found not guilty of murder in marijuana deal,” July 31 Eagle). As the same jury found him guilty of the underlying felony, this is a clear example of jury nullification.
Jury nullification is when a jury disregards the law and acquits the defendant. This may be because the jurors do not feel the law is just (think Northerners and federal fugitive slave laws before 1861) or when they feel justice requires that the law not be applied on the facts of the case before them.
The jury has this power of acquittal, even though our judges and prosecutors do not like it and so do everything they can to keep this knowledge secret. However, jury nullification is one of our most precious rights, as it allows the people to protect each other from bad laws and unjust government without resorting to violence.
Sept. 5 is Jury Rights Day in honor of the brave jurors imprisoned after their acquittal of William Penn in London in 1670. Penn (who later founded the Pennsylvania Colony) was on trial for holding an illegal Quaker church service in the street after being locked out of his church. The jurors were finally exonerated and freed, and this power was firmly established in English and American law.
For more information on this important subject, visit the website of the Fully Informed Jury Association at FIJA.org.
STEVEN A. ROSILE
Libertarians of South Central Kansas
Chester left out
There was no mention of the actor Dennis Weaver in the article “Surviving ‘Gunsmoke’ cast to reunite in Dodge City” (Aug. 14 Eagle).
Weaver played Chester Goode for years, and you rarely saw Matt Dillon without Chester at his side. He was not in the picture shown with the article. He died in 2006. I thought he should have been mentioned.
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