Letters to the Editor

Letters on state’s fiscal mess, gun laws, cottonseed, Liberty Bowl, lost money

Governor, cronies are responsible for mess

Kansas is experiencing hard times. Our economic recovery is one of the slowest in the country, and roads, schools, mental health care and social services are deteriorating. Moreover, our state coffers are bare.

The governor and his cronies in the Legislature are responsible for this lamentable mess. Their income tax breaks for the wealthy have failed, and it’s time they admitted it. A Spanish proverb ends with “only a fool never changes his mind.”

We’ve had enough of budget cuts and shuffling money hither and thither. It’s time to reinstitute the income tax on limited liability corporation and other business income, as well as restore the tax deduction for medical expenses. That little bone toss last session as a gesture to raising income taxes is pathetic and immoral. It will be devastating to the handicapped, the sick and the elderly, who spend much of their income on medical expenses. How just is it that these people will pay income tax and some of the wealthiest among us won’t?

Give us a fair income tax and restore state services.

Allison Lemons, Wichita

Better enforcement

I keep hearing how allegedly ironic it is that President Obama wants to deprive people of guns even though he’s protected by the heavily armed Secret Service. Never mind that Secret Service agents go through extensive background checks and mental health evaluations, and must complete strenuous competency exams before they’re handed a service weapon – the fact is that Secret Service agents are a necessity in part because of how easily an unstable person can gain access to a gun in this country.

The National Rifle Association has been demanding enforcement of current laws (rather than passage of new ones) for years, and Obama has just given it exactly that: better enforcement of existing laws. The NRA now can’t stomach that because it means unstable people won’t be able to spend money on guns.

A clear majority of the country favors better enforcement of background checks. About the only people opposed to background checks are the NRA board members – and they are, quite literally, selling something.

Casey Barnaby, Wichita

Designate cottonseed

Cotton farmers are in dire need of economic assistance in Kansas. If cotton production leaves our state and local communities, the infrastructure of cotton gins, warehouses and associated businesses will go with it, and history tells us it will not return. The loss of cotton production means fewer workers have jobs; local businesses suffer with reduced sales of fuel, tires, fertilizer, seed and other inputs; and transportation companies must scale back because of reduced volume.

The 2014 farm bill gives the secretary of agriculture the authority to designate “other oilseed” that can be included in commodity programs. The cotton industry has asked that Secretary Tom Vilsack place that designation on cottonseed. Cottonseed is a valuable product generating significant revenue by farmers.

I urge Vilsack to answer the call of 100 members of Congress, 19 senators and numerous national agriculture and lending associations, as well 376 lenders from across the country who have all written to him in support of this proposal, and to designate cottonseed as an “other oilseed.” Farmers are optimistic people, and I am optimistic that the secretary will use his authority to help stabilize our industry.

Kent L. Goyen, Pratt

President, Kansas Cotton Association

Bowl irrelevant

The letter from the executive director of the Liberty Bowl stated that Kansas State University’s football team and fans “demonstrated great class and enthusiasm” (“K-State showed class,” Jan. 7 Letters to the Editor).

Did Kansas State leave its marching band at home?

Will there be a front-page article explaining how much money was siphoned off from the Kansas economy as tens of thousands of fans followed their 6-6 team to a bowl game that was less relevant than the nutritional information label on a box of Twinkies?

Could the entire letter have been replaced with the tweet “Thx 4 the $”?

Steve W. Cartwright, Derby

Return the money

In November our Knights of Columbus council at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church did a fundraiser to help feed the homeless. We raised $250.

When our grand knight and I were at lunch, he gave me a sealed envelope with my name on it containing $250 cash. I was to take the money to Spangles’ corporate office and purchase $10 meal cards to give to homeless individuals.

When I went out to my car, I unknowingly dropped the envelope. I was parked one stall over from the front door of the restaurant. As I was driving, I noticed I did not have the envelope, so I went back to the restaurant 10 minutes later. No one had turned in the envelope.

The person who took the envelope is on the security video. Shame on you! Please return the money to the manager of Schlotzsky’s at Central and Tyler. Is there such a thing as honesty or integrity anymore?

Jim Benck, Wichita

Letters to the Editor

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