Letters to the Editor

Letters on revenue shortfall, Obama not in Paris, rebranding district, legalizing pot, cable TV

Revenue decline not cause of shortfall

Regarding the article about how Kansas took in $16.4 million less in tax revenue during the first six months of this fiscal year than the previous year (Jan. 8 Local & State): That number seems to stand in stark contrast to the hundreds of millions of dollars in budgetary shortfall blamed, in large part, on the Brownback administration’s income tax cuts.

The year-to-year tax revenue drop is less than 5 percent of some of the budgetary shortfall numbers that have been trumpeted all over the country for many months by individuals and entities that would prefer to automatically raise taxes than to even consider living within a budget.

The most amazing aspects of this are that free-spending politicians continue, endlessly, to claim that the tax cuts are almost exclusively responsible for the anticipated budgetary shortfalls; the media generally continue to uncritically report those claims (with some rare exceptions, as illustrated by The Eagle article); and there is a virtual absence of any significant and documented pushback from supporters of lower taxes and tighter budgets.



Error of ways

Years ago, I had a job with an international banking software company. We sold a top-notch product, created by some of the subtlest, most experienced minds I have ever worked with. But I was beguiled into going to work instead for one of our earlier customers, who had balked at the high price of upgrades and opted to buy the source code and go it alone.

My boss laughed, but I thought, “How brave, how forward-thinking, how efficient.”

Two years later, when I left that place, I had seen the error of our ways. We simply didn’t have the intellectual heft to keep up with the experts, and fell further behind the industry with each release.

I am reminded of this story as I listen to our Legislature gear up for the budget debate. Our representatives are courageous and mean well, but they, like the bank I jumped to, have abandoned state-of-the-art ideas in favor of older and lesser, albeit cheaper, ones. And I’m afraid the outcome may be the same.



Hollow words

When world leaders, some sworn enemies, answered the call to stand united against terrorism in Paris and stood arm in arm, there was one glaring absentee – the president of the United States.

President Obama has many times told world leaders that he will stand with them. He promises support for those who need support. Sadly, by his absence, he has shown the world that his words ring hollow.

His absence was not only an embarrassment shared by most citizens of this great country, but an insult to those leaders in attendance. What reason can he possibly have for not being arm in arm with those in Paris? What must our allies think now?

The president of the United States does not represent the values of the American people.



Rebrand district?

I’m frantically searching for my eyeballs. They both flew out of my skull when I read the article concerning USD 259 looking for a way to rebrand itself (Jan. 12 Local & State).

What is it going to brand? The principal of the marketing company likely to get the work is using charter schools and private schools as some of the reasons USD 259 is looking to bolster its image.

There is absolutely nothing it can do in that regard. Any challenge to the quality of education in the Wichita public school system has little to do with the ability or dedication of the teachers in its employ. It might have something to do with the curriculum that is taught, and it might have more to do with what our public schools have become: the largest day-care centers in town. Will that be represented in an attractive four-color tri-fold brochure?

I guess USD 259 can spend our dollars in any fashion it chooses; however, I did find it curious to read about it on the same day the board was to cast its vote to spend $44,000. Seriously?



Legalize pot

Regarding “Don’t legalize pot” (Jan. 10 Letters to the Editor): Is the writer willing to make alcohol and cigarettes illegal? They cause more deaths than pot does. If pot is against the law, then alcohol and cigarettes should be against the law.

I have been around people who smoke pot, and they are not violent. The same cannot be said for people who drink and get drunk.

If pot is made legal, the only place you would be able to smoke it is in your house. If you get caught driving under the influence of pot, then you suffer the same penalties as if you were drunk. If you go to jail, you go to jail, pure and simple.

I would not jail anyone caught with an ounce or less of pot. If you steal money to buy the pot, then you go to jail for theft.

By the way, a lot of Republicans think this way, not only liberals.



Get an antenna

We don’t allow terrorists to dictate what we watch on TV and movies, so why is it OK for a cable company?

Local news on KAKE, Channel 10, is important, but some people were denied the right to view it last week. Get a converter box and a TV antenna ($10). The picture is clearer than cable and it’s free.



Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.