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Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004

Reasonable rise

March 6, 2004

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To the editor:

Democracy is only possible with an educated populace. I thank Jim Morris for his letter reminding us of this and providing evidence that Kansas is failing in this obligation.

Mr. Morris calls public education a "bottomless pit, screaming for another billion." He fails to acknowledge that school funding hasn't kept pace with inflation for over a decade. If it had, schools would already be receiving a billion more annually. Also ignored is the fact that schools are asked to do more with less as unfunded mandates arrive -- political posturing disguised as compassion for children.

Mr. Morris writes of "bearing the brunt" of taxes on sales, property and income. I'm no mathematician, but I know the additional property tax would cost me $130 per year tops -- half the amount of credit card interest the average American pays without qualm. The 5 percent surcharge on income tax would cost me around $30 -- a fast-food meal for the family. A 0.2 percent sales tax increase next year would cost 20 cents on every $100 -- not even enough to work a gumball machine. Blaming these negligible taxes for Kansas not attracting industry is ridiculous rationalizing of irrational greed. In the long term, industry avoids ignorance and can't be bought with gumball money.

Mr. Morris hopes legislators have the "backbone to say no" to taxes. I hope legislators remember who taught them to read. Perhaps then they will have enough backbone to think about the future of Kansas rather than the future of the next election.

David Reber,

Lawrence

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