Letters to the Editor

Not-so-great choices

August 13, 2010


To the editor:

It is very evident that the school board and the County Commission have little regard for thousands of residents in this area living on fixed incomes.

Look at the cost-of-living increases forced on these folks in the past year:

  1. Westar had a significant rate increase on electricity and is asking for more. They’ll get it.
  2. Black Hills Energy wants a rate increase and, of course, they’ll get it.
  3. State sales tax was increased by 1 percent.
  4. City of Lawrence added a “benefit district” sales tax of up to 2 percent.
  5. City of Lawrence has a planned trash rate increase.
  6. School board property tax increase is 2.076 mills.
  7. County Commission tax increase is 2.993 mills. (Remember, businesses will be forced to pass these additional taxes on to the consumer by charging more for their products so the price of food goes up!)

If you are on a fixed income, where will the additional money to cover these costs come from? The federal government chose not to increase Social Security, so they can’t go there. Dividend rates are next to nonexistent. The only choices you have as an elderly homeowner are to lower your standard of living or lose your home.

Great choices for Lawrence residents!


Steve Clark 7 years, 9 months ago

Uhhh Chuck, "fixed income?" Who isn't on a fixed income? Who can, by some magical power just boost their income whenever they want? And if they can, why are those options not available to you? You begin and end the letter with reference to "fixed incomes." Is there something important about identifying yourself as a member of a specific group that believes they have fewer options for income than others?

geoismeo 7 years, 9 months ago

Normal, If you're old or disabled and you can't work and depend on social security, you're on a 'fixed income'. Whats so hard about that?

Steve Clark 7 years, 9 months ago

OK, I get, can't work because you are disabled. Made the wrong assumption as most of the people I know who complain a lot and say they are on a "fixed income" seem as capable as any to work if they wanted. They usually are in actually talking about their own choice not to work versus a condition someone put them in.

kansasmutt 7 years, 9 months ago

A fixed income is just that. It stays at the same rate month after month. A person making a paycheck may have overtime, or can elect to get a 2nd or 3rd job. What the %ss hole leaders are doing will put old folks on the street, as well as lots of working folks. You think times are bad now, just wait untill the county , cities and schools get done with us this round. By this time next year, you will see bread lines and tent cities right here in Douglas County. People have no more money to dedicate to bills and taxes, we are bleed dry. Next is the loss of homes at a faster rate than now and job losses are about to burst like we havent seen in 100 years. This crew we have leading Kansas, Douglas County and the KCC is destroying our state and way of life. Allowing WestStar and other companies to raise rates 11% 15% and even 30% every year has put a burden on everyone that has destroyed any hope of ever having an extra dollar to save. If you have noticed, they told us all to use the new bulbs, buy energy compliance stoves and stuff. NOW we use less power, so they screw us by asking for 30% rate hikes. Boys and girls we just got F#$ked and slaped.Does it feel good ?

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Only items 6 and 7 on the list have anything to do with the school board or the county.

The KCC administers rate increases for utilities. The city is responsible for some of the rest. And the state of Kansas passed the sales tax increase.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

Inflation? Inflation pressures haven't been this low since the 1960s - 40 years ago. People are fearful of uncontrolled deflation and worry about how to keep prices - including wages - out of negative territory, and you're worried about something that doesn't exist?

One word: goblins!

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

An honest person would have admitted that they were wrong. A dishonest person doubles-down and starts babbling about "hyperinflation."

So, in short, some day, somewhere, some time, they'll be inflation. And then we can all say, damn you, Obama! And all for a theory that doesn't cite a single thing that Obama controls or even significantly influences.


Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks goodness Obama has cut everyone's taxes. Let's hope that Congress will allow him to extend tax cuts for the average Joe a little longer.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

The best measure of the tax burden is .... the tax burden. That doesn't just sound simple but has the virtue of being simple - and not easily subject to wishful, unverifiable speculation.

Future taxes will be collected from future income, a number that is unknowable and a tremendously elastic sum dependent heavily on small present day factors. And, to the extent that trends from the last thousand years continue, will be collected from a society significantly more wealthy and more able to pay.

Absent growth in the short-run, the long-run won't be manageable regardless.

No honest person would claim that taxes for virtually even American are lower now than they were two years ago.

1029 7 years, 9 months ago

One could offset some these cost-of-living increases by simply collecting cans from around the stadium after game days. You have to get up pretty early, though, because it can get competitive.

WhyYouSoStuben 7 years, 9 months ago

But be careful, you might get into a fight with those "Cans for the Community" opportunists.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 7 years, 9 months ago

The same thing can be said for our county commissioners 9% tax increase. Jim Flory excluded as he does not support it. We who live on fixed incomes are already going to be screwed by Obamacare, and God knows how many more of his wealth distributing schemes. How are we to pay all of this and a 9% tax increase too? We cut something out, and soon if this continues we will run out of things to cut out or do without. Thank you, Lynn

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Again, the increase from the county works out to about $4/month on a $150,000 house - if you add in the school's extra couple of mills, the total works out to about $7/month on that house.

If you own a $150,000 house and a $7 increase/month will break you, then I think you're living too close to the edge financially.

Not sure how you think that the new healthcare regulations will adversely affect you.

One of the current problems is that Social Security increases are based on inflation, so many people are not getting increases right now due to the economy. As the economy improves, the COLA adjustments should return, which will help offset increased costs.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

"The only choices you have as an elderly homeowner are to lower your standard of living or lose your home."

And yet living in poverty in modern day America is synonymous with being a child. 9.8% of the elderly live in poverty while 18.2% of minors do. Query: do child live on fixed incomes too? Gee, if they only had a mass voting block and a giant government program to send them a monthly check.

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