Letters to the Editor

Listen, legislators

March 23, 2010


To the editor:

Kansas is currently faced with a budget deficit of historic proportions. Proposals to close the deficit are:

  1. Additional deep cuts to education;
  2. Raise state revenues;
  3. Gov. Parkinson’s proposal.

Gov. Parkinson’s proposal includes smaller cuts to state programs and increases in state revenues. It is well thought out and well researched.

This proposal currently does not have the support of the majority of state legislators. Why? Because they refuse to listen to their constituents! Because they refuse to listen to research and data that support the governor’s proposal! Because they express extreme distrust for public schools and make misstatements about district budgets.

Kansas is being hijacked by these legislators!

Many legislators claim they have not heard from their constituents who support raising revenues. This is not true! People across the state have contacted their legislators to support the governor’s proposal, Republican and Democrat, rich and poor, rural and urban.

So what can we do if our legislators refuse to listen? Go public!

My public statement is this. I want my legislators to:

  1. Support Gov. Parkinson’s budget proposal to raise state revenues;
  2. Support the sales tax increases proposed by the governor;
  3. Do not make deeper cuts to education or other vital state-funded programs including early childhood, mental health, support for elderly or support for the disabled.

Thank you to those legislators who are listening and researching the solutions!

Cammie Braden,



Glenda Susie Breese 8 years, 1 month ago

Well said,Cammie braden! I couldn`t agree more.

Brent Garner 8 years, 1 month ago

No more taxes! Live within your means! My budget can't afford to be cut anymore than the gov'ts, but no one will bail me out!

Paul R Getto 8 years, 1 month ago

Good points. If legislators had the guts, the best approach would be to repeal all tax breaks given to those who know how to game the system, start over with a wider base, lower everyone's rates, then start over. If, in the future, a group or individual is given the 'right' to avoid taxes, put a sunset clause in the law and require them to return in 5-10 years to reargue their position. Those who granted the tax breaks in the name of 'good biddness' would also be required to revisit their argument and prove the exception to paying taxes had the desired intent. We are reaching a tipping point, and taxes will probably be raised sometime in May. In the meantime, hang in there and write letters to your representatives.

cato_the_elder 8 years, 1 month ago

How fascinating to read a letter which posits the notion that legislators refuse to listen to their constituents. Having observed exactly that from most Congressional Democrats this previous weekend, the irony is palpable.

avoice 8 years, 1 month ago

I get the feeling that the constituents who want taxes raised either mistakenly think that those taxes will somehow, miraculously, only affect the "rich," or are somehow, for some reason, themselves not expecting to be directly affected by said tax increases. Cammie and others, if you want to provide more money to schools or some other entity and you have looked at your family budget and found that you have $XX available that you could comfortably pay in extra taxes, please do not hesitate. Go ahead and give that money to the entities you support. Maybe if you all put your money where your mouths are, through direct contributions, there will be no need to strap financially burdened Kansans for more taxes.

Ken Lassman 8 years, 1 month ago

Vertigo: Spam is useless crap that clogs the internet for personal gain.

Paulette provided cogent, relevant statistics that showed a shift in taxation patterns over the years. She also provided more cogent, relevant statistics about job losses and economic shifts, followed by relevant examples of our community responding to urgent needs.

You, in contrast provided some cutesy character assasination swipe.

The winner(loser) is clear: the spam-bot crown belongs to vertigo!

Now for the rest of us, we can try for some civil discussion? It's clear that taxation is both a burden and an asset as far as our collective ability to meet our needs. We would not have roads, sewers, drinkable water, electricity and a host of other things without taxes. We can each come up with an equally long list of things we wish we weren't paying for and consider a waste of our taxes. We can think of things that we'd love to fund but would bankrupt us if we did, and can think of other things that we cannot afford NOT to fund even if it does bankrupt us.

The "things" on your list are probably different than my list, and there very few folks who would agree on everything. So it comes down to transparency and the ability to get things on and off that tax roll. How in the heck we can do that is up to our collective efforts at electing officials and hiring workers who know that. Not any different than the private sector, by the way.

kansasmom 8 years, 1 month ago

I've told my local rep and senator - NO MORE TAXES! Live within your means!!!!

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 1 month ago

A nice letter but I have a couple of disagreements. Just because you want them to raise taxes doesn't mean that other people are telling them not to rasie taxes. I personally feel we need to totally revamp our education system here in Kansas. There are too many programs that get lumped in with education budget and the should be broken out seprately. The budget should be divided by Higher Education, K-12 Education, Preschool (High Risk Students), GED, and other programs.

Based on the SONS group fighting so hard to keep small schools open, I have a hard time telling my legilstaures to fund education more with out saying, to keep our small schools open.

independant1 8 years, 1 month ago

Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even. (Will Rogers)

KSManimal 8 years, 1 month ago

cato_the_elder (anonymous) says… "How fascinating to read a letter which posits the notion that legislators refuse to listen to their constituents. Having observed exactly that from most Congressional Democrats this previous weekend, the irony is palpable."

Just because the right-wing rhetoric say's people don't want health care reform doesn't make it so. The right-wing rhetoric also includes other lies about the health care bill: "government takeover", "tax-funded abortion", "death panels", "rationing of medical care", and a plethora of other lies.

The latest polls show most folks approve of the bill as passed. I'll assume, though, that the right-wing lie machine will keep right on running as usual.

Jimo 8 years, 1 month ago

"I've told my local rep and senator - no more taxes! Live within your means!!!!"

I wish I could place a bet at the casino that this speaker doesn't pay enough taxes to cover her own government welfare. Where else are you going to get odds that favorable?

Carol Braden 8 years, 1 month ago

I knew my letter would draw out all the negative newspaper blogger comments. As it is rather late, I feel compelled to post a few comments in reply to the personal accusations. I'll keep the numerical format to make it easier for most to read:

  1. I do live in Lawrence. I was born here. I have lived my entire life in Lawrence.
  2. My entire life is 50 years, so I am over 48.
  3. I do have a full-time job.
  4. Yes, the majority of my wages have been paid with public funds: Parks & Rec (Lawrence Municipal Pool at age 14 - 18 and many years as a fitness instructor), Kansas University (various jobs), Lawrence Public Schools, Keystone Learning Services.
  5. Non-public funded jobs: Alvamar Pool, Meadowbrooke, Allen Press, several fitness clubs, a local restaurant, my mother's clothing store.
  6. This is all I can remember. I have always worked and have had many jobs often working more than 40 hours a week. So, I've paid a lot of taxes.
  7. The state funded programs and services that may be cut are not my benefits. They are services for the Kansas people. I've chosen to live in a country that supports the citizens through taxation in order to provide: roads, military & war, police officers, ambulance, parks, dog catchers, recreation facilities, early childhood programs, postal services, higher education, help for disabled, help for elderly, help for poor, and much more - including sidewalks, which brings me to my final comment:
  8. I'm sure this post will elicit many more negative blogger comments. However, I'm pretty disappointed that my initial letter didn't generate as many comments as the whole shoveling sidewalk issue. Maybe taxes or education are not as controversial as shoveling snow? Maybe most people can agree that we need to support education by raising state revenues?

Go for it - have fun blogging. I'm going to bed.

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