Letters to the Editor

Wrong course

April 25, 2011


To the editor:

I am appalled by the actions of the 2011 Kansas Legislature. A majority of those elected campaigned on the promise to create jobs and turn the state’s economy around, but the efforts of this Legislature do not create one single job. At a time when the Legislature should be working on finding ways to increase revenue, they are doing the opposite by giving unnecessary tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals in the state.

For example, defunding public schools to the levels of the 1990s not only cheats our children of a great education and weakens our communities, but these cuts result in eliminating thousands of jobs across the state. Another example is the closing of the Kansas Neurological Institute. The residents of KNI are the most vulnerable citizens of our state and in the greatest need of care. Closing the facility not only leaves the residents and their families in a crisis, but again, there goes a few hundred more jobs.

The legislature needs to wake up and stop giving away money through tax breaks to those who do not need them; stop taking from those in the state who are most in need and from the children who are the leaders of tomorrow, and find ways to generate more revenue. This is what we elected them to do, and “We The People” chose them to represent us, contrary to one legislator’s recent claims from the House floor.


Liberty_One 7 years ago

Or, we could stop looking to the government for everything.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Or, perhaps you can quit seeing government as the source of all evil.

Stuart Evans 7 years ago

how do you quit seeing something as a source of evil, once you've already seen that it is a source of evil? it's like looking at the catholic church as a source of morality, justice, and forward thinking.

jafs 7 years ago

Perhaps more like seeing it as a mix of both good and bad things, like most everything else we do.

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

What government benefits are you willing to forfeit to back up your statement?

Liberty275 7 years ago

wic, section 8, the rest of welfare, police protection of my property (as Iong as I'm granted police power on my property), fire department, public schools and ummm, the lawrence band.

I'd be happy to give up lots more government benefits but we don't have space for the whole list..

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

So you are willing to forfeit other's benefits.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Too late to give up public education, you already got yours, assuming you are an adult.
But the whole argument is such BS. I'll give up the war in Iraq but keep the one in Libya. I want to clean the environment but I don't want a library. How about I want the potholes fixed on 23rd. St. but not on 6th. Nonsense. Complete nonsense.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Yes what a wonderful thing. Like when someone prevents you from exercising your freedom of speech. Who will protect that? Not me, I've put freedom of religion in my shopping cart. No courts for you, sorry. And if you didn't put freedom of religion in your cart, whoops, no protections for me. How about this, you pay a little for my freedom of religion and I'll pay a little for your freedom of speech. And while you're at it, pay into Social Security and I'll pay for the paramedics when you have a massive heart attack while walking downtown. Another silly argument.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

It's easy to settle this argument. You want to opt out of Social Security. No. End of story.

jafs 7 years ago

Write him a letter.

I'd be interested to see what sort of response you get.

woodscolt 7 years ago

Or you could just say your in favor of turning this country into a 3rd world nation.

geekin_topekan 7 years ago

Deal! We actually agree on something. I don't wish you an impoverished and lonely death, but I do feel the same as you.

When I can no longer work, my body worn and weak, let me walk among my brethren. The joy of today and its memory are a greater reward than a prolonged solitude with the knowledge that I fought the wrong battles and have to hire someone to wipe me because I chased everyone, who cared, away for the love of $.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

How many old and impoverished libertarians have been acting with the courage of their convictions and refusing to cash SS checks? Darn few, I suspect.

Talk is cheap. When we start seeing appreciable numbers of individuals acting on sentiments such as you have proclaimed, then I will start listening.

jafs 7 years ago

What's the religious justification for not paying into SS?

Why don't you use that one?

I suspect it's most likely the Amish or similar groups, who have very tightly knit communities that help each other out quite a bit.

woodscolt 7 years ago

If you hate this country so much, why don't you just move to a 3rd world country and live happily ever after?

woodscolt 7 years ago

I have a real good idea how stupid you sound.

Majestic42 7 years ago

The government is not the solution, it is the problem.

CKKovach 7 years ago

Mindless sloganeering is definitely not the solution...

Majestic42 7 years ago

Neither is blind trust in a flawed organization.

BigPrune 7 years ago

Tax breaks allow reinvesting instead of giving to the government to spend on frivolous projects. Just look at how the schools spend, spend, spend, then they NEVER have enough money and want more tax increases to feed their spending addiction.

barlowtl 7 years ago

Sounds good, guess those who got the tax breaks didn't read the memo that came with it.

Brian Green 7 years ago

It's funny how everyone thinks that tax cuts end up in peoples' pockets because they own a business. Taxes are a major obstacle to hiring. Believe me I pay my fair share of taxes and employ 9 people. I am short staffed and would love to bring on more staffing. I added one this year and am looking for opportunities. I am sure though that you have personal experiences that lead you to trash the tax cuts and personal knowledge of how jobs couldn't possibly be created by putting the money in the hands of people that need more employees.

jafs 7 years ago

Tax breaks certainly "might" wind up creating jobs.

It's just not at all certain that they will.

nativeson 7 years ago

School funding needs to be resolved. The legislature must consolidate districts with less than 500 students. This constitutes 30% of the districts across Kansas. It is simply unsustainable. The citizens of Kansas need to see how much progress this will make towards providing more funding to a more efficient system.

Defunding KNI simply transfers the needs of individuals to others. It is unfortunate that the State of Kansas continues to shift the burden of funding for persons in need to local municipalties. The City of Lawrence nor Douglas County have the resources or infrastructure to meet these needs effectively.

The State of Kansas should focus on tax equality versus tax increases. Sales and use tax exemptions have been a leak in revenue for years. Some exemptions are appropriate, but the granting of exemptions on a case-by-case basis directly by the legislature has created an inconsistent policy that should be addressed.

deec 7 years ago

How many miles do you believe it is reasonable for school children to travel one-way to get to and from school?

nativeson 7 years ago

It is not about school children traveling. For the most part, all local facilities can be maintained. It is about administrations for 290 districts across the state that are redundant. Much of the administrative cost of a district is not in facilities.

deec 7 years ago

That would be different than past consolidations when towns have lost their schools and the students are bused to the next town or two over. I agree administrative costs are exorbitant, but how effective would it be to have a school district covering hundreds of square miles and only one principal? How much would really be saved by staffing and heating all the existing schools? The situation is different than in Lawrence, where attendance boundaries could be shifted to fill empty seats rather than closing schools.

somedude20 7 years ago

Ha! You are too funny. This letter is about the State of Kansas and the Repubs that are driving the death nail in the state coffin and you talk about Obama! Thanks for the chuckle. Carry on!

Jimo 7 years ago

And yet Obama has managed to create more jobs last year than the entirety of the Bush Administration. And the economy did stop collapsing and turn around in the wake of the (half) stimulus despite the best efforts of the GOP to filibuster every single piece of legislation introduced.

Handouts to Wall Street and billionaires -- the stupid and the lazy -- may be the GOP snake oil but they're the avoidance of "tough choices." We need back the last 30 years of deferred tax revenue stolen so we can pay off the debts from the Republican Path to Prosperity than (shock!!!!) never arrived.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Is it the Legislature's (or more broadly, government's) responsibility to create jobs or is it their responsibility to create an environment where jobs are created?
How you perceive that dilemma depends upon if you're a Dem./left/lib. or a Rep./right/con.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

I don't follow everything the legislature does, but I don't recall them cutting taxes for the rich this session. Did it happen? Or was the lte writer just spewing talking points?

jafs 7 years ago

I don't know if they have yet or not.

But, I know there's a proposal to reduce or eliminate corporate income taxation at the state level.

gudpoynt 7 years ago

There are continued tax phase outs in progress, including the franchise tax and property tax on machinery for businesses worth a million dollars or less.

That's hundreds of millions of dollars that were being collected in tax revenue prior to 2006, that have steadily been phased out since, and will be completely gone by 2013.

Surely I don't have to remind you of all the hardship endured by private industry prior to 2006 due to these unfair taxes.

And surely, you can just look around and see how great all of these tax breaks have worked in boosting our economy.

Indeed, I'm sure you have your own success stories of how you personally have benefited from the ability for other companies to pay less in taxes.

So get ready! After 2013, when these taxes are completely gone, we should all expect a huge economic boom!

And as jafs says, there's talk of eliminating the corporate income tax as well! Can you imagine the free market utopia that will undoubtedly ensue as a result?!?

devobrun 7 years ago

Nothing is boosting our economy. Reports from government organizations are bogus. The real economy is in the tank and there is no better indicator than tax revenues. Virtually every state, local, and the feds all report reduced revenues.

Tax revenues are based on profits. There aren't many. America is all dressed up with nowhere to go. We have highly educated and experienced professionals and skilled labor sitting on the sidelines because there just isn't any way for us to compete with Macau.

Furthermore, there really isn't anything much to do. Product is cheap. Service is some form of McDonald fast food delivery system. Pretty soon doctors will be offering loyalty cards and frequent visit discounts.

Retail is increasingly online and warehouses are increasingly automated. Even the technicians setting up the automation are automated. There are no jobs because .....there are no jobs to be done. It's being done already, by machines and robots, and Chinese.

So we make more commercials, and we invent games to keep customers (frequent flyer miles). We administer them from Calcutta, and about 500 people in the country reap the benefits by skimming from the top. Everybody else is just living on peanuts.

So where do people who make money put it? Not in America. And what does the government do to create jobs? Paper pushers and bureaucrats. There are no jobs. Doesn't matter who tries to "create" them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Tax revenues are based on profits. There aren't many."

Not true. The major reason tax revenues are down is because of dramatic redistribution of wealth to the top 2% over the last 30 years with a simultaneous and equally dramatic drop in their rates of taxation, all under the theory that they would use this capital to expand the economy and jobs-- which succeeded, but the economic expansion happened where slave wages predominate, and governments exist only to preserve and expand the wealth of the wealthiest, at the expense of everyone else, and the environments and ecosystems that support them.

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Many a person has been trained while working at KNI through their relationship with Kaw Area Vo Tech, later renamed Washburn Tech, and with their relationship with Washburn U as well. I know many folks who provided services for the folks who live at KNI and took all kinds of training at the vocational technical college over there, becoming CMAs, CNAs, learned working trades, got degrees from Washburn, and probably a few of them parlayed some degrees from KU for all I know. The bootstraps approach over there is something that quietly but very effectively gave many a disadvantaged citizen without access to all kinds of ways to improve themselves and make them more employable, or making a career out of providing needed supports for folks who most needed it. I know some folks who learned how to read through their literacy classes and who learned study skills after that to get their advanced training.

Guess the governor thinks we can no longer afford to waste money on those types of educational activities either.

Brent Garner 7 years ago

Tax the rich! Tax the rich! Seems to be all those on the left can say as an answer to every problem. Ok, let's tax the rich. Let's hit them with a 100% tax rate and take EVERYTHING they have! On a national level that won't pay off the debt or even balanace the budget. Not with a deficit approaching $1.4 trillion. It also won't do much to solve any state's budget problem. Look at California, for Pete's sake! The only solution that works, as much as it may be hated, is to trim expenses when income declines. Moaning about it and complaining about it will not change that fact.

jafs 7 years ago

We need to both raise revenues and cut expenses.

Anything else just won't work.

Bill Getz 7 years ago

Soaking the rich cannot in itself redress the fiscal problem, although it might help. A better reason would be public morale. Like it or not, we are in for at least a generation of austerity, which the government will have a hard time selling in any case, the more so if the sacrifices appear to fall only on the middle class. Misery loves company. BG

verity 7 years ago


I see what you did there.

verity 7 years ago

By the way, they also "appear" to fall on the lower classes, the class that most of us will soon, if we're not already, be inhabiting.

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