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Letters to the Editor

Family matter

August 2, 2011

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To the editor:

If you’re going to compare our government’s budget to a household, then Uncle Fox is blowing smoke. Yes, he hates Uncle Obama. But however Uncle Obama wants to spend the family’s money, we’re not broke. Some of us are overextended. Some of us have lost their jobs. But most of us are working, and many of us are doing very well by comparison with folks in other families in the neighborhood.

The only relevant question in this time of lowered public revenues is what those of us who do have discretionary income are going to do with it. Are we going to buy a new iPad or decide whether to make the second car a Corolla or a Camry or instead kick in a little more for the public education fund or add a few extra bucks to the envelope going around for cousin Sally who’s going to retire.

I’m personally getting a little tired of Papa Brownback, the current patriarch of Kansas. This “no money for pictures on the walls” schtick is wearing thin. Do the rest of us who don’t share this stingy vision of the world have a say in this family or not? I say we put someone in charge who will ask for a little more from those of us who can afford it. Educating our kids so they can tell the difference between us and those poor folks in Greece might even be worth more to me in the long run than upgrading my Smartphone. But the main thing is, I liked things better when we were all in this together and we knew how good we had it.

I say it’s time for a family meeting.

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 3 years, 4 months ago

Bert,

If you really feel that you can afford to contribute more, if you feel that you want to contribute more - than by all means - contribute more. There is no one to stop you. Brownback will be just as happy to add your excess contribution to the coffers as a Democratic Governor would be. Just send in the check.

But that is not what you really want. You want government to force others to pay more. For, if it were truly about you giving more - you would. Go ahead, kick in a little extra - no one will stop you.

grammaddy 3 years, 4 months ago

Don't send it to Brownback. See if your kids' teachers could use some ehlp with supplies, Penn House and Ballard probably could.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

It's been demonstrated time and time again that when government taxes more, it simply spends more. We're at a crisis crossroads. If we don't rein in spending at all levels of government, in the not-too-distant future there won't be any discretionary spending of the kind described by the letter writer. Instead, future generations will work daily just to pay taxes to government entities, in the case of our federal government simply so that it can make payments on its massive debt.

This year, Tax Freedom Day was April 12. In other words, the average American worked from January 2 through April 11 just to provide enough income to pay taxes to government entities. In virtually every European socialist country today, Tax Freedom Day doesn't occur until June, July, or August. Do you want to work not just 3 1/2 months, but over half a year, to earn enough money just to pay taxes? Think about that and cast your vote wisely in 2012.

Scribeoflight 3 years, 4 months ago

If working another month for the good of society meant we had universal health care and a proper mass-transit system, I might be willing.

And, I would say that the reason government always spends more is because government never cuts spending. And that's not a democrat or republican thing, that's a politician thing. If our elected leaders actually worked for the good of the country and not themselves, we wouldn't have these problems.

And, really, from a practical standpoint, we have spent a lot of money over the past 10 years that we didn't make up for in other ways. We funded two good size wars, while at the same time, cutting revenue. THAT is where our problem started.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem started with the Community Reinvestment Act, signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1977. Its cousins, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ultimately morphed into huge sows whose mammaries were consistently sucked on by career politicians of both parties who did nothing to stop their profligacy. The result was a slew of first, second, and even third mortgage loans made to people of all income levels whose creditworthiness was based on the value of the real estate mortgaged, not their ability to repay - a terribly bad practice that many of us thought had been declared verboten as the result of the earlier S&L crisis, but obviously had not.

In short, the root cause of our present economic problems is government itself, and the career politicians who run it. Until we can adopt term limits at the national level, it may very well happen again.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is all about BIG government and facism pure and simple.

Gov Brownback is set up. He has been on some tax dollar payrolls for most of his adult life with medical insurance and retirement plans that seemingly are not impacted by reckless government actions. This man has never felt the pain ever. Therefore he has no concept.

I would bet that many of his admin have also been on tax dollar payrolls as well for a very long time. These people cannot feel the pain. So the next time "tax dollar moochers" surface think about who might fit into that special category.

While in Washington D.C. what exactly did Brownback support? Not transparency for sure. Brownback is all about BIG government and facism pure and simple.

A little history: "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers under Bush/Cheney http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money? ( Only three institutions were truly at risk - Bank of America/Citibank/ Wall Street Insuror) http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Social Security Insurance AT Risk for no reason( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion, add $300 billion to the debt each of the next 20 years, place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

Billions in Medical Insurance Over Charges Against Consumers! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Weapon Sales to Dictators http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4120/we_arm_the_world/

Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

Secret oil deals with Saudi Arabia? http://www.democracynow.org/2004/4/20/did_bush_cut_secret_oil_deal

All about BIG government = citizens being duped!

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

How many times in the past week did you post that same set of links, merrill?

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 4 months ago

Swedish death metal is way better than the people's buttjet!

Swedish death metal is a death metal music scene developed in Sweden. Many Swedish death metal bands are associated with the melodic death metal movement, thus giving Swedish death metal a different sound from other variations of death metal. Unlike American death metal groups, the first Swedish bands were rooted in punk rock. While Norway is more notorious for its quantity of black metal, Gothenburg in Sweden has a large melodic death metal scene, while Stockholm is notorious for its rawer death metal scene.

Unlike American groups, the Swedish death metal scene's earliest originators were influenced by punk rock, especially the D-beat hardcore punk scene.] Bathory, who would subsequently become a primary influence for the black metal scene, were a pivotal group in Swedish extreme metal.

In the early 1990s two death metal scenes emerged in Gothenburg and Stockholm. The first wave of "Swedish death metal" consisted of the bands Carnage and Nihilist, who fragmented later into Entombed, Dismember and Unleashed. Many of these bands used the trademark Tomas Skogsberg/Sunlight Studios "buzzsaw" guitar tone. It was created by using heavily detuned electric guitars (usually C# standard or lower), a maxed out Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal, sometimes in combination with a single guitar through a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal. The originator of this guitar sound was Nihilist guitarrist Leffe Cuzner though it was evolved and altered over the years. Newer bands playing in the 'old school' Swedish style are Bloodbath, Repugnant, and Paganizer; among others

techmanmacho 3 years, 4 months ago

"If you’re going to compare our government’s budget to a household..."

Then Great Uncle Congress is out back molesting grandson John Q Publilc like he usually does...

grammaddy 3 years, 4 months ago

And the last 2 weeks of Congressional theatrics just cost us $2,7 million.

grammaddy 3 years, 4 months ago

My bad. That was $2.7 BILLION.Interest went up on treasury bonds that couldn't be paid in the last two weeks.

Getaroom 3 years, 4 months ago

Paul is right on and hits at the core of the issue. Elected representatives no longer represent the voting public, if they in truth ever did. Federal government officials both current and past for the most part have their marching orders from the Lobby of the huge global corporations, and those corporations are growing in leaps and bounds. Not creating more jobs on American soil as is obvious, holding onto cash and asking for yet more handouts in the form of tax cuts for themselves. They are cutting benefits, wages and laying off more workers. Is that the direction you see being helpful to you and your neighbors? Is it truly beneficial to you that the super wealthy get more vacation homes and yachts? Do you believe the Free Market is functioning in the best interest of you the voter. Are you all for Hedge Fund operators to have free range of anything they can get away with by way of unenforced regulations? Do you want to legalize robbery and greed? Is that the American way of life you so love? So how is that the average American householder is benefitting from this political agenda, whether that agenda comes from the Right of Left of the political aisle?

So Liberty_One and others, just exactly who do you think is doing what to whom? You think Obama is after your guns and ammo and your version of the American way of life, the one you so long to have back? Exactly which American way of life do you want back? Be specific please! As we (all Americans) get more and more lies told to us by the people elected to offices in the Federal Government just which lie is that you hold sacred? Of course the Fed Government is too big, but do you really think it is more important to trump up reasons to attack other nations, creating more and more unfunded wars for oil, or simply to gain world dominance through power over? Perhaps the budget should actually be weighted on the side of public health, education and general well being rather than HUGE profit taking by the corporations who are running the nation that you claim such patriotism for and apparently without recognizing the guns you so love are pointed right back at you. There is plenty of blame to go around so what are you going to do about it? Roll over one more time and let manufacturing and jobs stay out of the country you so love? Offer some sensible solutions that do not include more of the same ol'.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Just leave me alone. I contribute 40% of what I earned to the common pot. I am micro-managed as to what, how and when I clear snow from the common property. I must use wiggly bulbs even if they are dangerous and cost more in the long run because - well why? I must invest in wind energf even though the ROI is about the worst of any alternative.

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months ago

Great idea. Johnny, who works occasionally and drinks a lot, needs more because he is bothering mom and dad with his whining. We already take a lot from Alex but maybe if we took just a bit more we could forget Johnny’s problems. He would be out of sight and out of mind and no longer dad’s problem. Let us have that family meeting and sock Alex once again. Wait a minute, Alex moved out. I guess the money for Johnny will have to come from dad – who failed to raise Johnny properly to begin with.

Let us not forget that we already redistribute large sums – mostly from the middle class. How about we do a better job with what we already take. Maybe if we demonstrated good stewardship all would benefit.

Scribeoflight 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem with that is, is that the middle class has been shrinking for years. Stagnant wages and shrinking non-skilled job pool means that more and more of what used to be the driving force behind our economy is forced to work paycheck to paycheck.

I agree that we need better stewardship and use of the funds that we already have.

But if we want to get America producing again, we need to re-train our workforce to be able to do skilled labor and technology related repair and innovation.

But that also means that people need to eat while they stop working and go back to school part or full time. So cuts to education and assistance programs are probably a bad idea.

heygary 3 years, 4 months ago

I have used this before ... but it just seems to fit so well!

There is a long-held belief that democracies, in general, are a predictably doomed form of government.

In the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) used an analogy to describe "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

From my vantage point, Mr. Tyler’s observation has been unsettlingly predictive of the path of our own experiment in Democracy.

In my youth I studied, with gratitude and reverence, the “bondage to liberty” sequence associated with the birth of our country. I believe I have lived through the “abundance to apathy” sequence. Now, as I watch the current Administration attempt to spend its way out of a recession, push forward massive bail out and entitlement programs, and socio-engineer Government intrusion/involvement in to most aspects of our lives, I cannot help but feel that the road to “dependence” has been charted.

usnsnp 3 years, 4 months ago

Two observations. 1. As for China owning a large percent of our national debt, untrue, they have just over 1 trillion of the 14 trillion, most of the debt is owned by the Treasury dept., Social Security, Banks etc. look it up. 2. How about Congress going on recess for the next 5 weeks and the funding of the FAA has not been settled, 4000 FAA enployees on unpaid furlow, 200 airport construction jobs halted, up to 70,000 construction workers and engineers being layed off. The US government loosing 30 million a day from tax revinews on airline tickets all over 13 million a year difference between the House and Senate. A Texas congressman was asked about the problem and he said he was sorry about the inconvience it was casusing some people.

January202013 3 years, 4 months ago

 All you need to know about the author of this letter to the editor is that when he/she/it thinks about what types of cars to buy he/she/it thinks of a foreign car and another foreign car.

 Of course, that fits right in with the average lawrence citizen of the world.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is a zealot on a personal, bizarre crusade. He cares nothing about this state or its people except how they can help him gain favor with the far, far right so he can go screw up the US Senate.

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