Letters to the Editor

Voters’ wishes

December 8, 2011


To the editor:

In response to Anna Slemmer’s letter of Dec. 2, Ms. Slemmer chastises the current Kansas congressional delegates for not representing those who sent them to Congress. I would submit that is exactly what they are doing. The majority of the voters in this state, not this town, sent these representatives to Congress to put an end to the spending.

The president himself was captured on camera laughing about the fact that “there weren’t as many shovel-ready jobs as we thought.” So please forgive me if I am skeptical when the president tells me his “Jobs Bill” will create all of these jobs on our national infrastructure. Fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, my fault.

Every person reading this letter who has run a business or maintained a household understands the simple dynamics of basic economics. You cannot spend what you don’t have. If I were to use credit cards to pay my bills each month because my income is less than my expenditures, would I remain solvent? This is what our government does when it prints money. It borrows from future generations.

As intelligent as he is, President Obama was grossly unqualified for the job he was elected to. I too would love a fair society where everybody prospers. Socialism and communism have proved failures in our lifetime. A government’s first and foremost mission is to protect its citizenry, not determine outcomes.


Linda and Bill Houghton 6 years, 5 months ago

You would see a lot better results from President Obama if the Republicans were not trying so hard to make him a one-term president. Much of what they are doing to make him look bad is hurting our country. This is not his fault. He has his hands tied and little progress can be made as long as the Republicans are acting this way.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Many attribute credit for that accomplishment to Newt Gingrich. It doesn't matter so much where it began. I more concerned with whether it stops.

kochmoney 6 years, 5 months ago

He never had a 60 vote majority in the senate, and the senate was too chicken to enact filibuster reform. I agree that they should have done more, and I think they're a bunch of chickens for not doing it, but it's not Obama doing that on his own.

kochmoney 6 years, 5 months ago

Meant to include that Obama faced a record breaking number of filibusters and silent holds. More than anyone else, even with this alleged "control" of the senate. There's a huge backlog of judicial nominations, and they just blocked one the other day in spite of an agreement that they'd only pull that move under "extraordinary circumstances."

It's not because he proposed a bunch of controversial things. The majority of his proposals have been quite moderate. Instead, he's facing a radicalized opposition using gridlock as a deliberate strategy and voting against the very ideas that they themselves proposed. He didn't do that on his own.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with your general take.

But, there were enough Democrats to pass legislation - he just couldn't get all of them to agree with him.

kochmoney 6 years, 5 months ago

No, there weren't ever 60 democrats. There were two independents, Al Franken didn't get seated for six months, and Ted Kennedy was out for health issues by the time he was seated. He was dead before Obamacare was passed, and his successor was a republican.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

are you freaking kidding me?

Look at the congressional debacle that ensued with the PPACA!

How many times, DIST, did you make a reference to the Democrats, or Obama himself, "cramming" something "down your throat".

Geez. Listen to these silly Republicans:

before the midterms...

"They're cramming it down our throats! They're cramming it down our throats! A socialist takeover is being crammed down the throats of the American people! Somebody stop this crazy Kenyan muslim! He's on a socailist rampage!!!!"

after the midterms...

"The man had total control of both houses of and he didn't do squat."

Go home Republicans.

dlkrm 6 years, 5 months ago

You actually made his point. Obama had free reign for two years and claims it's not his fault everything is worse. No one said he didn't do anything! It's what he did that has made things worse. But I know your eyes are closed by your commentary.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

yeah, I fabricated that quote. I didn't attribute it to you, but rather a caricaturized Republican. Your comments seem to embody the spirit of this fictitious character.

If you want actual references, I can scrape your comment history and pull back instances of certain keywords and phrases, i.e. "cram + throat", "Obama + muslim".

jayhawxrok 6 years, 5 months ago

The GOP didn't mind when Bush got us into two wars and didn't once budget for either. The GOP didn't mind when he shoved NCLB on America and didn't budget for it. The GOP didn't mind when he gave the prescription Rx plan gift to Big Pharma and didn't budget for it. The GOP didn't mind when he let $800 billion in pork slide by without ever using the veto pen on a spending bill. The GOP didn't mind when Bush took more than a year of vacation. The GOP didn't mind when Bush's team lost billions of our cash in Iraq. The GOP didn't mind when Bush's tax cut to the wealthiest Americans added $2 Trillion to our deficit and FAILED to stimulate the economy or create jobs. The GOP didn't mind when Bush lied about "the fundamentals of the economy are strong", right up to the day he handed out bailouts with no strings attached - no accounting required, no payback required. The GOP loyalty to Norquist, a lobbyist that nobody voted for, over the citizenry of this country is disgusting. The President is right, trickle down has NEVER worked. Just as Reagan deregulating S & L's in the 80's led to foxes guarding those hen houses and the subsequent collapse of the industry and federal takeover of more than 740 institutions, so too did Paulson's successful lobbying of the Bush admin to deregulate banking in nonsensical ways led to the overleveraged of those banks and abuse that damn near brought down the whole economy. But now, oh well now we're supposed to believe they're all about fiscal conservancy? Sure, and I got a bridge to sell ya.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 5 months ago

jayhawkroks didn't attack anybody, just stated the facts.
Norquist can kiss my left cheek, the rotten circumventing cretin that he is. How's that for attacking? He is an Orwellian pig & the republican leadership is either spineless or corrupt.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 5 months ago

I am so tired of the finger pointing, with the Dems blaming the Repubs and vice versa. You know, to vote your party line really isn't displaying the leadership qualities I think it is going to take to get us through the bipartisan mess our country is in at all.

We citizens should be starting a simple new movement something along the following lines:

Dear Senator/Representative: I am looking for the leadership skills that I feel are virtually absent in today's Congress, and if you cannot find these qualities within yourself, then I am going to do everything I can do to replace you.

It is a kind of intellectual laziness to blindly follow the party line. We have seen where that leads us over and over and over again. The kind of leadership I am looking for entails finding a person on the other side of the aisle, searching for and finding common ground, and building on that shared value. It entails going against the grain and not only finding shared values with those on the "other side," it also includes shepherding those common purposes past the guard dogs present in both parties, bringing those hard to find forged common ground projects into legislative fruition and signed into law. It means placing your country before your party or your ideologically based pledges.

This is a much harder task to attempt than pushing the red or the blue button over and over again. This is also our only real hope. If you don't have the pragmatism of a Bob Dole or of a Tip O'Neill to accomplish this, then please step aside and make room for someone willing to exercise these abilities that our country so desparately needs today and into the forseeable future.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

I've come to the conclusion that voting a straight party line is downright un-American. Any party qualifies.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 5 months ago

Right on. Our current delegates are not independent thinkers. They are indeed crippling the country. Great post!

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

Excellent letter. Obama's recent speech in Osawatomie (which, by the way, is in Kansas, not Texas) showcased his overtly Marxist traits quite clearly.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for clarifying that Osawatomie is still in Kansas. Got any more pearls of wisdom to add?

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

Sure. If you want a prosperous America, vote for whoever runs against Obama in 2012.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Because, you know, we proved to be soooo prosperous under the last guy who wasn't Obama. He didn't escalate the debt and establish unfunded mandates either. Uh huh.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

He also tried multiple times to rein in Freddie and Fannie, the abuse of which directly caused the subprime crisis, but was rebuffed by politicians in both parties on the take from them. The ignorance of those who attempt to blame the Bush administration for a recession directly caused by Democrat-inspired lending policies is ludicrous.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Gee, if only Bush had ever been President when there was also a Republican controlled House and Senate, then he might have been able to make these changes you claim he tried to make.

Oh, wait...

Pretending Republicans played no part in the financial collapse is beyond ludicrous.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

I wasn't talking about other Republican politicians. I was talking about Bush, in response to your lame comment about him.

You need to learn to read more carefully.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Um ... Hello! Bush was a Republican politician.

To suggest that the economic crash during the Bush administration had nothing to do with the person in office is down right laughable. However, I have to wonder, if the acting president had nothing to do with the crash, why would a subsequent president have anything to do with its recovery? I mean, wouldn't that be up to the "politiicans"?

Cato, thanks for the laugh. You confirm why party over country points of view are so ridiculous.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

How did George W. Bush "cause" the subprime crisis?

That's what I thought.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

He was President, so the question should be: How did George W. Bush "fix" the subprime crisis?

He certainly didn't do it through enforcing the battle cry of the Republicans -- deregulation.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

The most important piece of the deregulation that you decry, the repeal of key portions of the Glass-Steagall Act, was signed into law by none other than your hero, B.J. Clinton.

While liberals are often grossly hypocritical on many things, their whining about "deregulation" in this context is one of the worst examples of their hypocrisy.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

So you finally admit Bush did nothing to stop it and that there should have been greater regulation on the banking industry to begin with. It is about time you admitted it.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

No, I've merely pointed out your hypocrisy in whining about deregulation when one of the most significant acts of deregulation in liberals' minds was signed into law by your hero, B.J. Clinton, whose presidency preceded that of George W. Bush.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

If that's a pearl of wisdom, I'd can only conclude you get all your jewlry from Cracker Jack boxes.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

And you apparently learned grammar and spelling from reading comic books.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Great comeback with sparkling originality, cato! I'll bet the spelling in comic books is typically better than mine above. I will however, put my grammar, spelling and analysis up against yours any time or place. Typing; eh, not so much.

Your inability (or unwillingness) to understand Obama's joke for what it was when it has been explained by numerous sources and commenters here and in other places can only leave one with the conclusion you are extremely obtuse or willfully ignoring the obvious. Everyone present that day seemed to understand it was a joke. Those opposed to him want to decry it as if it was some huge domestic policy blunder. Even if it was a mistake rather than a joke, surely there are more objective reasons for criticizing him than that? Doing so just makes you sound petty.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

Joke. Yeah, right. The video clearly demonstrates that the Bamster stepped in it again, whether you want to admit it or not.

The only joke is Obama himself, and a rather bad one at that.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Ooh, "the Bamster". cato coins another candidate for the Posting Hall of Fame.

I saw the video and saw reality. You saw the video and saw what you wanted to make it.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

I saw the video and saw an incompetent bumbler whose overtly Marxist traits were there for all to see. I also saw him say he was in "Texas" and then catch himself and say "Kansas."

The fact is that this narcissistic community organizer whom you elected may think that he's always the smartest guy in the room, but in reality he's a dull blade.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow, you sure got a lot out of the partial word "Tex..." A true indicator of Marxism there... Like I said, you saw what you wanted to see and desperately grasped at it for something to criticize.

Perhaps you could benefit from some of those "Superfocus" glasses and a new hearing aid battery?

BTW, I didn't personally elect Obama. The majority of the voters in the last election did. You should embrace this position as it is the same argument Brownback supporters regurgitate all the time.

BTW, unless the GOP can roll out someone better than Romney and Gingrich, I believe you'll be whining about Marxism, Socialism and purported faux pas until at least January 2017.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

Based on your inability to have seen and heard what Obama obviously said in the video, it's you who needs glasses and a hearing aid, pal.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

And you would benefit from obtaining a clue-heck, make it two while you're up!

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

What would have been exposed by the vetting process you suggest was absent? Because of the media you deride as corrupt we knew much about Obama's bi-racial parentage, birth certificate controversy, international upbringing, drug usage in his youth, community organizer background, voting records in both the Illinois and U.S. Senate, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, "spreading the wealth" with Joe the Plumber, property purchased from Tony Rezko, etc, etc. We were even enlightened to the dangers of the Obama's "terrorist fist jab" thanks to Fox News anchor E.D. Hill

Thank goodness you can tie this "big stinking mess" we call life in America today up in a neat package and attribute it all to Obama and the corrupt media. Thanks for making it all crystal clear. You should write a blog or something.

tolawdjk 6 years, 5 months ago

And yet we read your firey and racist and hateful rhetoric every day and it has no discernable effect on any of us. Amazing really.

usnsnp 6 years, 5 months ago

My comment is. If a politician wins an election by 60% of the vote is he only responsible to the wishes of that 60% or is he required to take into consideration the 40% that did not vote for him. Should he not represent the 100%. Should the politician not push his own beliefs, but those of all he represents. From most of what I see is that politicians do what they want, even if it is not what the people they represent want, they just hope only the people that agree with them come out to vote. They lie by not telling the whole truth in a situation, only the part that will agree with what they believe, they will do anything to stay in power and on the government gravy train.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 5 months ago

I think it has been disproven that the Democrats are the spenders and the Republicans are the savers.

The strategy to increase government spending to offset the pending collapse of the US economy was probably a decision that anyone in office would have made. The lies related to this are perhaps the worst in American history.

Here is information from a website that uses the Consumer Price Index over the last 100 years or so.

1913 through 2007 Average Deficit Spending with a... ■Democratic President in Office: 75.7 billion dollars average per year ■Republican President in Office: 158.5 billion dollars average per year

1977 though 2007 Average Deficit Spending with a... ■Democratic President in Office: 44.4 billion dollars average per year ■Republican President in Office: 310.6 billion dollars average per yea ■Democratic Controlled House/Senate: 167.6 billion dollars per year ■Republican Controlled House/Senate: 297.3 billion dollars per year ■Neutral* Controlled House/Senate: 203.7 billion dollars per year

  • One branch controlled by Democrats, the Other by Republicans


This is just one site with this kind of information but there is much information available for anyone who wants to step out from under the trees and get themselves a little better educated.

As far as I can tell, the Republicans have blamed Obama for everything except Herpes from the day he was sworn in.

The propaganda is getting as kooky as the folks running for President.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 5 months ago

What the American voters deserved and never got after the housing and banking collapse was an apology.

That is what makes listening to these same people so annoying.

They act like they didn't do anything wrong.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

"Every person reading this letter who has run a business or maintained a household understands the simple dynamics of basic economics. You cannot spend what you don’t have."

So you paid cash for your house and cars? No, chances are you didn't. You went into debt by making a longterm investment. Same happens when businesses are opened or expanded or just kept afloat with a business loan.

While I can appreciate the sentiment of this letter, we have to remember that our government isn't a household or a simple business. It is far more complicated and the economics of it are equally complicated.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

But going into increased debt each year is a bad idea, for either entity.

And, yet that's what we've done consistently over a long period of time (with the Clinton exception).

That's what deficits are - the increase in debt each year.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

No argument from me. I'm just pointing out that it is misleading to compare a household budget or a small business with the federal government.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago


But, in your post above, you point out that households/businesses often need to go into debt, implying that they are in fact similar to the government, which also needs that.

Basic fiscal soundness doesn't change based on size/scope as far as I can tell - a large business, to be sound, must follow the same principles as a smaller one.

How those get applied may differ, of course.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I did.

That's not the argument, so it doesn't apply.

The argument is that financial responsibility and soundness involves some basic considerations which will apply to households, small businesses, and governments.

It's not an argument about parts/wholes, which is the fallacy of composition.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

I thought the argument was that a household or business are basically the same as the government when it comes to basic economics. To knock a hole in that is to point out that governments do things like go to war, even when they do not have the funds readily at hand. Households do not. Also, when it comes to the business comparison, it is the role of a business to turn a profit. Our government isn't in operation to turn a profit. There simply are differences.

Nowhere have I claimed that a government should not be fiscally responsible, which appears to be the argument you are trying to counter.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Governments and individuals, or businesses, are in fact different in a variety of ways, including those you mention, as well as others. That's why it's not a "parts/whole" argument.

I don't think that means that some basic concepts of fiscal responsibility apply to individuals/households/businesses but don't apply to governments.

If it's a bad idea for an individual to go into ever increasing debt each year (household/business), it's similarly a bad idea for a government to do so.

To simply say that they are different is not enough to justify claiming that deficit spending is bad for a household, but good for a government.

Our government is not, and has not been fiscally responsible for a long time - many are upset about that, and want it to be better. At the same time, others use the fact that government is different in order to seemingly justify continuing lack of responsibility.

By the way, if we're going to go to war a lot, we should have the money to do so saved up, or collected at the time we begin the war.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Where has anyone said deficit spending is good for a government? I certainly have not. I recognize that sometimes it might be necessary, but I absolutely agree that our fiscal house has been upside down for far too long. Again, no argument from me there.

I am saying that the letter makes claims that aren't accurate. It states that people "cannot spend what you don't have," thus suggesting our government shouldn't either. I pointed out that, in fact, people do spend much more than we have, and many of us do it responsibly. I couldn't have purchased a home without borrowing the funds needed, thus I went into debt. That isn't a bad thing.

To further suggest, as the letter doew, that Democrats are the only ones who should suffer the consequences of the "fool me once ..." line is partisan nonsense. If we really are going to go by the "fool me once..." scenario, obviously we can't vote for anyone of either of the major parties from here on, as both parties have been responsible for the mess we are in.

The real issue I have is that this is a simplistic letter that is inaccurate about debt and spending, and it is purely partisan nonsense that equates the Obama administration with "socialism and communism" to boot.

I don't mind talking about our fiscal responsibilities. I just thing we should do so responsibly.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree about the letter.

But, many people seem to think that deficit spending is in fact just fine - my father-in-law for one, who thinks it's exactly what we should be doing to stimulate the economy.

As far as debt goes, people and government can take on some debt and remain ok, but it's always a bit risky. What if you lose your job, then have your house foreclosed on? One ideal of fiscal responsibility is to be debt-free - most people won't do that, of course, because they want more than they can afford to buy outright. But, if I could buy a house without getting a loan, I'd do that - I prefer to have no debt.

And, when evaluating whether or not to give loans, banks evaluate a variety of ratios - debt/income, debt/asset, credit history, etc.

I think if we used any of those and applied it to our government, we'd find that it has too much debt.

rtwngr 6 years, 5 months ago

Beatrice, you chose to take a portion of a paragraph out of context which is typical for a lib. The rest of the point that Mr. Burkhart made was the example of continuing to pay bills with more debt. Household or nation, it is a path to ruination whether you want to admit it with your left wing intellect or not. If you can appreciate the sentiment of the letter then you would agree that you cannot borrow yourself out of debt. You obviously choose to argue from a position of weakness which is obtuse in and of itself.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

And the Republicans have such a great record of debt and deficit reduction from their time in office, right?

Obviously, both parties are to blame. Time to stop the partisan nonsense and fix the problems.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

That's no way to refer to former Pres. Bush, albeit accurate.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 5 months ago

The biggest and saddest problem we have in politics in my opinion is the name calling and misinformation. When I was a kid this was called childish behavior. You never imagined that people would actually run for high office and make millions as journalists and award winning columnists and authors by doing the same thing.

Of all the plagues that could have been sent by God to punish America, this plague of dumb people is worse than any locusts or dustbowl.

It is true that the blame for the deficit is a shared one involving all the politicians from Reagan until now. But the biggest blame has to go to the Republicans who sign pledges and coddle the wealthy and their undertaxed corporations because they are in bed with lobbyists like Newt Gingrich.

They are working against the average American just as they did during the days of Herbert Hoover. They would rather be part of an aristocracy of privileged wealthy power brokers than care about the everyday lives of real working Americans.

The simple fact that Newt Gingich, a man who entered politics as a history teacher, is now a multi-millionaire with money made from selling influence on capital hill is a shameful indictment of the American political system today.

What we are seeing is the result of trying to find a Presidential quality candidate who actually believes the Tea Party and Right Wing conservative view of life. Nobody with intelligence and character will believe that stuff. So you get a professional con man like Gingrich to swindle you out of your votes.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 5 months ago

Vote Republican.Because the GOP didn't do enough damage last time.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

No, it is childish behavior whoever does it. You do it frequently ... and you always have.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

This from the man who calls Obama "the Anointed One" and Wall Street Occupiers "fleabaggers". Mmmhmm. Yeah. Right. I suggest you take a long hard look in the mirror.

camper 6 years, 5 months ago

Simple economics? Our country advanced the way it did because of borrowing. This is how we start business, buy a house, build roads, defense.

Now borrowing under such huge defecits year after year is not so good. A simple economic formula told to me once was, raise taxes in good times, lower them in bad. Budget surplus in good times, budget defecits in bad. Things even out.

Problem is, no political wherewithall to be responsible in good times. This is our nature.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

That's actually a very good idea, I think.

If we saved up some money when times are good, we'd have it when they're bad, and could use it to avoid borrowing more then.

We did, in fact, have some surpluses under Clinton, but then Bush gave them back.

camper 6 years, 5 months ago

Thanks. To bad we don't have representation that sees it the same way. Congress, at best, is reactionary and is most often late. Despite the fact that I believe in the idea of bi-partisanship, I just do not believe that congress can be decisive enough to manage budget and fiscal planning. Unfortunately it appears you need a strong majority in both houses to get anything done whatsoever. Congress is Lame Duck way to much and really does not represent its constituents.

Thank God that we have an independent Federal Reserve who can actually monitor monetary policy. If not for that, we could see the state of things as much worse ( I know that sentence will surely bother Libertarians and some Republicans who favor the Gold Standard).

Carol Bowen 6 years, 5 months ago

The bullying and name-calling at local levels trickles up. To be fair, this is what our representatives hear. If we really want bipartisan thinking and solutions, we had better start conveying that bipartisan message at home and to our representatives.

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