To the editor:
A Jan. 16, J-W headline reads “Lack of funding hurts KPERS.” Our annual token notification that for retirees, this will be the eighth year without a pay increase despite $11.8 billion in assets as of September 2010 and contributions of over $700 million annually because “state and local governments haven’t contributed at the required rate for over 15 years.” (KPERS “Vested Interest,” Sept. 2010, Vol. 2). Pete DeGraaf says the pay cut is needed to help bridge an estimated $550 million revenue shortfall. State employees are responsible for that?
Wouldn’t it be more prudent to cut the obscene salaries of the governor, legislators, state, county and city commissioners, (let’s make that ALL politicians) and have Kobach decide to practice law OR serve as secretary of state — not both?
A Jan. 26 J-W headline reads “House committee approves slicing salaries by 7.5 percent.” Even Robin Hood knew to get money from the rich to give to the poor. Let’s increase state and local income taxes for employees who earn $80,000 or more. Forbid state, county and city legislators/commissioners from approving raises for themselves. No more headlines like the one Feb. 9 that reads “City approves $1.2M for library design.” Seriously? $1.2 million for the DESIGN plus $19 million for the expansion and parking garage (aka the new homeless shelter)? Outrageous.
And when/if the state cuts KPERS salaries, the butchers should keep in mind that Social Insecurity, again this year, will not be giving retirees an increase. Way to go, Kansas.