Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Cut spending

July 8, 2017

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To the editor:

In reply to the Journal-World editorial “Govenor must get on board,” why is it that the state of Kansas and Lawrence always assume that a taxing problem exists instead of the real problem, too much spending?

This is one of the biggest problems facing our nation from the federal government down to the local entities. I’m sure I am not the only one, hopefully, that is tired of hearing that all problems can be solved with more money.

The governor tried to force the state to become more efficient and find ways to eliminate waste. For this he has been ridiculed and criticized. The Legislature took the easy way out and raised taxes, eliminating looking out for the people who pay the taxes.

This won’t be the end as in a couple of years the same story will be told — more taxes are needed.

Comments

RJ Johnson 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Agreed 100% Lawrence is the worst, when they over collect taxes they keep it instead of returning it or lowing taxes. Then they turn around and want more!! Unbelievable!!

Two things guaranteed in life, Death and Taxes!!

Bob Smith 3 months, 2 weeks ago

"If you try to walk, we'll tax your feet."

P Allen Macfarlane 3 months, 2 weeks ago

As always, your comments are pretty taxing.

Ray Mizumura 3 months, 1 week ago

Lyrics were written by a man who became a multimillionaire but did not leave Britain to avoid his tax responsibilities, unlike some of his peers. George Harrison cared about people, Bob. It's strange to see you quoting him.

Kendall Simmons 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Starnes...the governor had 5 years to make his tax plan work...with Art Laffer first telling him that he'd see great results almost immediately...then see them within 5 years...then "It might take as much as 10 years".

It didn't happen...it just didn't happen...and the legislature decided not to give Brownback that additional 5 years because of the harm that was being caused in the first five. They didn't want to keep on fulfilling Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

You think that cutting spending is the "solution"? The "solution" to WHAT??? The State being able to pay its bills? Kids going to adequate public schools? Rural hospitals being able to stay open? Necessary infrastructure repairs? WHAT???

And what things that have been privatized by Brownback are now functioning BETTER than they were before? I mean, private companies understandably put profits first. Have a primary goal of putting money in their own pockets. But how is that a fiscally sound behavior on the part of the Kansas government spending OUR tax dollars? Yet that's what Brownback did left and right...and we taxpayers continue to pay for crappy performances by those for-profit companies. (KanCare immediately comes to mind.) Yet we're supposed to believe you when you say that Brownback was trying to "force the state to become more efficient and find ways to eliminate waste"??? REALLY???

Let me ask you this. How much money would you have extra if your taxes were cut in half? Seriously. I mean, surely you've done the math. So how much extra would you have? And, because I'm sure you've given thought to this as well, what would YOU cut?

Brownback and Laffer's experiment failed. There were problems left and right caused by it. So which problems are you okay with?

Obviously you're OK with the ones that don't directly affect you...or you don't think directly affect you...or that will only affect "those people". You know. The lazy moochers that you think are everywhere and living a life of luxury on your dime.

You complain that people think "all problems can be solved with more money". But isn't that what YOU think? That all YOU need is more money and all YOUR problems, great and small, will be solved? Isn't that why you want YOUR taxes cut???

We're just watched Brownback create MORE problems for Kansas, not less. Apparently because he had dreams of becoming POTUS someday. Yet you think he's been unfairly maligned for creating these problems and refusing to admit he might have been mistaken...why???

Heck, the only good I can see in this is that Art Laffer has lost most, if not all, of his economic credibility...and his economic "theories" have lost all interest for other states who watched the disaster called Kansas.

Gary Stussie 3 months, 1 week ago

Brownback Plan failed? In today's paper there is a comment about how investment in education pays long-term benefits. This is apparently accepted as an axiom by the left. Wondering why the concept of living within one's means (as the Governor has suggested) is given such a short time to come to fruition?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 months, 2 weeks ago

"Too much spending" the clarion call of the anti-government crowd.

But when the pot holes go unrepaired or the trees are dragging on the cars or the myriad of other government services fall off, the first to scream bloody murder are these "anti tax" zealots. Sit down and be quiet, you are all becoming pretty aggravating.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

Maybe if the government would start using the money they take to do the things they promised to do with it, we wouldn't have to yell about those things not getting done. If they actually used that money to solve the problems they exploited to get it, what sob story would they have for the next one?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Cutting spending? First of all, the Kansas government in the past have always been pretty fiscally responsible. Second, the radical Republicans have been in power and they haven't cut spending. Why? Probably because there is no where to cut. Unless you want to have lousy roads and lousy schools. Actually, they have been destroying our schools. So, Mr. Starnes, why didn't your people cut spending? And where would you cut it? What's your plan? We really want to hear it.

And I'm sorry, but you didn't have to pay taxes for the last several years. Could you fill us in with what you did with your money? How many jobs did you create? Did you donate any to schools or charities?

Also, did you drive on public roads? Did you have any children in public schools? By the way, did you attend public schools? State universities? Someone paid a lot of taxes for you do to that, but you don't want to do the same. That's, yes I will use the word, is pretty darn deplorable. It's immoral and inhumane. Why not join your community? Give up the greed thing. It's a bad religion.

Can you imagine if this greed mindset had existed when the early settlers moved through the country. You need a barn. Build it yourself. Just because we are neighbors, doesn't give you a right to ask for my help. Broke your leg? Hey, let your crops rot in the field. We aren't going to help you bring them in, so you can survive the winter. Besides, if you fail, we can just buy up your land real cheap anyway. Of course, native tribes would have loved it, because they could have easily destroyed the settlers, and they would have kept their land.

And speaking of the early settlers. They saw a need to have schools, and they went together to create them. They realized the importance, that's why many state constitutions have provisions in there about providing an education.

Do us all a favor. Buy an island and create your no taxes, no rules libertarian society somewhere, and just show us how that will work, or most likely how it will not work.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

The fact that you think the injured farmer had to (or would) ask his neighbors for that kind of help says a lot about how little you know. It really hasn't changed that much since then either. I've seen farmers leave their crops standing to go cut the crops of a neighbor who couldn't. They were never asked by the farmer who needed the help. Word was spread and help was coordinated without them asking for it. I doubt you could understand because it is so far out of your greedy mindset but rural people are typically a proud and independent sort. If they went to a neighbor for help harvesting their crops, they would be compelled to hire them because they don't have the same "I'm entitled!" attitude that you display. Only a truly greedy person would ask his neighbors to do his work at their expense.

Raising a barn was a bit different. It wasn't just about helping out a neighbor in need. It was more about the voluntary pooling of resources for mutual benefit. While I'm sure there were some who came just to help, most were neighbors who wanted help to raise their own barn or who already had and were paying it forward. Perhaps some from town helped just to earn a seat at the table each day as feeding the crew was expected. This is seen less today as building codes and other advances have changed the way we build barns, but that sense of community still exists in rural America.

No, what's wrong with America is what has infected the cities. It's people like you who are so greedy as to think you can spend other people's money just because you want to. It's people like you who claim that greed is wanting to keep the money that you earned. It's people like you who think it's greedy for a company to make a profit but not greedy for a person to want to be paid more than what their skill set is worth. It's people like you who think throwing other people's money at problems will magically fix them without requiring anything difficult, like holding them accountable for how they spend that money. It's people like you, Dorothy, who are destroying this country. You can rant and rave all you want to distract people, but you are the greedy one.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

So, Andrew. Answer these question, because no other conservative will, and you probably won't either. Did you attend a public school?

What university did you attend?

Do you drive on public highways.

Is it okay to let a person die of a curable disease, because they don't have enough money?

Is it okay for a baby born with a heart problem to die, because the parents don't have enough money for the operation, and the insurance company needs to not cut into their profits?

Do you admire the insurance companies who hike up their prices for life saving drugs developed a long time ago with tax payer's money, because they know people will have to find the money or die?

I've paid in plenty of taxes and have been doing so, since I was 14 years old. For 50 years. I don't know how old you are, but if you went to a public school, I helped pay for it for you. Why are you not willing to do the same for others? I paid taxes that went towards medical research to help develop life saving procedures. I paid taxes for research that helped develop radar for early warning of dangerous weather conditions. I paid taxes to develop the internet, which you used to make your comments. I paid taxes to pay for the Vietnam War, the war of my generation. When are you going to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan war?

Go ahead, and stop paying taxes. But then stop using all of the benefits that came from my taxes. That's the definition of a deadbeat. And if you attended a public school, we want your degree back.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

Yes, I did attend a public school. However, I was able to overcome that obstacle and succeed anyway, thanks in part to my being able to teach myself well enough that my teachers couldn't trip me up when I corrected them. Heck, at one point I started just getting up during the in-class time for doing homework and redoing the entire Algebra II lesson for the day because it was quicker than answering all of the questions individually. The teacher didn't care. He liked that I took the hard questions and let him read his newspaper.

I started at K-State but graduated from Emporia State University. I went through all of the teacher ed program except for the semester of student teaching, so I know exactly what is 'taught' in those classrooms. Neither school gave me the skills I needed to get any job I've held since I graduated, but the debt it took to get that piece of paper that has been required for every job I've held since I graduated is the gift that keeps on taking. Perhaps it's time that universities quit raising the costs of that piece of paper and start trimming the worthless departments instead of adding required courses to siphon money into them. Or maybe they should start teaching skills that are actually desired in the world of gainful employment.

Yes, I drive on public roads. I also keep paying those taxes that they claim are for fixing the roads but they never seem to bother actually fixing them with it. You would have to be a stupid hypocrite to hold up the horrible roads in Lawrence as a case of people wanting something for nothing when the taxes have already been approved and are being paid. Or maybe you thought I was one of those bicyclists who want highway funds spent on their hobby without them actually having to pay taxes or get a license plate that would allow them to be tracked down when they break the law.

You seem to confuse the right to life with the right to enslave others to save you. I do not wish to see anybody die unnecessarily. I am not alone in that desire, which is why there are so many charities and fund raisers to address these situations. You just can't handle the voluntary nature of it because you are a greedy control freak. If you want to save that baby rather than using it as a talking point to raise taxes, donate to St Jude Children's Research Hospital.

(cont)

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

(cont)

Do you have enough brains to understand the difference between the insurance company and the drug company when talking about medications? From your comment above, I don't think you do, but I'll try to answer anyway. 95% of new drugs are developed in America. The reason other countries are able to control the price of medications is that they know that America will continue to fund research and development. If we put the same price controls in place here, you can quit hoping for new cures. Research (from 2010 that I'm looking at) shows that government funding only accounted for about 1/3 of research funding and usually was for early stage research that is not consumer/market ready. Pharmaceutical companies kicked in over 60% of the funding. Estimates I've found indicate it typically costs over $1 billion to bring a new drug to market and that doesn't include the costs for research lines that end up being abandoned. Now what were you saying about paying your share for public benefit?

So, because you paid taxes without having brains enough to care what it was spent on, I should pay more taxes without caring what it's being spent on? I'm sorry, but I not that kind of stupid. It's not about not spending any money on public education, it's about what we're (not) getting for the money we are throwing at it. I have seen what the current system gives us and it's pretty pathetic. I was a better teacher my senior year in high school than many of the 'experienced' teachers I suffered under, even for classes I had never taken. (Yes, I really did briefly teach a math course I had never taken and taught it better than the teacher I was "shadowing" for career week.) I'm all for a good education, but what we have now is a bottomless money pit that is failing.

The real question is, why are you so anxious to collect all of that tax money if you don't really care what you get back for it? If you're willing to increase the money you throw at the education system every year it doesn't improve, why would they ever want to improve? That might cut into the money you are throwing at them? Why are you willing to throw money at 'research universities' to research whatever whim strikes their fancy but don't want pharmaceutical companies spending money to research things that people will find worth paying for? Out of curiosity, how much did you give to Christian Doppler back in 1842 to support his research? Or are you trying to be like Al "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" Gore?

Go ahead and come take my degree. You've made it pretty clear that you are so greedy that you feel entitled to take anything you want, so come and get it. While you're here, you can tell me to my face how expecting responsible use of tax money makes me evil. I also have a few medical bills that you can pay, if you are as generous with your own money as you wish to be with mine...

Steve Hicks 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Starnes:

Please consider that the most important criteria for our government...that is, ourselves...is not money.

That's not the criteria for American government set out in the preamble to the Constitution. It's not the criteria scripture mandates for human governments in Romans 13. Both those documents say government's primary function is doing good for its people.

It misses the point to argue that some tax-policy, or some program of spending, will make for better government, except as that policy or program does good for people.

Governor Brownback and his fellow ideologues, in Topeka and in Washington, very obviously fail to do good for our people. But their failure isn’t solely, or even primarily, a result of how they raise money, or spend money.

They govern harmfully because they follow a harmful ideology, which rejects the Constitutional and Biblical teaching that government's job is to do good for its people.

Bob Summers 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Liberal people will say ANYTHING to justify taking other peoples money. That is what they do. It comes natural to them.

Without your money, what could they do?

They will say ANYTHING, create any fantasy, to take your blood sweat and tears trying to make a comfortable living for your family.

William Cummings 3 months, 1 week ago

Bob Summers will say ANYTHING to justify his delusion. That is what he does. It comes natural to him.

Without his delusion, what could he do?

He will say ANYTHING, create any fantasy, to further his delusion and trying to vilify you and your family.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

Did you attend public schools, Bob? My taxes helped pay for that. If you aren't going to do the same for others, send your degree back. And if you ate school lunches, you owe us a bunch of money.

Ray Mizumura 3 months, 1 week ago

More money for education=Fewer comments like those of Bob Summers.

What's not to like about that?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Bob...........I am just a bit curious...............how the hell do you expect to provide government WITHOUT TAXES?? Just how does the government pay for the things YOU need without collecting taxes?? Why is it that you think that people who support their government are, to put it your way, your hateful and disgustingly dismissive label for those of us who are of a liberal mind (It is not illegal, you know........) How do you do it Bob........print money??

How do you pay for government that you regard with such a dismissive attitude as yours???

Steve Hicks 3 months, 1 week ago

BS2:

Very well, evil government and "liberals" are trying to take your money. Robbers, aren't they ?

Remember the Jack Benny skit ?

Armed Robber: "Your money or your life !"

 (long, long silence)

Armed Robber: "I SAID, your money or your life !"

Irritated Jack Benny: "I'm thinking, I'm thinking !!"

(Ask someone to explain the joke to you, Bob.)

Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

Gov Sam Brownback came from Washington DC where much reckless spending and borrowing took place on his watch. Conservatives are not truly fiscal responsible politicians. In fact conservatives represent wreckanomics.

When conservatives hand out tax relief to the upper 1% like drunken sailors this creates a big hole in revenue generation which creates financial chaos in government management. This is not smart nor fiscal responsible management of government.

How do conservatives close the gap that their reckless tax dollar management has created? Conservatives borrow from Wall Street Banks which the big banks love and/or conservatives borrow from Peter to pay Paul which is what Sam Brownback is doing. Consequently highway funds get spent elsewhere and KPERS retirement funding is now in jeopardy etc etc etc.

What we see is these libertarian conservative politicians are not fiscal conservatives nor are they fiscal responsible in more simple terms are not capable of managing taxpayers money.

These anti american conservatives who are controlled by a variety of organizations most of which have organized through the Koch machines which spend big big big big bucks on political campaigns which is reckless indeed.

These anti american conservatives have learned VOTES CAN BE BOUGHT because voters tend to vote for the names they see and hear the most which is shallow to say the least. AND brings on destruction of the economy.

These anti american conservatives spend huge on MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS aka lying in which most of the rhetoric is devoted to CHARACTER ASSASSINATION in some form BOTH OF WHICH never speak to the issues.

Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

Five links which should be of concern to all voters on all sides of the aisle most directly old school republicans:

Koch/ALEC Agenda which is without a doubt not GOP but definitely radical Libertarian

=== Defunding/Dismantling Public Education Team http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-van-roekel/exposing-alecs-agenda-to-_b_3223651.html

=== Koch/ALEC Agenda http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures#Voter

=== Bill Moyers - United States of ALEC http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

=== ALEC Subversive Activity http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures#Voter

=== Pay close attention attention to this organized subversive activity24/7: American Legislative Exchange Council Boot Camp Team http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-

Bob Smith 3 months, 1 week ago

This same set of links has been posted hundreds of time here. What a waste of time for Richard.

Paul Beyer 3 months, 1 week ago

Not as big a waste of time as the "bob's" constant mindless forum rants.

Bob Smith 3 months, 1 week ago

Using an apostrophe to make a noun plural is folly without warrant. You aren't the only disappointed progressive on this site to make that mistake.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

Grammatically speaking, if he is talking about just you, Bob, the apostrophe is appropriate, since it defines possession of your rants. But if he was talking about the rants of both Bobs, then the apostrophe should be after the "s". Please read it again. I guess maybe you did attend a private school after all.

Ray Mizumura 3 months, 1 week ago

Not at all. Richard takes responsibility for the sources that shape his thinking and provides links so the rest of us can evaluate them. That you would find such accountability and goodwill a "waste of time" is no surprise at all.

Kyle Neuer 3 months, 1 week ago

Another rant from the ultimate "we want something for nothing" crowd. We want a functioning civil society but we don't want to pay for it. Cops, teachers, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers, road crews, water plant operators, ..., all those folks that actually make society work don't live on air and neither do their families. You hate that foreign workers are taking jobs? Maybe they wouldn't be able to if Americans valued education instead of football and video games. There's been a nursing shortage for years. The industry's response? Loot English speaking medical personnel from the rest of the world rather than cough up the bucks to establish more Nursing schools. We make fun of the kids in school that work hard on their academics and will become the movers and shakers in society and glorify the athletes who go on to manage liquor stores when their glory days are over. If you want to MAGA, folks, suck it up. It's going to cost real money and Mexico won't and shouldn't pay for it.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

You would know about sucking it up. That's your approach to taxes...

That person earned money? SUCK IT UP! That company is showing a profit? SUCK IT UP! That person has money left in their paycheck after paying taxes? SUCK IT UP! That person has enough money to donate to charity without government intervention? SUCK IT UP! We can get more money by pretending all real estate had a large increase in value? SUCK IT UP! We can issue all of the bonds now to earn interest on the money while hiding the fact that we included the greater costs of servicing the bonds for the extended time in the original bond? SUCK IT UP!

Yes, the greedy liberal position on money is for the government to suck it up. The ultimate "we want something for nothing" crowd is the one pushing for more taxes, not the ones trying to cut back.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

Also, Andrew, if my parent's generation were still alive they would spit on you and all of you spoiled brats. They paid for a world war. They paid to build the interstate system. They built schools.

And what do they get? They get whiney spoiled grandchildren and great grandchildren who worship rich people, just because they are rich, even if they didn't earn a dime of it. They whine if they have to go to a laundrymat. Boo hoo, the streets are bad, but don't expect me to pay for it. I want your tax dollars to send my kid to a private school. I want a war so my investments will earn more money, but don't ask me or my kin to fight it. I want to fly and hug a US flag, but don't ask anything of me. I'm too busy drinking my beer and talking bad about people who aren't just like me, and playing with my guns, cause I'm tough.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

"Also, Andrew, if my parent's generation were still alive they would spit on you" - You know, I would believe that about your parents. With the way you turned out, they probably weren't worth being around. However, I find your generalization of their entire generation as entitled bastards to be hard to believe. In fact, on behalf of my deceased relatives of that generation (who never spit on me unless they were eating watermelon) I demand that you retract your slanderous statement.

As bad as that was you should have stopped, but you just jumped into the deep end of the cesspool. I don't worship rich people. I aspire to be one. I don't whine if I have to go to the laundromat, I just hope for something good on TV since they have better cable than I do. I don't cry that the streets are bad. I get upset that the taxes I've already paid that were supposed to be used to fix them wasn't. I don't want your tax dollars to send my kid to private school. I want MY tax dollars to support my kid's school. Even if that is a public school (which it is), I want it used responsibly. I'm not going to support just throwing money at any school with no expectations and no results. I don't want war, and certainly not for your fairy tale reason. I'm just smart enough to know that you can't achieve peace by refusing to fight. I learned that at an early age from the young liberals in my school who had the same sense of entitlement that you do. My dad is a veteran and so are many of my other relatives. Several of my uncles actually fought a world war and then came home and paid for it again. I didn't serve, but it wasn't the possibility of being killed that stopped me. I simply had other plans and since they said that I would never be allowed to fly an Apache, I took a different path. When there was talk of a draft for Desert Storm, it wasn't people like me who were getting passports and checking out life in Canada. No, it was the kids of your political persuasion who were ready to cut and run. Yes, I want to fly a flag, but I'm not willing to put that kind of target on my house in a town with so many people like you. I tend to keep it inside, kind of like how concealed carry keeps them from seeing a gun and wetting themselves. Sorry, but I don't drink beer. I don't drink any alcohol or smoke or do drugs. I might be the only one in Lawrence, but you seem to have me confused with somebody else once again. I do like guns though. It's not because I'm tough, because I'm not. It's because I'm responsible. I know that's a foreign concept to somebody like you who wants the government to take care of everything for you (with my money)...

So, in summary, that was a disappointing rant of mindless drivel that really doesn't mean what you wish it did.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

We can get more money by pretending all real estate had a large increase in value?

You obviously need to leave your bunker. It's called supply and demand. Every time a house goes up for sale, it sells quickly, because there is a shortage of houses for sale. So the sellers are getting their first asking price, and sometime more if there are more than one person bidding for it. So, yes. Values of houses are going up. Why not go out into the world. Of course, if you go out into the world, you'll have to drive on streets that my tax dollars paid for. You're welcome.

And I would like an answer to the questions above, please.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

You obviously need to return to your insane asylum. Your meds are wearing off...

You might not be able to look at the big picture, but I was referring to a much broader period of time than just right now. I can remember when the real estate market crashed but the city tax base didn't and that's just one example. If you have the integrity and intellect to look it up, you'll even find an old LJ World article from 2011 where they looked at a bunch of houses that sold shortly before valuations came out. Something like 3/5 of them had a higher valuation than what they sold for while 1/5 matched the sale price and 1/5 were below.

So, tell me again how the valuations are so closely tied to sale prices and we can just trust the appraiser...

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

"You obviously need to return to your insane asylum. Your meds are wearing off..."

Look up "ad hominem". Not an impressive way to debate.

Again: 1. Did you attend a public school, which was paid by tax payers of my generation or my parents generation. (I don't know your age). If you did, why are you unwilling to pay it forward to the next generation.

  1. Do you drive on highways paid with taxes? Do you ever use the interstate system, built by my parent's generation? If so, why are you unwilling to pay for their upkeep?

  2. Did you vote for George W Bush? Did you support his wars, that are just going to be continued into generations, I fear? If so, why aren't you willing to pay taxes to pay for those wars? Did you serve in the military? If you didn't, why do you not want to support those who did?

  3. Has your house ever caught on fire? If so, did you just put it out yourself, or did you call the fire department for help?

  4. Have you ever needed police assistance? Has a police officer or state trooper ever pulled over to help you broken down on the side of the road? If so, do you think they should work for free?

  5. Do you think that if someone has been laid off from their job, and can't find another one, they should live along the river and starve to death, along with their children? If so, I hope you don't call yourself a Christian or any other religion for that matter.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

When I said "You obviously need to return to your insane asylum." it was a play on you saying "You obviously need to leave your bunker." So, if my comment was not an impressive way of debating, well, you are the one who set the bar at that level.

1 - (the first one) Yes, I survived public school. I already answered this one, but apparently you lack the intellect to find my reply right below your question...

1 (the second one) - Yes, I drive on highways. I would guess that I also pay more in highway taxes than you do. I know that blows both of your brain cells but, as I keep having to remind you, complaining about how much tax money is being taken and wasted does not mean I am against reasonable taxes that are used properly. I'm just against liars like you not following through on what was promised to get the taxes approved. It's not about not paying anything. It's about getting what we pay for and paying a reasonable amount for it.

2 - Yes, I did. I love how you call them his wars. I seem to recall that Congress was involved in declaring war, including one future President Obama. Speaking of which, did you vote for him? Did you support his wars? Once again, the question of my military service has already been answered. Also, you falsely claim I don't want to support them just because I'm not willing to let you take money in their name and use it for something else?

3 - No, but my neighbors house caught fire once when I was still at home. We were there before the (volunteer) fire department and was working on getting a ladder set up and others were running garden hoses when they arrived. The main complaints I've had with spending on the fire department was the 1% graft for the arts that added to the cost without any benefit to the fire service.

(cont)

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

(cont)

4 - Yes, I have needed police assistance, mainly thanks to liberals skipping the government intervention and just taking things directly. I did have an officer give us a ride once when my sister's car broke down, but I've given more rides to stranded individuals than I've received so I'm not sure that it means what you wish it meant. That said, I do support the police. However, that is not the same thing as supporting the specific plans to build them a new facility. Perhaps it has something to do with the city attorney not knowing their legal rights in dealing with issues regarding the facilities they are renting or perhaps I just think there is a better plan. Either way, I can be opposed to a particular plan and/or dollar amount without being opposed to the police.

5 - No, I don't think they should live along the river nor starve to death. I think they should move in with you. Seriously, I think we need to help our homeless but I think we need to have rules that include previous ties to Lawrence, no drinking/smoking/drugs, and working towards reversing their situation. Personally I like the idea of a county farm where they can live and work to get back on their feet. Of course a lot of the problem is that it was decided that the mentally ill cannot be forced to take their meds or be institutionalized against their will, so nothing we can actually do is going to truly help them. Further, it's kind of ironic to see one of the people who wants the government to push the churches out of the helping business complain that the religious aren't helping enough! Just because they don't want to give money to amoral programs doesn't mean they don't want to help.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

If you buy a house that has been valued for years at $100,000 and you pay $175,000 for it, the valuation goes to that for tax purposes, and chances are the whole neighborhood's valuation will rise. Why do you think many downtown building owners had to sell when developers started buying up property next to them for a lot of money? It's because the developers were paying a lot of money for those properties, thus raising the taxes on the next door building. It automatically raises the valuation of a property when it sells, and it can affect others.

We have owned our house since 2000. During the recession the valuation on our house did go down. And since then it's gone back up to where it used to be. If we would decide to sell, we could get more than what the valuation is, but then the new valuation would be what the buyers paid. So yes, it is tied to home sales. And when your neighbors house sells at a higher price, then it can affect your valuation. And during the recession, valuations probably didn't go down as much as the worth of your house, but if you had sold it for the lower price, the valuation would go down. For example, after my mother in law died, we sold her house. Because we were in the recession, her house sold lower than the valuation. So the new owners were actually paying fewer taxes than she did. If more people had been able to sell their homes at a loss during the recession, valuations would have gone down more. That's why state revenues were in trouble during the recession.

Do you even own a house? If you do own a house, and you feel your valuation is high, hire an appraiser and appeal it. It's not that hard, and most appeals are successful.

Andrew Applegarth 3 months, 1 week ago

Do you realize that by saying "most appeals are successful" you are basically admitting that what I said about over valuation is true. If it wasn't, most appeals would not be successful.

As I mentioned in another reply, the LJ World did an article back in 2011 where they looked at the valuations for about 50 properties that sold shortly before the new valuations were determined. Roughly 3/5 of them were valued higher than the sale price. Only 1/5 were in line with the sale price and 1/5 were below the sale price. That means the appraiser only had 20% accuracy and 3/4 of his mistakes were on the high side.

I do find it interesting that one of the city's loudest pro-tax supporters just happens to be one of those with an undervalued house (by your own admission). Perhaps you should file an appeal to have them up your valuation. After all, if you really mean what you say about paying your fair share you can't cheat them out of the taxes on the undeclared value in your house, can you?

Ray Mizumura 3 months, 1 week ago

The letter is nothing but sweeping generalities in the service of nonsense.

Interesting that the author appears to have no problems with the regressive sales tax that the Governor imposed, which comes down hardest on those with the least so those with the most could work wonders with the money they were saving--you know, that near-orgasmic surge of job creation and a state economy hitting on all cylinders. Yeah, right, Governor Brownback was on the way to making Kansas a land of plenty, the envy of the world, just one big sunflower garden where the future's so bright we have to wear shades.

Thank goodness enough Kansas state legislators were smart enough and determined enough to put the brakes on the garbage that the letter writer confuses with leadership. First, we need to act to control the damage Brownback and his many enablers inflicted on the state, a tall order indeed.

Just a ridiculous, even pathetic letter.

Steve Hicks 3 months, 1 week ago

Right on, Michael ! That insight explains so much.

The political faction that loves money above all else, believes eberything is ABOUT money: to the exclusion of doing good with it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 months, 1 week ago

Isn't funny how the conservatives refuse to answer where they went to school. Or are they afraid to admit that they received their education in a public school, paid for by others, but they aren't willing to do the same? And they never answer how they get around town without driving on roads paid for by my taxes. Who really are the deadbeats? Those of us who are paying for schools, roads, feeding the poor, fire fighting, police protection or those who want all these things but whine about taxes.

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