Lessons in Greek
We will hear lots of excuses regarding the plight of the bankrupt Greeks. The truth of the matter is they just ran out of other people’s money.
The Greeks apparently believe the world owes them a living, and that’s how they conduct their lives. They elect socialist leaders who promise much more than they can deliver.
They have now accumulated far more monetary debt than they can ever repay. There will be a payback, however, in a much lower living standard and great human suffering.
Socialism never has a happy ending. For those Americans who prefer socialism to capitalism, a trip to Greece might be an enlightening experience.
Middle class struggle
A tax by any other name is still a tax. The multiyear conversion of a sewer tax to a fee basis system in the Johnson County Wastewater kingdom is a good example of this in action.
The new unified rate billing model is taking away from Johnson County Wastewater customers’ ability to help rebuild the middle class. Wastewater fees are one of the primary sources of revenue for the county. In 2014, Johnson County Wastewater brought in $119.7 million in revenue less expenditures of $113.2 million, which leaves $6.5 million going into reserves.
You would think with numbers like this, maintenance and repair of sewer lines across easements and right of ways would be covered. Not so for owners of single-family homes. The property owner is liable for all repairs and replacement of sewer lines from the house to the main sewer line. In the last 12 years, the policy for maintenance and repair of sewer lines has changed twice.
The county seems to have created disclosure issues for single-family homes or at least for older ones. Every time our nation has an economic crisis, the private sector and military sector have to become lean and mean. In the current economic tide, every level of government is battling to stay afloat. Our states are stuck between federal government special interest and local government charters.
Johnson County government is an incorporated entity yet encourages and runs the county like a country club type sanctuary for public sector administrators. There must be other ways to save money with a budget approaching $1 billion. The proposed 2016 budget appears to be dictating the tax rates to help maintain the status quo.
News media gloom
Why don’t we smile and laugh like we use to? The culprit might be the news.
Turn on the television and/or read the newspaper in the morning, and the headlines and “breaking news” are all terrible. The news menu is filled with theater shootings, police brutality, homicides and so on.
Occasionally a “feel-good story” is saved for the end of the TV newscast. There’s little in the way of a laugh or smile to be gained from our news media.
Lighten up, folks.
While other writers are entitled to their opinion, I suggest they listen to Vin Scully once to learn what a great announcer is. Also the announcers for Kansas City Royals on the radio are great.
Rex Hudler, cute sayings, yeah. Knowledgeable baseball, nah.
Health care reform
Clearly the market knows much better than the government. Currently, private health insurance companies are undergoing massive consolidation.
Soon there may only be one provider left. Obviously the all-knowing invisible hand is telling us to adopt a single-payer system.
Apparently the coffers of Lenexa are overflowing with funds. I was disappointed and angered to read that the current leadership of Lenexa — the mayor and the City Council, who we have elected — are planning to give away valuable real estate to the Shawnee Mission School District for the new District Aquatics Center.
It seems that the bond issue that was approved for this center isn’t enough. Now the district has their hands out for free real-estate. And Lenexa, ever eager to be generous, has decided that the city residents should pick up this tab.
In the past six years, we have seen the mill levy in Lenexa increase by almost 20 percent, from 26.574 in 2009 to 31.765 in 2014. Meanwhile, local streets are in disrepair, walking paths are cracked and broken, work on park improvements moves along at a snail’s pace and there are many vacant retail spaces that aren’t generating tax revenue for the city.
Come on, Lenexa leaders. If there’s so much excess available, shouldn’t it be returned to the residents of this fine city, instead of just giving it away?
I see that our Gov. Sam Brownback is going to be on vacation when the next budget cuts are announced. That’s very convenient.
If may, I will make a prediction. I would suspect that the governor will wait for the court to rule on school funding.
If the courts rule against him, which they may, he will blame the courts for the problem, not his policies and the Legislature. He scores it as a win while children and schools lose.
These are just my thoughts but how sad for Kansas’ kids and schools.
To send letters
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