Ayn Rand’s ghost
The anti-government extremists who have taken over the government of Kansas have dug the state into a black hole of education cuts, reduced essential services and increased borrowing costs for the taxpayers. Republicans in the Kansas Legislature seem unaware that decades of “trickle-down" economics have not led to the promised growth and benefits for all.
Instead, we see the ongoing redistribution of wealth from working people toward the already wealthy. House Speaker Ray Merrick, who apparently considers government employees as slackers, needs to glance at an elementary economics textbook and realize that government spending is not only necessary but does indeed contribute to the state's economic health.
Perhaps the downward spiral of Brownback's economic experiment will turn around, but it's likely to require the ghost of Ayn Rand to spread “Free Market Pixie Dust” across our state.
In a Nov. 17 article, “Tough decisions await,” House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, is quoted saying: “Government employees produce nothing. They're a net consumer.”
As a former teacher, I would like to think that I helped produce citizens for the state. If they elected to stay in Kansas, many provided the state with doctors, nurses, engineers, perhaps even individuals who started up businesses, which Merrick says Kansas needs to contribute to the state's economic health.
Additionally, government employees contribute by paying taxes to the state of Kansas in the form of income taxes (it's not their fault if the government wants to cut this tax), sales taxes, property taxes and other hidden taxes. These taxes provide the revenue to actually operate the state.
Finally, it takes a lot of chutzpah for Merrick, a government employee, to argue government employees produce nothing. If he genuinely feels this way, Ray needs to step up by stepping down from his government job.
After all, he is a net consumer and produces nothing.
Lies, children, politics
In playing the results of this last election forward, we can rest assured that our normally observant schoolchildren will observe that those who lie, cheat and scheme the best win the race. The children will try to carry this into their daily school life as they have been shown that facts do not matter and that you may apply whatever whim you feel like to whatever subject you want, and it’s OK because the most honorable members of our government have shown us that these tactics make you a winner.
Of course the first thing those who are elected do is to cut funding to education, perhaps because they just want stupid voters who do not understand math. This, of course, leaves us with a future of mentally deficient adults who believe that the Earth is flat and who also believe that a well thought out fabrication will trump the truth any old day.
Try getting to the moon on those principles — but then again, maybe I' m just lying.
Richard C. Lumpkin
Reading about the City Union Mission's decision not to allow same-sex couples to stay together in the shelter is a disappointment to me, but not a surprise (11-17, A4, “Gay marriage issue spurs decision by shelter in KC”). Their rigidity about their mission was brought home a few years ago when I wanted to volunteer there.
I was turned away because I was not a Christian. Although their director says “they have to stick with biblical principles” I find it hard to believe that such intolerance and lack of compassion is really what the Bible advocates.
Thinking of the line that was popular in recent years: “What Would Jesus Do?” I would guess that he would not have supported either of these actions.
Much was said this month about the presidential health care adviser's comments about “stupid” American voters. He labeled us as such for believing that it was possible to cover 30 million additional Americans, reduce costs, portability and provide better care.
I'm sure most Americans were doubtful of the claim, but juxtaposed to that doubt was the presidential claim that health care costs would go down, keep your doctor, portability and more. The president and his “partners-in-lie” abused and damaged significantly the trust, good will and respect that had been accorded the office of the president for generations.
Much was betrayed and more will be lost in the future as most will be inclined to weigh and measure presidential claims possibly to the detriment of some valued position. Hubris, arrogance and deceit are not specific to a particular party, but the Democratic Party has devolved to the point where it is emblazoned on their party flag.
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