So, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt says that President Barack Obama’s plan to offer free community college education is the wrong direction for America. How shocking that he would criticize the president.
In other breaking news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.
Prepare for drastic, devastating cuts in public services. Providing tax cuts for the ultrawealthy created the projected $700 million budget disaster.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wants a constitutional amendment that would force Kansas to pay debts first, which would give him an excuse to rob the highway fund, cut public school funding, reduce the Kansas Retirement System for Public Employees employer contribution, slash state agency budgets by 4 percent and furlough state employees.
Brownback’s rationale will be that the Constitution made him do it. The most important aspect concerning Brownback is that he supposedly was totally unaware there was a massive budget deficit projected for Kansas.
However, the Kansas Department of Revenue reported there was a multimillion-dollar shortfall compared with the previous fiscal year. Evidently, Brownback doesn’t pay attention to the unintended consequences of providing tax breaks to the ultrawealthy.
Holly John Blythe
The Jan. 18 issue of Parade Magazine screamed: “What are you afraid of?” And I, a one-time member of President Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Task Force screamed back: Gov. Sam Brownback.
There’s hasn’t been, in my 80-year memory, a governor who was more grossly irresponsible than Brownback and his reckless insistence of a zero state income tax. The state of Texas has no state income tax. The oil industry supplements funds that would normally be assessed on Texans.
On the contrary, the state of Kansas has no similar oil industry to supplement state income tax revenue. So what does the Kansas governor do?
He irresponsibly sacrifices funds that would go to the middle class, the sick, the elderly, to children, education, women’s health, public services, home owners (by eliminating mortgage deductions) — to do what Texas does. He supplements the no-state-income tax scheme on the backs of Kansans.
What’s even more irresponsible than the governor himself, are the irresponsible Republicans who blindly vote for anyone with an “R” before his or her name — even if that person misled voters to gain a second term.
Shame on Brownback and his herd of lemming Republicans.
William R. Park Sr.
Praying for Kansas
So the governor’s smokescreen now is “crisis of the family,” and that is the biggest problem in Kansas. How convenient to pick a subject like that, and then have his prayer buddy say “Yeah, take care of the crisis of the family and that will solve the economic problems of the state.”
What kind of logic is that? Does anyone but those two believe that?
Let us all get together and pray for wisdom. Lord knows how little there is in Kansas.
Aren’t we overlooking an exemplary talent of President Barack Obama? He has demonstrated many times his ability to create an idea without a price tag.
His latest is a six-month paid leave for government employees. But, still his finest moment is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
In Gov. Sam Brownback’s inaugural address he said: “If we are honest, we have to admit there is a crisis of the family in our country. In my view, this is a principal issue that must be addressed for us to move forward.”
Given Brownback’s record on such matters as blocking Medicaid expansion, promoting KanCare, meddling with school financing and cutting income taxes for the wealthy to name a few, I’m thinking the family he’s referring to is that of the Koch brothers.
Police, city funds
When my paycheck depends upon behaving a certain way and performing certain tasks, then that is how I will act and what I will do. Many communities with a small tax base must rely upon fees, fines and property seizures to fund their police force.
Naturally, the police write tickets and seize property. It can be hard for people fortunate enough to live in an affluent community to understand how this must feel.
Try to imagine a place where everything you do involves a potential speed trap. It is not an invitation to trust.
Even with this preponderance of revenue generating activities, most of these departments are not flush. There is generally no money for special equipment, analysis or training to properly identify criminals or potential criminals.
Many fall back upon the cheapest screening tool: skin color. If they receive federal help, it is most often in the form of surplus military equipment. It is remarkable that any effective community policing has taken place in such small tax base communities.
Ferguson, Mo., raises many issues. There are obviously many factors causing tension, distrust and unequal treatment. Clearly police funding and its effect upon behavior must be included in that mix.
To send letters
Visit the Letters website at kansascity.com/letters to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.