One of the focus areas for the Kansas National Education Association-Retired is financial stability in retirement. In 2015, more than 90,000 Kansas retirees received $1.3 billion from KPERS.
In the Kansas City area, retirees receive $354 million. We pay property, income and sales tax. We contribute to the economy of Kansas.
For 26 years, the Kansas Legislature granted periodic cost-of-living adjustments for KPERS recipients. In the past 19 years, not one such adjustment has been made. During that period, the Consumer Price Index cost of living has risen 45 percent. Someone who retired in 1993 at a salary of $1,120 per month would need an adjusted benefit of $1,757 today just to break even.
Legislators must fix our revenue and budget problems. They need to pay their employer share of KPERS. They need to stop borrowing by not making employer payments, and they must give hardship-benefit adjustments to the eldest of our retirees, whose buying power has so greatly diminished over the years. No retiree should have to choose between food and medicine.
I am sick of hearing “Let’s make America great again.” America is as great now as it has ever been.
Can it be made greater? Of course it can, and I think we all strive for that. But to imply that America is not great seems unpatriotic.
How about “Let’s make America greater for everyone”?
Thanks to the renewable fuel standard, a federal policy requiring gasoline producers and importers to blend increasing amounts of biofuels into petroleum, corn-based ethanol has thrived, yielding cleaner air, providing choice at the pump for consumers and creating a value-added market for farmers.
So why then would Brandon Kenig argue for the policy’s end? (Feb. 27, 12A, “Letter of the week”) His solution is in search of a problem, and he likely has a hidden agenda.
The U.S. ethanol industry has not received federal incentives since 2011, while Big Oil has received numerous government subsidies for more than 100 years. Meantime, in 2016, the production of a record 15.25 billion gallons of ethanol supported 74,420 direct jobs in renewable fuel production and agriculture, as well as 264,756 indirect and induced jobs across all sectors of the economy.
Without the renewable fuel standard and a true free market, Big Oil would continue its near-dominance, ensuring that consumers would have little to no choice at the pump.
Kansas is home to 13 ethanol plants, and Missouri has six. I’d much rather my money go to supporting local, homegrown fuel, and I suspect Mr. Kenig would, too.
I am on a toxic chemical exposure registry because of contaminated drinking water.
As I was growing up in Camp Lejuene, N.C., businesses dumped their used industrial chemicals onto the ground near the wells that provided the camp’s drinking water. Industrial chemicals were found in our drinking water at levels 240 times to 3,200 times the acceptable limits. This was discovered only after the EPA mandated testing of the water.
As a veteran of 26 years in the U.S. Army, I understand the concepts of risk and protection. But the idea that those concepts need to be applied to our drinking water is unacceptable.
I urge the president and our representatives not to hamstring the EPA in its mission to protect the people of the United States from harmful environmental chemicals.
I took an oath to protect and defend the United States. I expect the U.S. government to allow the EPA to do so, too.
Randolph III, M.D.
Guns at KU
Thank you very much to The Star for continuing coverage of the campus carry issue in Kansas.
As I’m sure your readers know, as of July 1, concealed handguns will be permitted legally at Kansas’ state colleges and universities. As prospective students and their families decide which schools are right for them, it’s important that they have the information they need about campus carry.
I’m pleased that KU has an excellent web site, concealedcarry.ku.edu, that explains the law, campus policies and FAQs, and has information specifically for prospective students and families. It is well worth visiting.
University of Kansas