Water services, giving, farm bill

07/27/2013 12:00 AM

07/27/2013 12:00 AM

Fix water services

Paying for a contract to help the Kansas City Water Services administration better deal with their customers is throwing good money after bad.

The fact that someone on the City Council recommends this gives merit to the idea that only certain people will profit and the problems will continue.

There should be ample qualified personnel readily available who need viable employment and have the skills, knowledge and abilities to improve Water Services without contracting.

It’s time for an independent audit, which could clearly identify all the fiscal problems and recommend corrective action. That is, if the city procurement procedures weren’t already corrupted to allow improper bidding activities.

Where is the Missouri Public Service Commission in all this?

Oh, that’s right. The Missouri Public Service represents the monopoly utilities, not the paying public.

Maybe it’s time for the attorney general to look into the deceptive billing to determine fraud. It’s time for a letter campaign to that office by all the frustrated customers as the problems seem to be entrenched and growing.

Carol A. Clopton

Kansas City Focus on giving

Some time ago, I witnessed a large group of demonstrators with signs proclaiming their “rights” and demanding certain concessions (entitlements). They were loud and boisterous. My immediate reaction was to distance myself from their activities.

Driving away, it occurred to me that this was political activism by intimidation. It also occurred to me that simply yielding to their demands would only encourage such behavior in the future (Parenting 101).

Somehow, it does not feel right that laws and domestic policy should be enacted and court cases decided by whoever yells the loudest and threatens civil disobedience. It can only result in the tail wagging the dog.

It would seem that with benefits comes responsibility. Benefits do not materialize from thin air.

There is a cost, and someone, somewhere, is earning the capital to provide these benefits. Therefore, there is an obligation to use these benefits responsibly.

All of us need to understand that any society is effective only when all citizens are working for the common good.

Does our personal behavior uplift and inspire others or do we simply live for self-gratification?

Mike Hanrahan

Cameron, Mo. Tax savings pain

In my mail recently was a letter from the auto company that holds the lease on my car. It turns out the tax rate has changed in my jurisdiction, and I owe 34 cents less monthly than I used to owe.

Instead of jumping for joy or planning how to enjoy the more than $4 a year I was going to have in my pocket, all I could think of is what’s all the fuss about lowering sales taxes.

Of course, it isn’t just 34 cents per month. I’ll probably save several whole dollars a month.

And for that we get the privilege of seeing funding for, among other things, our schools cut to the bone.

Proponents say new businesses will come to Kansas. But I have news for them.

No Apple, Google, Yahoo or similar business will come to Kansas if they keep cutting into education funds. Those companies want a highly educated populace, and that is not what our politicians want, based on their actions.

Keep my pennies and save our schools, please.

Joe Gallagher

Prairie Village Misfire on farm bill

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives, on a party-line vote, broke with tradition by stripping from the farm bill the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).

Left in the bill were billions of dollars of subsidies, mostly for farming conglomerates. The U.S. Senate passed a much more balanced bill last month.

The farm bill sets U.S. agricultural, food and resource conservation policy for the next five years.

Over the past 18 years, our government has doled out an average of $7 billion per year of taxpayer funds to support the livestock and dairy industries. Instead, their products should be taxed to reimburse state and federal governments for the uncounted billions of dollars in increased medical costs and lost productivity associated with their consumption.

Conversely, a sound national nutrition program based on vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits and nuts can save additional billions in reduced social costs.

I am all in favor of reducing our national deficit, government waste and medical costs. But that’s not going to happen by taking nutritious food from the mouths of 47 million of our society’s least privileged members.

Brittany Fletcher

Kansas City Lost liberties

I am convinced that ordinary citizens have no effect on federal government decisions. I am making a plea to governors to stand for states rights.

I know that many states are already too dependent on federal government give back, and that is a crime.

The Environmental Protection Agency will be my first example. If you cannot recognize the detrimental effects of overregulation, look closer. Cities in your state can hardly keep up with the water-quality requirements.

Coal-fired electric plants will need to make major expenditures to meet regulations or be mothballed. Our country cannot afford a federal administration whose stated goal is to shut down coal-fired electric generation.

Please see the budget nightmares in California, Illinois and New York, with the intent not to follow their lead. We cannot let public-sector benefits bankrupt each state as they are doing with the federal government and many states.

States can stand for their rights and push back on federal takeover of their decision-making.

When accepting federal regulations without question, liberty is lost one small regulation at a time until no liberty exists.

Charles Tuttle

Lawrence Cut Obama’s travels

I was always told that when you are in a hole, the best thing to do is stop digging.

The president’s visit to Warrensburg, Mo., was greatly ballyhooed by the local media (7-25, A1, “Focus on the economy”).

Did anyone stop to consider the cost of this trip and the many others this president has taken when he could have stayed in Washington, D.C., and done the same thing.

After all, the Department of Defense has had to make many cutbacks because of budget cuts.

Many people are being laid off because of these cuts.

Bob Simpson

LaMonte, Mo. Use seat belts

The Star earlier this month reported a car collision in which at least two children were not wearing seat belts. They were ejected from the car and died.

The seat-belt fact got passing mention about halfway through the article. It would be helpful if every such article mentioned the failure to use seat belts right in the sub-headline to remind even skimmers of the newspaper of the consequences of not wearing seat belts.

David Johnson

Gladstone Recast KC Royals

It’s time for the Kansas City Royals to clean house, starting with general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost, two key employees who haven’t done the job.

In the case of Moore, how many of his draft picks have worked out for this team?

He has picked for years at the top of the baseball draft, and he has failed to produce or trade for a power hitter or outstanding rookie.

As for Yost, he’s uninspiring and hasn’t produced.

Now, neither Dayton nor Ned can play defense or hit for this team, but they can make changes.

Let’s start with Billy Butler, a better-than-average hitter who can’t run or play defense. That might be OK for some teams, but not the Royals.

We need players who can score from second on a base hit.

Last send Mike Moustakas to Omaha, where he can get back on track.

Let’s bring our kids up from Class A and AA, giving them a chance to play.

Sometimes our kids will surprise us.

Dayton and Ned, you’ve done a terrible job.

John D. Koehler

Raytown

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