Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss pension planning, KCP&L profits and threatening Democrats

Pension realism

I see that the Missouri State Retirees Employment System is lowering its assumed rate of return from 7.75 percent to 6.95 percent over a few years. This is a good idea.

Warren Buffett estimates the Dow Jones Industrial Average will reach 1 million within 100 years. That sounds like a lot, but in reality, it’s only about a 4 percent rate of return, which is much more realistic.

Remember that the 30-year bond yields only a little more than 3 percent. That means growth investments (stocks, private equity and real estate) would need to return 10 percent for the average total return to be more than 7 percent. That is not going to happen long term.

This 10-year bull market will come to an end someday. What pensions all across the country should do is lower the assumed rate of return to 4 percent. Then participants would truly know by how much their pension plans are underfunded.

Holmes Osborne


On our backs

For the record, Kansas City Power & Light’s net profit was more than $269 million in 2017 and more than $286 million in 2016. According to business analysis website Salary.com, Terry Bassham, now CEO of KCP&L’s parent company, received total annual compensation of $4,319,486 as KCP&L’s CEO for fiscal year 2016. Executive Vice President Scott Heidtbrink received $2,144,608, and then-Senior Vice President Kevin Bryant received $1,297,053.

By comparison, my Social Security check is slightly less than $2,000 per month before taxes. I am told what I receive is a bit higher than average, so there are many thousands of others making less.

The public also needs to know that KCP&L is a for-profit company, with stockholders who are calling the shots for more profits and higher rates. Those of us who pay the rates seem to be of little interest to those stockholders.

If you agree with my opposition to the rate-increase request, please let KCP&L hear from you.

Richard Bronaugh

Overland Park

Unfit to serve

I don’t think Brett Kavanaugh is fit to be on the Supreme Court.

He seems ill-tempered and has been credibly accused of a sex-related offense. His behavior during his confirmation hearings was not what I would expect from one of nine people honored to be justices on our nation’s highest court.

I know what is already done would be difficult to undo, but I do not think Justice Kavanaugh should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court.

George Rebman

Kansas City

Strategic inaction

I have been torn with the moral aspect of the abortion issue for years. Raised as a Christian, I learned right from wrong long ago.

But I have become disillusioned with how the Republican Party now seems to abuse the abortion issue to its favor.

If Republicans truly wish to champion the cause, then count me in. Despite the GOP having had complete control of Washington for almost two years, I have yet to hear anything. Why have there been no anti-abortion bills presented by anyone from the GOP?

This could easily have become a law by now, and nothing.

A friend told me Republicans don’t want the issue to go away because we may quit voting for them. I am tired of waiting, and since they have no desire to be truly opposed to abortion, I will now move toward issues that will help the children who are born: health care, income inequality and racial equality.

I no longer care what Sen. Roy Blunt or Attorney General Josh Hawley even think anymore.

William Rodgers

Farmington, Mo.

A new meaning

In regards to President Donald Trump’s reaction to the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Instanbul: Who knew the “G” in MAGA stands for “gutless”?

Margaret E. Caswell

Prairie Village

Threatening tactics

If you want to look into a dark pit, a place where truth fears to tread, you need to go no further than the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

This is the party of swamp creatures such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters, a place where anything goes in the pursuit of absolute power.

Character assassination, ambush tactics and intimidation have become a substitute for rational political debate.

These George Soros-funded basement dwellers resort to stalking and bullying anyone who stands in their way, and then pretend to be engaging in freedom of speech.

Gregory Bontrager

Hutchinson, Kan.