Letters to the Editor

Readers react to the Kansas budget, Social Security and Beyoncé

Kansas budget

Excuse me, but didn’t I just read a column from Gov. Sam Brownback rebutting criticisms of his fiscal policies (2-6, Commentary, “The facts are clear on the Kansas economy”)?

Kansas is doing fantastic, says Gov. I-can’t-balance-the-state-budget-without-raiding-other-funds Brownback. First it was the state Department of Transportation. Now he and his inept legislators are going after the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (2-10, Editorial, “Don’t let Brownback delay payments for Kansas pensions”).

How about it, people of Kansas? Do you enjoy paying higher consumer taxes? Like potholes and aging bridges and roads?

Members of KPERS, you’re next. Want to see what an underfunded pension looks like?

Still, the governor and his legislative cronies don’t get it. If the state is on the road to success, why are they raising consumer taxes, taking money from the DOT and now attempting to pass legislation that would discontinue KPERS funding (although, in fairness, the legislation does come with a fantasy promise that the money would be paid back with 8 percent interest)? You might as well make that 108 percent because you’d need a surplus to actually make payments back into KPERS.

So, governor and supporting legislators, if Kansas is truly on the road to success, why are you still unable to produce a balanced budget that doesn’t require taking funds from other state agencies?

David Vanderwell


Social Security

This year, 60 million Americans will not receive a raise on their Social Security benefits. To correct this, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, has proposed a bill that would close a loophole for millionaires and give seniors a cost-of-living increase.

The Save Benefits Act has wide support from Democrats but scant support from Republicans. However, on C-SPAN’s coverage of the debate the other day, I did not see a single Republican senator voice opposition to this proposal, and for good reason. It would be cold-blooded to say in public that millionaires are more in need of a raise than Social Security recipients are.

But that, unfortunately, is exactly what the majority in the GOP Congress is saying. Unless people raise their voices loudly enough to get this measure passed, the Republicans will again prove that they are the party of the rich and will tell seniors that millionaires are more deserving of a raise than they are.

Michal Betz


Osterheldt’s insight

I would like to share the appreciation I have for the writings of Jeneé Osterheldt. I am a 65-year-old, twice-decorated Vietnam veteran with 39 years of service ongoing with a federal agency.

Her writings provide insight that isn’t often obvious. Her Feb. 9 column, “Super Bowl’s biggest winner: Beyoncé,” caused me to buy a copy of the paper even after reading the article online to ensure physical evidence of the article and to share with others and to maintain for a historical perspective.

I and others look forward to her writings, much like Christmas Eve anticipation of what may be forthcoming. Many thanks to the editorial staff members for their courage.

Marcell Denmon

Kansas City

Children’s Mercy

Nearly a year ago, I took my son to St. Mary’s Hospital. An ambulance then took him to Children’s Mercy Hospital downtown.

At age 11, his kidneys had shut down. The ambulance personnel were so kind. He was in the intensive care unit for two days. His stay was three weeks.

I was not able to follow the ambulance because I needed to drop off my daughter at my parents’ house and get my husband. When I arrived at Children’s Mercy, there were probably five people attending to him.

I spent every day by his side. He was removed from the ICU and taken to the fifth-floor kidney center. His nurses were all good to him. Doctors came daily to let us know what was going on.

Words cannot express my thanks to Dr. Blowey and Dr. Beins for all they have done. I am forever grateful to the staff members at Children’s Mercy. They treated my son as if he were their own child.

My son wants to pay it forward for everyone there. He wants to be a doctor someday.

From the bottom of my heart, I would recommend this hospital to anyone. I thank Children’s Mercy, and God bless the people who staff the hospital.

Melanie Bunch

Blue Springs