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Hold the line

Published on -10/31/2012, 9:23 AM

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Hold the line

I watched the interview of the two men running for Kansas Senate that Smoky Hills Public Television aired Sunday. I was shocked to hear Ralph Ostmeyer state he supported programs for Kansas seniors when it was he who brought fees to Kansas seniors for hunting and fishing licenses. Kansas seniors had been exempt from these fees for more than 40 years, but Sen. Ostymeyer has changed that. As a landowner, Sen. Ostymeyer has left in place an exemption for himself, while taxing Kansas seniors.

I had thought that, as a Republican, he would hold "conservative" values, but he selected only Kansas seniors for fee increases so one state agency could increase spending. As a conservative, he should be holding the line on increased spending. His Democratic rival appeared to be more conservative.

Has anyone noticed our taxes have been increased due to the need for increased spending of state agencies? The reform needed to cut spending seems to be too complicated to address, unless our legislators are forced by shrinking tax revenues to deal with reforms. Then, "if" spending cuts have been made, the following year, if revenues improve, those cuts are reinstated. Why? Has anyone noticed the "carrot" that the federal government holds out to the states, which requires the states to have matching funds? No consideration is given to the fact the state must increase taxes on Kansas citizens in order to come up with those matching funds. Then the program or facility must be maintained by the state that also required continuing increased taxes on Kansas citizens.

Our representatives cannot seem to understand our taxes are much too high on individuals and business. They wonder why no one wants to locate their business or move to Kansas. They should not be elected to grow government. Kansans rank as one of the highest-taxed citizens in the nation. Has anyone seen the nice law enforcement centers in many counties of Kansas while the schools in those same counties need repair? Our legislators have jumped at matching federal funds, yet give no consideration to what the future cost of those funds will be.

Our legislators have added themselves to the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System, turning six months work into a year's credit, all the time the fund has been underfunded and now must support elected officials. We should have term limits as recommended by our Founding Fathers, yet it never happens. Legislators have seen compensation increases while many Kansans have not seen any paycheck increases.

Voter ID has been an issue, while voter fraud has not. Yet it was because of voter fraud that voter ID was born. Fees are placed on Kansans to pay their taxes, obtain a drivers license, get a tag for their car and on and on -- yet it is these fees that hurt Kansas seniors the most because it is a fixed tax that takes the same dollar amount from a millionaire as it does from a college student or Kansas senior.

Kansas needs to go on a diet, and part of that weight reduction would be to remove Mr. Ostymeyer from the Kansas Senate. Start thinking forward.

Larry Curtis Ellinwood

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