Resident responds to elected officals columns
I write to respond to the articles by our U.S. Senator, state senator and state representative in the Feb. 13 and 20 issues of the Outlook.
To Sen. Paul, I would ask, if he felt so strongly about the national debt that would be racked up by the budget bill he filibustered that he was willing to shut down the federal government for even a day, why did he vote for the tax bill in December that will increase the national debt by $1.5 trillion dollars over ten years?
If State Senator Schroder really thinks that the issues he reports on are the most serious issues facing Kentucky government, he needs to be replaced. While better supervision of special districts’ taxing is necessary, and streamlining the organ donor process involving coroners is a worthy cause, Schroder has nothing to say about the most critical issues facing Kentucky: the pension deficit, the state of education, and the effects of the new federal budget on Kentucky, especially our previously expanded Medicaid program. Does he really think that appropriating any profits from prison canteens to fund extra security is more important than these issues? As Mr. Lingo’s letter to the editor (Feb. 20) pointed out, Kentucky’s failing infrastructure has been defunded in these last years due to the falling price of gas and lower gas usage, despite the critical need to attract businesses that offer increased employment. In Northern Kentucky, the condemned Brent-Spence bridge over the Ohio in Covington, and the ten-year dispute between Ohio and Kentucky over how to pay for its replacement, clearly need attention.
Our state representative, Mr. Hart, writes as if there is no Governor’s proposed budget on the table so that he does not have to take sides on the issues involved, including defunding 27 programs and cutting healthcare to retired state workers. His pious, “I remain confident that any (budget) plan will reflect the sentiments of those most affected, and that the best possible solution will be proposed” ignores the fact that the leader of his party, the governor, has already proposed a draconian budget. We do not elect representatives to hope for good ends, we elect them to work for those ends. What does he support and what does he oppose? Will Hart vote no on a bill that removes healthcare for retired teachers and state workers, and cuts state funding for bus transportation and textbooks?
The “modernization” of the worker’s compensation system Hart touts would mean that a worker who lost the an arm, leg, eyes, even lungs or heath health, on the job, could receive healthcare benefits for a maximum of 15 years, and income benefit for only two years. Raising the income provided during those two years by 10 percent in no way prepares seriously injured workers for doing without a salary until they reach Social Security age - when their income is again reduced by the years they have been unable to work. This bill is an employer’s dream, but it revictimizes workers.
Our elected officals need to give us information about the issues our state and nation face, and tell us how and why they will vote on those issues, not merely was lyrical on Kentucky as the birthplace of Lincoln (Schroder) or offer pious hopes for solutions.