Letters (March 31, 2010)


Letter about pipeline prompts response

 

In reply to Harry Bennett’s somewhat vitriolic last letter (March 17 issue) I will present more facts concerning Senate Bill 303 and the Keystone-TransCanada pipeline controversy.

At the time of the legislative coffee that Mr. Bennett is so concerned about, I was not aware of SB303 since it had not been introduced or debated in the House. If I had known it would come through Kansas and Marion County, I would have proudly taken some credit for it.

The Kansas Association of Counties employs a full-time lobbyist in Topeka whose job it is to keep counties informed of pending legislation that might affect them. If SB303 was viewed as onerous it would surely have been briefed to commissioners, maybe at their annual Topeka meeting.

When the bill, which included KTC, passed the House and the Senate, no one knew which counties the KTC pipeline might pass through. We didn’t even know if it would pass through Kansas.

However, if I had known the pipeline would go east or west of Marion County I would have tried my best to have it transverse Marion County because, as I said in my previous letter, fiscally we will be much better off in the long run. It is the short-sighted “I want it now/me” generation that has gotten the state and the country in our present fiscal mess.

In addition to the five utility enterprises SB303 was trying to build up or attract to the state, as mentioned in my previous letter, SB303 also gave tax incentives to a proposed cellulosic alcohol plant and the expansion of a nitrogen fertilizer plant.

Using the law of supply and demand learned in elementary economics, the more fuel/energy sources we have in the state, the cheaper our utility/gas bills will be for everyone.

SB303 passed the House by a vote of 105 “yeas” and 15 “nays” and the Senate with 36 “yeas” and two “nays” in early April 2006. It appears there were a lot of legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, that, to quote Mr. Bennett, “traded away the taxing authority of smaller local government, i.e., counties, school districts, hospital districts.”

Mr. Bennett should know that school districts and hospital districts do not have taxing authority; the Kansas constitution grants taxing authority only to the legislature. Counties get permission from the legislature, as was the case when Marion County commissioners requested authority to increase the county sales tax rate to fund a new county jail.

Oh yes! The Democrat governor, Kathleen Sebelius, also was involved in this legislative “sausage making” and signed the bill into law.

Personally, I can handle caustic personal attacks, smug inferences and false accusations; it even made me smile when Mr. Bennett corrected my letter concerning the $1.9 million—because it was the figure he used in his previous letter to the editor of mid-February.

What I find hard to stomach is the continual, socialistic, envy motivated, bashing of big business and the free enterprise, capitalistic system that has brought prosperity to the majority of Americans.

Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth and socialism is the equal distribution of poverty. What do you want? Well, enough said on the topic.

One might encourage Rep. Brookens to support SB584.

Donald L. Dahl

Hillsboro

 


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