Your Opinion: GOP ‘hypocritical’ about cutting costs

Dear Editor:

Republicans clearly campaigned against big government spending. They recently have discovered the political implications and contradictions inherent between getting elected and meeting expectations.

The response to the blizzard of 2011 is most edifying. Clearing skies witnessed the governor seeking federal assistance with the snow-removal costs.

This assistance with the $200,000 bill facing Cole County met no objection from big government opponents such as Commissioner Ellinger and State Reps. Jay Barnes and Mike Bernskoetter. Not a whisper that FEMA dollars were symptomatic of government waste.

Lt. Gov. Kinder was remarkably silent as Missouri along with dozens of other states, hundreds of other counties and thousands of municipalities lined up for their share of the federal funds available because of the blizzard affecting a third of the nation and as many as 100 million Americans. Evidently, federal spending at home is not the problem. Waste only occurs in others’ districts.

Barnes subsequently proposed state vouchers allowing parents to determine the school their child would attend, public or private. Our Catholic family made financial sacrifices to send our daughters to parochial schools. I paid my county taxes without furor over the double expense. Their education was our choice.

Barnes eagerly agrees to cut spending in public education and then panders to his Catholic constituency, which understandably may look at this option with approval. The problem is the estimated cost, from zero to possibly over $1 billion. I think we can assume that zero is highly unlikely for 100,000 new students.

Hypocritically, cost-cutting Barnes sees no problem with adding $318 million to $1 billion to education costs of the state when it benefits his district.

Additionally, Barnes and Bernskoetter complained when state employees were asked to use comp time or vacation days for missed work during the blizzard. Two Republican legislators eager to cut opposed a reasonable savings measure as personally bad politics.

On Jan. 30, Larry Jones, head of the city Health Department for Independence warned excessive health care cuts could produce a whooping cough outbreak, which has critical consequences. Whooping cough in infants and adults can produce complications including seizures, emphysema, cerebral hemorrhages and encephalitis..

Simply, no one wants to cut his or her pet projects and not a cost-cutting Republican in sight is willing to address the possible need to raise taxes for the small slice of us making the really big money.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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