Letters to the editor: March 2

March 2, 2013 

Stein, Kerr make retirees bear brunt of pension politics

I want to express my anger with state Sens. Kathy Stein and Alice Forgy Kerr. Thet and 31 other senators voted to balance the Kentucky Retirement Systems shortfall on the backs of current and future retirees.

Senate Bill 2 passed 33-5 and these fine citizens voted yes.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Sens. Tom Buford and Julian Carroll and three other senators for voting no. With their votes they showed they support the retired and current members of the Kentucky Retirement System.

SB 2 will suspend cost-of-living adjustments for current and future retirees. Why the hard-working men and women of this commonwealth are being held responsible for the funding shortfall is beyond me. It was Kentucky legislatures past and present who failed to adequately fund the state's share. Current retirees paid what was asked of them.

Every current and retired member of the Kentucky Retirement System should remember this when they vote in the next election. I urge you not to vote for either one of these ladies because they didn't vote for you when they cast their ballot for SB 2. I also ask you to consider a vote for Buford and Carroll because they voted for us.

We have only ourselves to blame if we don't stand up and vote to stop the abuse our elected leaders have gotten away with.

James Jeffrey Coleman


Five easy pieces

How to reduce the federal budget in five steps:

1. Eliminate Congress' retirement system.

2. Eliminate Congress' health care program.

3. Reduce congressional salaries to minimum wage.

4. Fire all congressional staff who are related to a member of Congress.

5. Reduce salaries of remaining congressional staff to minimum wage.

Michael Caudill


McConnell aided Dems

A recent vote affected filibusters by United States senators. The Jan. 25 vote drew this comment from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul:

"This evening, the U.S. Senate voted on a series of changes to amend the standing orders of the Senate, much to the chamber's detriment. Both resolutions passed. Tonight, Senate Democrats succeeded in seriously weakening the greatest deliberative legislative body in the world. The rules change limits the ability of Senators to offer amendments, stifles debate, and greases the skids for Democrats to implement more of their tax-and- spend agenda. For these reasons, I voted no."

Paul failed to point out that this legislation, while sponsored by a Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was co-sponsored by none other than Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. One must ask why Sen. McConnell is "greasing the skids for Democrats to implement more of their tax-and-spend agenda."

This episode provides us yet another reason to ditch Mitch in 2014.

Joe Dehner


Nursing abuse too real

Regarding your editorial of Feb. 12 ("Slimy action on questionable bill: Nursing homes aim to restrict lawsuits"), take it from someone who has worked in hospitals and nursing homes: I have personally witnessed many acts of abuse in nursing homes, in allegedly highly rated nursing homes and other nursing homes that I would not send my dog or cat near.

May God and Jesus have mercy and pity on the poor souls.

Money, profits, big salaries and the good old bottom line.

Louis Degraw


Excellent care

I would like to express my concern about the way you are portraying Kentucky nursing homes. I have had experience with two nursing homes, in Louisville and in Lexington, and disagree that nursing homes are just trying to shield their bad behavior, as Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, put it.

In my experience the administration and staff always listened and acted on suggestions from myself and the ombudsman when there were any concerns regarding care.

My mother was in a nursing home in Lexington for four years, and the staff that cared for her loved her. The people that cared for my mother were like family, and a number of caregivers even came to her funeral when she passed away.

Although things weren't always done perfectly, I realized from being there so frequently how hard and demanding their jobs were. My mother, and many other residents, required a great deal of care and the aides and nurses always did their best.

I would never sue the nursing home she lived in because it was made up of imperfect people, working hard to provide care to residents who are very ill and difficult to care for. I feel deeply that people who want to sue nursing homes have not spent a lot of time there and are looking for an easy buck.

My advice is for people to volunteer in nursing homes, and if they did they would see that the care given is not the way it's being portrayed.

Kim Novicki


Proud of Rand Paul

I am so proud Rand Paul is taking a leading role as senator from Kentucky. He always seems to voice the opinion of the majority of our state's voters.

It was great to see him return $600,000 to the Treasury, compared to watching Sen. Mitch McConnell has a reputation of using taxpayer funds to help his campaign donors.

It is good to have a senator like Paul overcome the shame McConnell and his puppets have brought to our state.

Larry Hedgepeth


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