Tuition costs, unlike taxes, are burdens families choose
The entire premise of the April 24 editorial — that "tuition increases are tax increases by any other name" — is false.
Webster's defines tax as "a charge imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes." The key word is "imposed." Taxes are involuntary; tuition is not.
I understand the burden imposed by tuition-fee increases, having paid for them for me, my wife and children and extended family. That was a choice we made because we believed it to be a wise investment in our own, our kids' and our relatives' futures.
Whether this holds true for many students attending college today is questioned by educators. Some educators maintain students think and reason no better when they graduate college than they did when they started. Regardless, college attendance and tuition payment is the choice of a family; it is not imposed.
I agree it is beneficial for the state to produce educated citizens, but not at any cost, and it remains subject to question just how many students actually need to attend college for themselves and for society.
One could argue that, because some people see college education as a right, continuing as an extended high school education, it is not always taken seriously and therefore students and society receive little benefit from it.
Perhaps the increase in tuition will necessitate families giving more earnest thought to the question of college and what expectations they have for the students they are investing in.
Legislature at fault
While I am sure refinements could be employed at the University of Kentucky to reduce costs and optimize efficiency, it is not UK's unilateral fault that it raised tuition annually in recent years. It is the fault of the ruling group in the Kentucky General Assembly.
I want to identify the impending tuition hike at UK for what it is, "trickle-down taxation."
Our policy-makers refuse to replace Kentucky's failing tax system with one that can deliver a reliable revenue stream, so we must tax the college students and their families through higher tuition to continue a reasonable level of higher education in this state.
The fact that we cannot fund our educational system adequately is a form of public-policy tough love in the empty minds of some members of our legislature.
We are moving public policy in higher education back to the 1700s-1800s, when only the rich could afford higher education and most did not get schooling beyond the eighth grade. Many of society's problems can be traced to a lack of a quality education.
The system of governance we have currently will not change until there are changes in personnel in the General Assembly.
We shall remain a backward state, ranking nearly 50th in everything except drug abuse and the like. We are currently ranked somewhere around 48th in educational achievement. Why do you expect any better with what our educational system has to work with?
Trying to tear Paul down
In his April 24 column, Tom Eblen downplays Sen. Rand Paul's appeal as simply a "show horse" whose name reminds people of the late novelist Ayn Rand. That's rather insulting to the voters of Kentucky who put him into office by a large majority.
Two of Eblen's criticisms: no previous political experience (President Barack Obama's experience was as a community organizer and a senator who sometimes voted "present" so his vote couldn't come back later to haunt him) and the "friendly venues" Paul goes to.
What unfriendly venues do any of the Democrats ever go to? Obama chastised a reporter in Texas who tried to ask probing questions.
Liberals are usually seen on CNN and MSNBC, which pale in comparison with Fox News audiences. Paul's opinions are all just "rants," not honest expressions of his values and desires.
Many of the American people would like to see the federal government slashed and its departments given back to the states where they properly belong. That liberals don't want this doesn't make it wrong.
A Rasmussen poll on April 21-22, showed 61 percent of respondents wanted fewer services and lower taxes.
The American people seem to understand better than the liberal media that higher debt will lead to the downfall of our country. It is so obvious that Eblen doesn't like Paul. I would respect his writing more if he didn't use so many pejorative terms against Paul to prove his contempt for him.
Salesman over statesman
Sen. Rand Paul has predictably spent his first months in office promoting himself and his personal agenda.
After riding the Tea Party wave to victory, he has produced a book, traveled around the country to speak at Tea Party events and book signings, appeared on broadcast TV and radio outlets owned mostly by Fox, and put forth radical, libertarian proposals he knows will go nowhere — even within his Republican caucus.
I have a hunch many of Paul's supporters in Kentucky are now having a hard time buying into this stagecraft. Most serious legislators make the effort to learn about specific problems and issues in the states they represent, advocate for possible solutions and offer services to constituents.
One good example is Paul's colleague, newly elected Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who shares Paul's conservative passions but has become widely respected in his home state for taking time to delve into Florida issues. Paul seems to think he was elected by a majority of Kentucky voters to some sort of higher calling on the national stage.
I encourage you to log on to his official Senate Web site, www.paul.senate.gov., which is paid for by taxpayers. It would be hard to find a single word or link about Kentucky or any mention of how he and his staff can serve his constituents.
Instead, you will be greeted by a video of his appearance on a television program touting the sales of his book.
Wrong mentor for Paul
I must finally disagree with columnist Tom Eblen. He suggests that Sen. Rand Paul should take some lessons from Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Would he tell Jefferson Smith to learn from the corrupt political boss in the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Would he have George Bailey emulate Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life?
Paul may behave like an uncontrollable elementary student constantly shouting out in the classroom, but we feel that he is at least speaking his own truth.
McConnell has never made a statement that wasn't calculated for the benefit of the Republican Party.
A naïve, unruly schoolchild is redeemable. A man who has sold his soul for political power is not.
Attacks are distractions
I see that columnist Larry Dale Keeling is still doing his job for the liberal/socialist media complex by trying to tear down a dead author, Ayn Rand.
Why do we now see attacks on her? Does somebody fear the American people will connect the dots and see that this Washington regime is not much different from the one in her book?
Our own Barack Obama plays a fine Wesley Mouch, but I think he leaves that work to his Wall Street wonder boy Tim Geithner. We are getting more and more government intervention in our lives, and Keeling and his like are lapping it up. I wonder if he will like it as well when billionaire George Soros moves from being the Obama puppet master and sets his own agenda for us and the rest of the world. The orderly decline of the dollar is likely at the top of his list.
Of course, those at MoveOn.org and Media Matters just want to see him destroy all opposition to the Democratic Party. After that, do you really think you will still have a party?