Americans like to believe we live in a country where the bar is quite low for citizen participation in the democratic process. But don’t be surprised if you get a look of profound disbelief if you express that thought to any member of the Committee for Better Use of Financial Incentives.
To the editor:
Americans like to believe we live in a country where the bar is quite low for citizen participation in the democratic process. But don’t be surprised if you get a look of profound disbelief if you express that thought to any member of the Committee for Better Use of Financial Incentives. They have tried for years to get a simple question on the Kansas City ballot that is critical about local funding, not to mention the ethical aspects, of Kansas City building what is being called the National Security Campus as a replacement to the old Bannister Federal Complex. The new facility will continue to produce the lion’s share of the triggering mechanisms for America’s extensive nuclear arsenal.
The committee has repeatedly pointed out that it is unprecedented for local bonds, covered by the borrowing power of the city, to be used in financing what is clearly a federal facility.
While it’s too late to turn back the clock, finally, on April 2, citizens in Kansas City can vote to stop similar situations in the future. Even so, Kansas City politicians prevailed in using ballot language of 125 words, possibly as a tactic knowing that confused voters usually vote no.
Curiously, the strongest arguments for the new plant have nothing to do with national security, but that, with 2,750 employees, it will be one of the three largest employers in Kansas City. That could be good news, until one considers the fact that the same amount of money invested in solar energy would create 5,280 jobs, in wind infrastructure 6,250 jobs and in wind operation 4,500 jobs.
The late Molly Ivins wisely said, “The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people.”