Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
To the Editor,
Tom Ehrich’s derogatory statements about Kansas [Morning in Middle America, April 24] include the usual distortions elites use to convince themselves that life is even more bleak and broken in other parts of the country than where they live. If Mr. Ehrich thinks the bustling and orderly Kansas Motor Speedway is an “end of empire circus” I wonder what he makes of the New York City subway system?
Ehrich’s dismal impressions after a weekend in fly-over-country ring hollow to those of us who live here but his characterization of Koch as “sanctimonious evangelicals” seeking to limit freedom and opportunity is outright fantasy. For more than 50 years Koch has been outspoken and consistent in our support of liberty’s expansion and of greater opportunities for all. Aside from supporting every American’s right to worship (or not worship) as they please, Koch takes no position on any particular religious belief, never mind proselytizes for one.
What Ehrich fails to report about Kansas is that the people of this state enjoy a growing economy, an unemployment rate 25% lower than the national average and some of the best public schools and quality of life in the country. Kansas has half the crime, more people living above the poverty line and a lower overall tax burden than Mr. Ehrich’s home state of New York.
But the troubling things Ehrich claims to have observed in our state – vacant storefronts, empty parking lots, and economic decay – are not a Kansas or a New York problem but a national tragedy. What Ehrich is seeing is the nationwide evidence of years of fiscal irresponsibility and rampant growth of government at the expense of private enterprise.
We share Ehrich’s concern about the future of our nation but we put our faith in hard work, personal responsibility and accountable government — values straight from the Kansas heartland.
Director, Corporate Communication
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC