I believe Gov. Mark Parkinson gave a worthwhile message in the annual “State of the State Address” at the Capitol building in Topeka.

While I applaud Gov. Parkinson for trying to shore-up a budget that is short on funds, my reaction is mixed.

His proposed increase in sales taxes on groceries and clothing troubles me, since the lower classes of society will suffer the most by this proposal.

Everyone likes to envision themselves as “middle class”... but I believe there are thousands who are really “lower middle-class” at best.

Tobacco use is an optional and discretionary decision. Its use is not absolutely necessary for survival.

With its use being somewhat of a luxury, it completely justifies Parkinson’s decision. We should look at the weakest and most vulnerable among us and make sure their/our basic needs are met.

I frown on the mixture of “state funding” with “federal funding.”

Politicians use creative accounting tricks with fractions of funds comparable to slices of a pie.

The problem is, politicians have their fingers in the pie so much our citizenry can’t distinguish genuine budget needs and urgent priorities from the many frivolous items that have been hidden in past budgets.

Programs should be clearly designated and be 100 percent funded by the legislative entity that passes the original measure.

Politicians have corrupted the phrase “tax increase” into curse words. Some taxes are needed.

Citizens deserve to see revenues being used for the specific purpose for which the tax is intended and not diverted.

No social engineering via taxation; but legitimate income taxes and surtaxes on discretionary goods should take the lead in being the ethical revenue generator of choice.

— Sincerely,

James A. Marples,