|RUSTY ZIPPER PERSPECTIVES|
JIM FISHER: What do you think the issues should be in next year's election?
JOHN PRICE, Retired Veterinarian: Social Security, Medicare and maybe
here close to Whiteman Air Force base would be defense. That would be
some of the issues I would say would be important.
JIM FISHER: What about them? I mean, do you want more Social Security?
JOHN PRICE: Well, I want the Social Security to remain, I don't want
them to cut it anymore. And Medicare, they've already cut Medicare to
RICH LAWSON, Stockbroker: We continue to raise the amount that we must
pay into Social Security, but at the same time for myself, I seriously
doubt I'll be able to draw Social Security prior to age 70 and maybe
not then because it's constantly changing and pushing backward. If the
report put out by the Social Security system is correct, and they expect
the whole thing to really be bankrupt by 2019, and this is one of the
problems I have. One group says, "There's no problem. Social Security
is not in trouble whatsoever." And then you have the group itself
that says, "we got a lot of trouble here, and some major changes
have to be made." All that major change is dumped on the back of
the middle man in America that is paying for all of that. Everyone else
is able to participate in Social Security that comes into our country,
yet the people who pay into it are constantly being pushed farther and
JIM FISHER: Who else?
KENNETH CARTER, Retired Businessman: You have crime, you have schools,
you have world peace, you have a lot of things to talk about here as
far as what you'd like to see your politicians do.
JIM JOYNER, Insurance Agent: Well, I think the Kansas City school system
is a prime example of throwing all the money at the world at it, and
they're still not educating the students that are there. I think that
if they had taken that money and...
PERSON IN GROUP: About a billion dollars.
JIM JOYNER: About a billion dollars. And put more teachers in the school
system, where the student to teacher ratio instead of 25 to 1 was 10
or 15 to 1, especially in the early classes, kindergarten through fifth,
sixth grade, that those students would be a very viable part of the
JOHN PRICE: The quality of teachers is important, I think. I think
they need to raise the quality of our teachers, especially in the lower
BOB PIERCE, Retired School Administrator: But people aren't going to
go into teaching, John, unless the salaries are not adequate.
JOHN PRICE: That's right.
BOB PIERCE: And the salaries are not adequate.
MARSHALL LEDERER, Retired Physician: I think that when I hear that
25 percent of the high school graduates are functionally illiterate,
this is a bad commentary on the function of the public school, and I'm
wondering about vouchers.
JIM FISHER: You think that's going to be an issue-- vouchers?
MARSHAL LEDERER: I don't know that, but I think that it's something
that ought to be addressed.
VERNON LOVALL, Retired Engineer: I think that the federal government
ought to get out of our business and run the federal government as what
it was intended for, instead of this micro stuff that they've been giving
us. "We can't do this, we can't do that. We've got less money,
more money, no money," and it's just all confusing. It's all a
bunch of smoke.
EARL UHLER, Retired Air National Guard Pilot: I'm concerned about defense,
the money we're spending on that. It's one thing people understand,
that's strength. And these foreign countries, if they think we're weak,
weak in our defense they're going to try us, somebody's going to try
us. We've got to keep our defense spending up. I hate to see the money
go to some of the places it goes, but we got to keep that defense spending
up, or we're going to be in big, big trouble. We're in enough trouble
as it is because we have dropped our defense spending. We've dropped
our armed forces from down to a very minimum, and we've got to keep
our defense spending up to keep these people from thinking that we are
JIM FISHER: Do you think that's going to be a big issue?
EARL UHLER: Yes, I do. I really do.
JIM JOYNER: We talk about our military being everywhere in the world.
Our foreign policy, our embassies are everywhere in the world. I mean,
the United States can only do so much. I don't think we're the cure-all
for the world. We have to take care of ourselves first. You know, charity
begins at home. And there are millions of people in this country that
are below the poverty line. And in the business that I'm in I see people
come in and they talk about health insurance which is probably an issue
we need to address -- you know -- prescriptions for the elderly.
JIM FISHER: Well, maybe one of the issues, do you think one of the
issues is going to be prescription drugs?
GROUP: I think it will be.
VI BIELEFEDT, Retired Air Force Pilot: Because we're all greedy in
one way or another, we elect our politicians to get what we want as
a group, or as an individual for our area, or for our way of life, and
so we elect them that way.
JIM FISHER: Do you think campaign finance reform will be an issue?
VI BIELEFEDT: We already passed a campaign finance bill, did we not?
We limited it to a $1,000 a piece, and now we have a thing invented
called soft money which is bigger than the original.
BOB PIERCE: What we're seeing is these people are groomed, and you've
got to be nice to a lot of people to get elected and you've got to be
able to raise money and the first thing you know, here's some guy going
into office, but he has so many favors to pay for all the money that
he's had, and all the support he's had, that he ends up walking into
the office for the first time and he's already corrupt.
JIM FISHER: You don't mean corrupt money- wise, but corrupt...
BOB PIERCE: Corrupt because he's paying back favors. He will do things
that he would not do normally in order to satisfy those people so that
he can be reelected.
JIM JOYNER: Are you willing for our taxpayers money to pay for the
BOB PIERCE: No. Because the people are going to distribute it to the
same people that are stealing now -- the same crooks.
RICH LAWSON: Our politicians come on TV and they say we're going to
do this, this is number one, so on and so forth, but when it comes right
down to delivering, you run into the brick wall, you hit the wall and
finally you just go home and say...
JIM FISHER: Why don't they care?
RICH LAWSON: It doesn't matter. And that's bad. When you come to a
point when a nation, any people come to the point they don't even vote
because they feel like it doesn't matter, what I say or what I want,
it does not matter because the politician has taken too many big bucks,
and he's going to listen first to those people that gave him the big
JIM JOYNER: You know, most people who are out here, blue collar workers
are out here working everyday, whether they're running a bulldozer or,
you know, working in a hospital or whatever. What they, I think what
they believe what goes on in Washington really has very little effect
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