Gaffes, dashed dreams
If you’re planning to be queen of Great Britain, you should probably avoid taking your top off while sunbathing. If you’re hoping to be president of the United States, you should probably avoid disparaging 47 percent of the electorate while campaigning.
This letter is to encourage people to give the illegal immigration issue more attention. Many people do not see illegal immigration as a big deal, but some people have looked further into the issue and think it should be given a lot more attention. Some say that illegal immigration is good for the U.S. economy by providing added tax revenue, more low-cost labor and increased money in circulation. They say that immigrants bring good values, have motivations consistent with the American dream and perform jobs that Americans won’t take.
Immigrants are trying to come into the United States to get better jobs to help support their families back home or maybe even bring their families to the United States for a better more successful life.
I strongly feel that our country should really start to pay more attention to what is going on with this issue.
We should be more educated and given more information about it. I feel like we could really make many people see the issue differently and maybe do something more about this.
Unemployment rates have been dropping, but in the U.S more than 12.5 million people are still unemployed and in Kansas more than 91,500 people are currently unemployed, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. These numbers are ridiculously high, and we need to do something to make them drop dramatically.
We do have unemployment benefits and insurance. I believe these systems are doing pretty well providing benefits for unemployed people. But there are some problems.
One is you can only claim the benefits for a finite period. What are people supposed to do after that if they haven’t found a job?
They can file for an extension, but it can be pretty hard to do that and it only increases the benefits a few weeks. Also, the weekly benefit amount is $100-$400. One hundred dollars a week isn’t enough money to provide for a family. We need to help these people.
Some policymakers have talked about implementing macroeconomic policies. They would help raise the demand for workers, therefore offering more jobs to the unemployed.
If people believe this would work, then they need to implement the policies immediately.
End no-helmet rule
I strongly feel that the no-helmet law for motorcycle riders in Kansas should be scrapped.
It says that you must wear eye protection, but that’s not going to help you in an accident.
This law was passed in 1979 and has been in force ever since.
If you are 18 or younger, you must wear a helmet. But if you’re older you don’t have to? That seems absurd.
You have the same risk of being injured if you are an adult or a child.
Helmets reduce the risk of death.
It’s just costing our state money for all the injuries and deaths resulting from motorcycle crashes.
Exercise with diet
I agree with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that we need to reduce obesity. But banning one type of food or placing an arbitrary limit on portion sizes at restaurants and movie theaters is not an effective solution.
Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sales of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces misses a few key factors.
The most important is that sugary drinks alone are not causing obesity or overweight problems.
These health problems emerge from consuming too many calories overall and a lack of physical activity.
The truth is it’s OK to enjoy a soda, just as we indulge in the occasional plate of fried chicken or slice of cake. We just need to balance the calories we consume with the calories we burn through exercise.
Instead of placing a ban on soda, we should support initiatives such as Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett’s 1 million-pound challenge.
Initiatives that encourage people to move will lead to lasting lifestyle changes and help reduce our obesity epidemic.
We need to look at the big picture — decrease overall calories, increase activity and encourage nutrition education.
Saving Social Security
Social Security, enacted 77 years ago, was fundamentally flawed, and it is failing today. At inception it was not set up with a sound financial system, with money paid in by workers and employers set aside and invested for the individual workers.
Congress and President Franklin Roosevelt decided to use a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security initially collected more money than needed.
The excess funds were deposited in the federal government’s general fund and spent. There is no money in the trust fund.
If anyone other than the U.S. government had forced this mandatory Ponzi scheme on American workers, he would have been prosecuted for fraud.
A worker born in 1944 and paying the maximum for 44 years would have paid in $129,824, matched by his employer for a total of $259,648. With a 5 percent return, by age 66 this would be $581,371 in equity. Actual equity is a $250 death benefit.
Where is the missing $581,121? Some was paid as benefits, but most of the money was spent on other programs.
American citizens receiving Social Security payments are being shortchanged, and the program must be changed to protect the future generations of Americans.
Let me see if I understand this. The Boy Scouts of American have hidden thousands of abusing personnel files for more than two decades but won’t let gay children into the organization for fear of harming the members (9-17, A1, “Boy Scouts helped child molesters cover tracks”)?
I hear all this talk about cutting government spending. What I don’t hear is what the Republicans want to cut besides entitlements.
I’m sure there are a lot of people on welfare payments who could get jobs, but we also have a lot more people who need the money from welfare to live on. Feeding children a healthy diet is a must in some schools.
I wonder what the Republicans think about corporate welfare. How can a company give its shareholders millions of dollars in dividends and not pay any taxes?
Two examples — Exxon Mobil and General Electric — not a dime went to the government, but millions of dollars went to stockholders from profits.
The wealthy pay only 15 percent in taxes. Is that corporate welfare?
I think every publicly traded company should have its tax return available to the public just to see how many billions of dollars go to corporate welfare from loopholes that legislators, our elected representatives, give to corporations.
People should pay more attention to the same-sex marriage laws in Kansas. In Kansas, gay marriage is explicitly banned by state laws, and no same-sex relationship is allowed to be legally recognized.
The Kansas Constitution was amended to ban gay marriage and other same sex-relationships in Kansas, and a state law also prohibits gay couples from marrying. The state will not recognize same-sex relationships in any way.
I strongly feel that the Kansas Constitution needs to be changed. If someone is in love, whether with a woman and a man or a man and a man, those individuals should be allowed to get married if they want to.
I believe people are too closed-minded on the issue, and Kansans need to open their minds. As a state we need to make a change because it affects hundreds of Kansas citizens.
Stop texting, driving
After my third recent encounter of narrowly avoiding being run over by a driver whose attention was not on the road, I find it is time for something to be done about this hazard that is as bad as drunken driving.
It seems cellphone companies could easily program phones to not allow texts while moving above 20 mph.
If not, then penalties for texting should be equal to, if not greater than, driving under the influence of alcohol.
I drive every day all around Kansas City, and you would be surprised how many people I see texting.