Don’t follow Texas
Here’s just a heads-up to the citizens of Kansas. I lived in Texas for 12 years, and if Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback gets his way on eliminating income taxes to be like Texas, your property taxes will probably triple to make up the difference.
That will devastate people who are retired, living on fixed incomes and want to stay in their homes. Also, rental prices will go up to cover that additional cost.
Additionally, why would Brownback want to be like Texas? Has he looked where Texas ranks nationally on its school systems?
The court battles to address sufficient funding for schools have only begun and will continue well into the future if Brownback gets his way.
Fixing the U.S. budget
Off we go again. President Barack Obama won’t bargain. Republicans will throw the country under the bus.
We can’t believe that only the rich will have to solve our overspending and debt. It’s all our problem, and it’s time to stop the spin.
Fix Social Security by raising the age requirement and means test the payments. On Medicare, enact tort reform and increase the means test of monthly premiums.
On Medicaid, fund it through block grants to the states and offset the cost through a sales tax on e-trade.
On revenue, put a cap on capital gains/dividends treatment at 20 percent of gross income. Cap charity deductions at 20 percent for cash and 10 percent in-kind of adjusted gross income.
Put a cap on the mortgage-deduction allowance at $1 million value. On entitlements, gradually lower payment based on duration.
These fixes work now. They can be fine-tuned later. Rather than diddle now, quibble later.
We can do it.
More guns, less security
Many people think having a gun to protect themselves or their homes will make them more secure. Many scientific studies have proved that people who own guns, and especially their children, are in fact more likely to die or to be injured by a gun than those who do not own guns.
The idea that having more guns in a given environment makes that environment more secure is patently false.
John LaPointe Navarre
Scouts and gays
There have been gays in the Boy Scouts since the beginning of that organization (2-7, A2, “Cultural crossfire”). Those against allowing gays are only fooling themselves.
The Feb. 7 letter decrying allowing gays as destroying morality of the Boy Scouts is typical of the fear-mongering arguments that homophobic people put forward. The fact is that closeted gays have become Eagle Scouts and are a part of every level of this organization.
Homophobia is no different than any other fear. It is a projection of people’s unresolved issues onto someone about which they have absolutely no idea. They universalize their fear and lament the fall of morality and decency.
In short, it’s their unresolved issue, not the person on whom they are projecting their fear. The truth is that gays are human beings like anyone else.
To be gay doesn’t equate to being morally bankrupt. There are, of course, immoral gays as surely as there are immoral heterosexuals, but immorality is not a condition of sexual preference.
I would say that pedophilia is a much greater problem within the Boy Scouts, and that has nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation.
Postal Service still best
I just called UPS to see what it would cost to send a letter across town. It was $10.
Why does anyone complain about the U.S. Postal Service raising its rates a few pennies (2-7, A1, “Delivery cutback looms”)?
The Postal Service pays well and provides pensions and health care for its employees, vacations and sick leave.
No one other than a Republican would be against it.
Republicans could not do it better with no benefits and paying minimum wages. Of course, the CEO would be making millions of dollars per year.
Just raise the price of a stamp a couple cents and complain about something worthwhile.
Leave team name alone
A Feb. 2 letter writer wrote that the Washington Redskins should change their name because Redskins has a horrible influence on anyone who watches them play football, especially children.
People like this shouldn’t watch football or any other contact sport.
It is a rough game, and the name Redskins has no horrible influence on anyone.
You have to be pretty thin-skinned for a name that has been in football this long to bother you.
What about the Royals? Should we change that team’s name so it won’t be a horrible influence on the kings and queens around the world because they might have a problem with the way our Royals play the game?
The Washington Redskins, as far as I know, haven’t had one case of someone causing any horrible influence on anyone.
I don’t want them or any team to change its name because someone is offended.
Fans, lighten up and enjoy the game, and if you want to be heard, write about the job our Congress is doing and see whether you can change our elected officials.
This year offers real progressive firsts. Twenty women now serve in the U.S. Senate, including the first open lesbian, Tammy Baldwin. The times, indeed, are “a-changin’.”
Sadly, in the House, Rep. Eric Cantor refused to bring the Violence Against Women Act to a vote. Why?
This sends a destructive message to our floundering culture.
The ersatz fiscal cliff was avoided, while big oil still reaps freebies. Why weren’t these “entitlement” cuts on the table? Why weren’t jobs and infrastructure repair discussed?
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, gun control, specifically the proliferation of assault weapons and high-capacity clips, is being seriously discussed. Time is passing for stern action.
Hurricane Sandy relief was passed, but not without balks from House Speaker John Boehner. In the wake of droughts and Frankenstorms, where’s the sober discussion regarding climate change and renewable energy sources?
Deficit reduction and progressive “firsts” pale beside our ticking environmental clock.
Signs of bigotry
I’m wondering whether anyone else saw the similarity between the young, sign-holding Boy Scouts (2-7, A2, “Cultural crossfire”) and previous pictures of young, sign-holding kids from Westboro Baptist Church.
Helping the homeless
As one who has for some time, along with my church, enjoyed feeding people who are homeless, I also desire the best for the homeless (2-3, A1, “Help or hindrance?”).
Jesus taught that we should care for the poor, and that means whatever is in their best interest.
It’s daunting to see the city’s position desiring these feedings to cease — that the city desires the homeless to be in touch and using publicly funded institutions.
City budgets, programs and institutions would not have logistical capabilities to properly care for the homeless, or so it seems, in the numbers indicated in The Star.
This past week, we were informed by one of the helping institutions that should we come with meals on our regular route, we would be arrested.
Being justly cognizant of our law-observing tradition, we remained at home.
Perhaps a more positive posture for the city, instead of the threat or rumored threat of arrest, would be to invite the organizations that give liberally of their time and financial support to come together for a meeting of coordination and instruction on how disparate groups could cooperate to aid the homeless.
I want to thank Jeff and his fellow school bus driver and especially Nancy for helping me.
On my way home from work, I became too ill to drive and I parked at the Blue Valley branch of the Johnson County Library. Jeff and his co-worker saw me hanging to the door of my car, came to offer assistance and were soon joined by Nancy.
Although Jeff and his friend had to leave to continue their routes, my gratitude is undiminished.
Nancy was able to stay close until my minister, Bishop Leo Michael, and his wife arrived to get me safely home.
I want to assure all those who so generously offered their help that I am recovering from an inner-ear infection.
It is a relatively minor bug but one that obliterates balance, and I’m afraid you didn’t see me at my best.
For all that you did and offered to do, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
William R. Bartlett