Fair tax for U.S.
Poverty should never be the goal of a government tax structure. Yet our income tax is designed to keep working people poor.
Hidden corporate taxes raise the wholesale cost of goods and services while the 7.65 percent payroll tax ensures less take-home pay for buying goods and services.
Although the wealthiest Americans avoid paying federal income taxes, thanks to deductions, their investment capital needed for job creation is forced overseas to avoid capital gains taxes.
Not only do the working poor get poorer and the wealthy shift capital overseas, our industries can’t compete in global markets. Capital gains taxes are 11.5 percent higher than the average tax rate for the 34 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
And with our corporate tax being the highest in the world, there is little incentive for foreign investment to come to the U.S.
A consumption tax, the Fair Tax Act of 2013, filed in the House with a record number of first-day co-sponsors, ends personal income taxes, business income taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, estate and gift taxes and alternative minimum tax.
It generates equal tax revenues while creating jobs. Learn more at www.fairtax.org.
Assault weapons ban
Although agreeing that we should keep the Second Amendment, I disagree with some letter writers’ contention that we need to be armed to fight some undefined threat to our freedom(s). Following this logic, the people have a right or need for M1 tanks and anti-aircraft missiles.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected to service in a militia and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. I cannot think of a lawful purpose for an AR-15, A4 or squad automatic weapon, or any other weapons designed for and used by the military, in the hands of ordinary citizens.
I suggest we hold our government responsible for our safety and freedoms. Limit the types of weapons we can legally own for home protection and hunting as intended by the Second Amendment.
Sell no firearm by anyone, anywhere to anyone without a background check, which should include mental capacity. Require extensive training in the use of the firearm to include safety.
I do not belong to the National Rifle Association but spent 30 years in the military defending the Second Amendment.
Guns, widespread blame
If people want to blame the National Rifle Association for the Newtown, Conn., tragedy because it supports the Second Amendment, then also blame the American Civil Liberties Union for fighting against any kind of religious/moral education in our schools and for fostering an anything-goes environment in the media that contributes to a culture of violence in the country.
We need to look at some gun laws — close the background-check loophole at gun shows and perhaps restrict sales of assault weapons, if for no other reason than that if they do get into the wrong hands they quickly become lethal.
The lack of a moral compass and media violence cannot help but have negative effects on some children. A 2002 Safe School Initiative report by the Secret Service and the Department of Education stated that 59 percent of attackers “demonstrated some interest in violence through movies, video games, books and other media.”
Consequently, we need to look at some form of limited censorship or at least tighter control of the distribution of these type products.
Unfortunately, one only has to visit the ACLU website to understand its views on religious education and common-sense limitations.
After watching “CBS Sunday Morning,” I realized why the announced closing of the Independence YMCA has been so devastating. Our circle of friends is our lifeblood.
Scientists have discovered that we need our friends to help us survive the stress of our lives.
A decision has been made to build a grand, new facility with corporate offices in downtown. Most families don’t live downtown.
While inner-city families have access to the Linwood and Cleaver YMCAs, those of us in Independence are being asked to travel to the Blue Springs YMCA, 12 miles away.
For many of us, this will mean a 15- to 20-mile drive on Interstate 70 in rush-hour traffic. My one-way drive would be 17 miles.
We all realize that consolidation and modernization are probably good and necessary ideas. How about our new facility being at a major crossroads, easily accessible by highways or local streets?
Two sites come readily to mind — the Bass Pro site and the old Blue Ridge movie theater site. Families from Independence, Raytown, Blue Springs and parts of Kansas City could benefit.
Let’s leave our local Ys open until we can examine the new plan and its location.
Now is the time for all elected officials to stay in Washington, D.C., and work together for the American people — not for themselves or their party. We elected them to get along and put U.S. citizens first.
Before deciding any issue, they should ask themselves, “Is this good for America?”
God loves us, and all of us should go to church and pray daily that our leaders make the right decisions for our country.
G. Elaine Stubbs
Well, there he goes again (3-17, Commentary, “Often-used number understates women’s progress”).
As he did in a column two years ago, E. Thomas McClanahan repeated his screed discrediting those who maintain that a gap between what men and women earn continues to exist.
His irritant is Equal Pay Day, which will occur April 9. McClanahan again points to life choices and hours worked as reasons for whatever pay gap might exist.
Sure, naming the date each year when the average woman’s salary catches up to the average man’s from the previous year is symbolic. But the evidence is irrefutable that wage differences persist — in the U.S., in Missouri and in Kansas City.
Nationally, the American Association of University Women released a study last year on wages for college graduates. Taking into account occupation, college, major, hours worked per week and other factors, it found that college-educated women working full time were paid an unexplained 7 percent less than their male peers one year out of college.
Studies in Missouri (missouriwomensreport.org) and in Kansas City (www.wfgkc.org) report similar findings.
Over a lifetime, these differences account for a stunning amount of money. Families, not just women, feel the effects.
of University Women
Kansas City Branch
Pandering to Obama
It’s so easy to tell that The Star is a left-leaning paper with its constant approval of everything that President Barack Obama does.
What those at The Star seem to overlook is what an egotistical, narcissistic person he is.
They seem to overlook how he wants Congress to compromise but is unwilling to do it himself.
They seem to overlook his desire to change the type of government we have.
They seem to overlook the fact that if he could he would make laws himself to follow his ideas.
They seem to overlook the way he pandered to unions, Latinos and women just to get their votes.
The man is the worst president this country has seen, yet The Star can’t get enough of patting him on the back.
Our president was elected by a narrow margin. Our country remains divided.
The president’s approval rating is about 50 percent. Although the president feels he has a clear mandate from the people, nothing could be further from the truth.
His style and rhetoric indicate confrontation not compromise. I’m afraid the attitude of “we won, you lost” will be evident frequently.
We face major challenges as a nation that must be solved by both parties. If they are not, we will continue to go down the road to fiscal disaster.
Many have warned of the outcome of the path we are following.
The General Accounting Office has indicated we will end in a fiscal collapse. To those of you who think this is an overstatement, look to Greece and the decline of Europe.
Look to California and Illinois, whose economies are collapsing under their unfunded debt and higher taxation.
The question we must ask all of our leaders: Will it be leadership or politics for the next four years?
If we have leadership, we can solve our problems.