Letters to the Editor

Unfair tax on seniors, KCI, government pork

Updated: 2013-06-12T22:04:28Z

Unfair tax on seniors

Homeowners like Connie Jordan should not need special legislation to counter increased assessed values of their homes (6-10, A1, “Spikes in property tax bills can crush Missouri seniors”). This situation needs to be addressed globally.

The vast majority of people, like Ms. Jordan, live within their means and purchased their homes under traditional underwriting guidelines that generally say monthly housing expenses, including real estate taxes, should not exceed 25 percent or so of your gross monthly income.

Unfortunately, government entities are able to raise either actual tax rates or assessed valuations. The latter is particularly pernicious because voters have no say , and the increased tax is based on an unrealized gain.

Ms. Jordan has no more money from the increased valuation of her home compared with its value at the time she bought it. Government entities, thus, are a wild card in our personal finances that can, perhaps, tax us out of our homes.

Real estate taxes should be based on actual sales prices so they are fixed for the owners, absent major improvements, allowing for proper budgeting until they sell. A tax could be levied on any actual gain on the sale.

Taxing us out of our homes is just wrong.

F. Stephen Henslee

Overland Park

Make KCI unique

Kansas City International Airport in 1972 was cutting edge for car-passenger access to air travel in the era that preceded airline hubs and high-security access.

That era is long gone.

If we replace our outmoded airport, let’s do it right. Make it modern for the next 50 years, with high-speed rail access for people and freight replacing car access.

Make it a transportation, warehousing, importing-exporting, just-in-time delivery facility and hub for the entire four-state region.

Design it to soar visually with the planes it welcomes, making it immediately identifiable as Kansas City when anyone in the world sees it — like the Sydney Opera House of air facilities.

Aim high and try hard, or stay home.

Arthur Benson

Kansas City

Lee Judge cartoon

I was appalled to see a Lee Judge editorial cartoon on June 9 take a potshot at Michael Douglas and his throat cancer.

About 14,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancer are diagnosed each year.

Human papillomavirus (also known as HPV) may be responsible for a high percentage of these cancers. It is a major concern.

This is not a laughing matter, and I suggest Mr. Judge not treat it as such.

B. Ronald Rommel,



Government pork

Does our government still pay subsidies to tobacco farmers?

Gary Levin

Overland Park

Fixing U.S. decline

The sludge that runs through Capitol Hill starts with you and me.

Inflexible ideologies, anecdotal arguments and statements alluding to America’s decline are the exact ingredients that keep the economy flat and progress uninspired.

We all have a stake in this nation, but our personal success is, and always will be, a personal pursuit; government is not a tool through which we, as individual citizens, should craft tax breaks, buoy a business or lobby the public for private matters.

Neither side of the aisle is innocent in the drama of partisan politics.

“What’s in it for me?” is poison, whether they are tax breaks for businesses or entitlements. Neither of those examples is inherently bad, but the manners in which they are lobbied make a large difference.

We all have our own opinions, but policy should always be considered in this manner: “How can we maximize the positive impact on the sum of us while minimizing the negative impact for all of us individually?”

There are winners and losers that result from policy, but the net effect is important. And, to achieve that positive net effect, we have to reconcile our convictions with reasonable compromises.

Shane Park

Kansas City

Krugman column

Anyone who has supported Kansas’ and Missouri’s righteous renouncing of Medicaid support from the U.S. government needs to read Paul Krugman’s June 8 column, “GOP hurts itself with Medicaid rejectionism.” His take on this subject for me says it all.

Just because you don’t like the giver of the present doesn’t mean you have to reject the present. Pride is a serious flaw in mankind, even worse in government. See Kansas and Missouri legislatures.

“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the diffence.”

For members of our respective legislatures, please try to use the brain God has given to each of you.

Robert Carey

Odessa, Mo.

Media’s liberal bias

Most of today’s journalists and three of four major television networks can be described as liberal.

Nearly all college professors have a liberal bias. Is it any wonder journalists graduate with a similar liberal bias?

Perhaps a quota system to equalize the hiring of both liberal and conservative professors as well as media owners should be instituted but certainly not by a journalist or by any of his liberal colleagues.

Harlan Brockman

Overland Park

Classical music blues

Several years ago, I lamented the move of KXTR from FM to AM radio and lived for a while with that move as well as the streaming-from-the-web concept.

However, now, despite the flourishing live classical music scene in this city, KXTR’s magic is gone, and listeners are restricted to a few hours of our music on Kansas City area National Public Radio stations. But it’s often when most of us cannot turn on radios at work.

Where are the monied sponsors of a viable 24-hour classical music station today? I may not want the answer, but I still long to hear Bach, Verdi and Mozart on the air.

Franklin M. Robertson


Gun training void

There certainly have been many letters on both sides of the gun-control issue, but there have been relatively few comments made regarding the difficulty always facing the gun owner over when and when not to use the firearm.

The Kansas City Police Department requires its academy trainees to complete many hours of firearms training.

This time is divided among marksmanship, proper handling and care of the weapon, and “shoot or no shoot.”

In addition, every year thereafter the officers are put through hours of refresher gun training.

Sadly, in spite of their training, police officers do not always make the right decision to shoot or not to shoot.

How can we expect a teacher or a 20-year-old woman living alone or a man of the house hearing a noise downstairs at night and others with almost no training to make good shooting decisions?

I have little confidence that I could make the right choice given that most of these decisions must to be made in an incredibly short period of time.

Roland P. Pera


Savior at Royals

I recently bought the George Brett 5-Pack for $55 package. But arriving at Kauffman Stadium with my family, I was informed that the package was only good for one ticket for five Friday night games, not for five tickets to one Friday night game.

Who knew?

When I was directed to the customer-service office to plead my ignorance and to try to get my family seats for the game, I was quickly helped by the most pleasant Royals worker I’ve ever experienced, Jessica.

She figured out how to cancel my original purchase, printed out game tickets for my family and saved the day — all within minutes before the first pitch.

Thank you, Jessica, for your patience and quick assistance to avert a potentially devastating disappointment to have missed a beautiful night and a win at the ballpark.

Because of Jessica, I will remain a true blue Royals fan.

Chris Stanfield

Overland Park

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