Letters to the Editor

Sales tax proposal, Congress, minimum wage

Updated: 2013-10-05T04:31:21Z

Sales tax fatigue

I can’t believe our Jackson County legislators voted to place a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot for medical research.

I can’t believe the county has millions of dollars to spend on a rushed medical research proposition.

To me, an increase in sales tax is for emergency-type, compelling situations. It is contemplated with much thought because it is a tax on the backs of all of us as we spend hard-earned dollars for products and services. But for research? For putting Kansas City on the map? Ridiculous.

Many thanks to the League of Women Voters for its leadership and sound thinking opposing the tax.

I don’t have to wait for more information about the workings of the tax to determine my decision. My vote will be a flat-out no.

Carol L. Winterowd

Kansas City

Photo-op politics

I have been watching and reading the news for several days now about this thing they call the government shutdown. From my perspective, it has been misnamed.

This should be called the “government photo op.” All I see are members of Congress jockeying to get their pictures and words in as many places as they can.

The last few days there has been a pushing match to get in front of the television cameras with veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. One thing is for sure with the government shutdown, there has been no shortage of news conferences and speeches by all simply to blame the other.

Maybe a better photo op would be of them working to solve this mess rather than showboating.

Ron Grover

Bonner Springs

Selfish Congress

The selfish people in Congress are at it again. They were elected as servants of the people, but they don’t feel any concern for what the people think, believing they have the power.

We can go a long way to stave off this potential major mistake just by insisting that our congressmen and senators stop and think. They need to ask, “Am I doing what my constituents want or am I hell-bent on eventually causing more problems?” Your choice, your soul, your country.

George L. Randle

Kansas City

Hartzler is wrong

I tried to not reply to Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s Sept. 30 commentary, “Ruining world’s best health care,” but the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t let these Republicans state lies as facts.

Hartzler contends that we are ruining the world’s best health care when in fact the United States isn’t even in the top 30. We actually rank around 37th or 38th.

But we are No. 1 on the cost of health care.

We can’t simply do nothing, as the Republicans would have us do. The costs have continued a double-digit climb for several years.

My son did a face-plant on the pavement while riding his bicycle and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was in the emergency room for 90 minutes, suffered no broken bones and required no stitches. The ER charges, a CT scan and a ride in the ambulance totaled more than $15,000. We had insurance, so I paid slightly more than $1,000 out of pocket. What if I had no insurance? Either I pay the total or I let those who have insurance absorb the cost of it with higher premiums.

Obamacare may have problems, but it is a start.

Tom Wolff

Overland Park

Minimum wage

The fast-food workers who went on strike because they wanted $15 an hour are asking for way too much from their employers. If the minimum wage became $15 an hour, the fast-food chains would be forced to let some workers go and raise the prices of their goods, rendering the $15 raise useless. In the end, it makes no sense for a fast-food worker to receive that much money.

A parent cannot support a family on $7.25 an hour. However, I do not think most fast-food workers are supporting a family.

Also, the strikers simply do not have enough leverage on the companies. McDonald’s restaurants, a multibillion-dollar company, can function with a limited number of employees who choose to keep working.

I would bet that the people who have to support families chose not to strike because they cannot afford to not work.

Minimum should be raised to around $9, but $15 is asking for too much.

Alex Caffrey

Lee’s Summit

Obama, climate

Despite having a divided Congress that has largely ignored global warming, President Barack Obama realizes the imminent threat to the planet and has decided to take immediate executive action.

Based upon a 97 percent consensus of climatologists and the findings of scientists around the world, the president has authorized the Environmental Protection Agency, through the power granted by the Clean Air Act and by decision of the Supreme Court that excess atmospheric carbon is a pollutant, to place limits on emissions for the biggest polluters. That includes coal-fired power plants.

Now, it is the responsibility of leaders everywhere to act in the public’s best interest. The cost to the environment of further neglect is far too great.

Those who don’t care or who still disbelieve that global warming is a clear and present danger should cash in and sue the scientists for damages.

Richard McBroom

Kansas City

Principled shutdown

Way to go, GOP. It’s about time you took a principled stand against the National Rifle Association.

Long has the NRA had you in its greedy pockets and made your members eschew even the most sensible debates of background checks and keeping military-style weapons off the streets.

What’s that? The shutdown isn’t to keep guns out of criminals’ hands but insurance out of the hands of the uninsured?

Still, there are principles involved. The Affordable Care Act was passed by all branches of government, and President Barack Obama was freely elected twice, so in principle, that constitutes a mandate.

All congressmen get to keep their tax-paid health insurance even through a government shutdown, so, in principle, it’s hypocritical to attempt to deny insurance to one’s constituents.

Go ahead, Republicans. Stand your principled ground.

Boyd Bauman

Roeland Park

Google’s entry

I recently had the pleasure of going with friends who were signing up for Google Fiber, which is coming to their Waldo area neighborhood. How simple and pleasant the process, the atmosphere and customer appreciation demonstrated by Google staff.

The Kansas City area has long been in the stranglehold of Time Warner, AT&T, Dish and others that threaten, overcharge, contract and complicate a process that Google has shown can be geared to people, not just profits.

I am sure that the other companies will come up with all sorts of counterattacks, but their days of monopoly are numbered, thankfully. I for one will eagerly await the day when Overland Park joins Google fiberhoods.

Kathy Quinlan Peterson

Overland Park

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