Yael T. Abouhalkah

Ten things not worth giving thanks for on Thanksgiving

Updated: 2013-11-28T00:33:28Z

By YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH

The Kansas City Star

Plenty of people in Kansas City and around the country will be giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day, appropriately so.

But there’s also a lot not to be thankful for, and here are 10 things on that list:

• Gun-loving state legislators.

Jefferson City and Topeka are full of lawmakers who embrace simple-minded solutions to the complicated world of gun control. Their answer is to allow more guns, including assault weapons, on the streets. When the legislative sessions start in January, get ready to read about more, dangerous laws encouraging this destructive behavior. The better answer: Pass stricter rules that target people who really shouldn’t have these killing machines.

• A do-nothing Congress.

There’s no single bigger enemy to the future of this country — to the economy, immigration reform, national security, etc. — than a highly partisan, destructive-minded House and Senate. Yet with the divisive November 2014 elections looming, things could get even worse. Yikes.

• Tin-eared civic leaders.

By listening to pollsters and not local politicians or neighborhood leaders, area business executives who brought forth the recent $800 million research tax plunged $2 million into a losing campaign. If only it had gone into research. I’m told lessons have been learned, and business community leadership will come back stronger than ever in 2014. That’s a good goal.

• Border war supporters.

There are too many economic development advisers, lawyers and city officials engaged in the status quo on both sides of the state line. They are willing to lavish city and state incentives on companies to get them to cross the border. Worse, many of these people will admit privately this is economically stupid. Stop doing it.

• Tax cut true believers.

From Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to Missouri multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield, both states are full of powerful people who appear devoted to undermining government. Tax revenues are needed to provide good public services. When taxes are cut too far, residents suffer.

• The tunnel vision on KCI’s future.

Yes, many people properly want to investigate how to improve Kansas City International Airport. No, that doesn’t mean automatically spending $1.2 billion to do so. Yet it’s foolish to say that a committee looking into this matter is wasting its time. Give the panel until April to see what KCI’s future could hold.

• Economically abusive employers.

Many behemoth companies are engaged in fighting a higher minimum wage while offering meager assistance to their workers. Low wages help make millionaires of business owners. They save customers a few bucks at check-out. But Americans have to foot the bill to provide food stamps, health care and other assistance to people employed by these companies.

• The no-change crowd on police control.

About half the “no” votes on a panel looking into this issue came from Kansas City police officers or former police commissioners. That’s understandable. But the others came from people who basically said it’s OK the city’s elected officials and residents can’t have oversight over the Police Department. That’s short-sighted.

• Obamacare’s rollout.

Lots of good has come from the Affordable Care Act and more is coming. However, the website problems have badly damaged President Barack Obama’s credibility to lead the nation on other issues.

• Obama haters.

It is regrettable that so many Republicans, nationally and locally, still think it’s OK to question the president’s patriotism, religion, country of birth and other things that have nothing to do with his policies. Both Bushes and Clinton didn’t get this kind of targeted hatred. Of course, they are white.

Now please resume being thankful for all the good things in your life.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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