What is a corporation but a governor (representative) on the rise, and what is a governor (representative) but a corporation in office?
Changes to the homestead property tax refund and repeal of food sales tax credit in Kansas for tax year 2013 will negatively affect low-income Kansas residents. By making renters ineligible for homestead refund and repealing food sales tax credit, the neediest will suffer the most.
The homestead refund for renters in 2012 tax year provided refunds up to $700 per household. Food sales tax credit provided Kansas citizens up to $260 per household.
At the same time these changes hurt the neediest, the Kansas Legislature lowers income tax rates on those who make more than $60,000 a year from 6.45 percent to 4.9 percent. Being a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site coordinator last year, I was involved in more than 1,000 tax returns.
I saw firsthand how the neediest among us will be hurt the most. Trickle-down economics like this only redistributes the wealth to the richest and hurts the people who do all they can to provide for their families and themselves.
When trouble stirred in the country, Congress went into action. First lawmakers secured their wages and passed a law that they would be paid first and that no one in Congress could even give the paycheck away.
A law was passed that said their raises were automatic and could not be stopped. Having secured their health care and pension, Congress then shut down the government.
After running up a cost of $25 billion, members of Congress went back to their desks, having done nothing to help the common person. Those who need help are out of luck.
Congress has decided that it’s legal to make a personal loan to their campaign fund and then pay themselves back. Now, a bill, written mostly by the banking lobby, has been passed, and the banks can again make whatever wild gamble they want and the taxpayer will pick up the tab.
Did they learn nothing from the savings and loan indulgences and the more recent banking fiasco? I can hardly wait for January when Congress plans to shut us down again.
May God have mercy on all who are left wanting and in pain. There will be no assistance from the government.
Richard C. Lumpkin
There is a lot of discussion about the red-light cameras at our street intersections. We have red lights that can blink off and on.
We have yellow lights that blink off and on. We have yellow arrows that blink off and on.
Therefore, why can't we have green lights blink momentarily as a warning to the oncoming motorist that the light is about to turn yellow. This is a fair warning to the driver, especially if the speed limit is posted at 40 mph or 45 mph.
I have seen this blinking green warning light done in another city, and all drivers obey the light.
‘Village’ is golden
Have you ever looked on the ground to see something waiting to be rescued? This happened to Kathy Hinkley after the Olathe Old Country Parade finished.
When Kathy noticed the camera in the grass, she chose to try finding the owner. The pictures Kathy saw inside the camera were of the Olathe North High School and California Trails School banners and band students.
Kathy, whose son is in Olathe East High School Band, called her friend, Pam Zoller, whose son is in Olathe North High School Band. Pam connected with Mr. Love, director of bands with Olathe North High School, saying Kathy found a camera on the parade's route.
Mr. Love emailed the band parents the next day. Our son and the father of his two band students, read the email and quickly responded to Mr. Love: “That’s my mom’s camera.”
I was thankful to God when our son phoned with the heartwarming news of my camera.
Again “Good Things Happen?” “It takes a village.” Thank you Kathy, Pam, Mr. Love and two Nelson families for being “part of this village.”
Linda A. Nelson
A small group of elected officials in Congress is currently leading the effort to find common ground on a budget proposal to avoid a repeat of the federal government shutdown and prevent sequestration in the coming years. Those are goals many Americans support.
But how we get there could have devastating effects right here in Kansas. Among the proposals under consideration is an extension of the three-year federal employee pay freeze and a cut in take-home pay for federal employees through an increase in federal retirement contributions.
If the committee is unable to agree on a path forward, then more furloughs of vital federal workers are almost sure to occur. Many people think that federal employees are concentrated in the Washington, D.C., area.
But the truth of the matter is that more than 85 percent live and work outside of Washington. The federal government is one of our state's largest employers.
So when you cut the paychecks of Kansas, middle-class, federal employees, you're also harming our state's economy and local businesses. I urge Kansas' members of Congress to reject these proposals, which would take millions of dollars away from our local economy next year and weaken our federal workforce for years to come.
National Active and Retired
Federal Employees Association