KCI, middle class
As Kansas City contemplates what to do with Kansas City International Airport, I hope it’s kept in mind that the current ticket prices allow the middle class access to the skies, especially if you fly Southwest. Most of us do.
It’s disconcerting to hear Southwest express concern regarding the increased cost that changes would result for the company and thus to Southwest Airlines customers.
If the price increase is 5 percent or so, most families would be able to make that adjustment. But higher increases could turn our beloved KCI into a boutique airport, serving the needs of the wealthy and leaving the middle class behind, a story that is familiar in so many aspects of our economy today.
Towering U.S. debt
Our Founding Fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew that government had become a player instead of a referee in the field of medical insurance. Our medical insurance would be just fine if the government’s role were just to keep the playing field level for those with the expertise and experience.
Competition would then keep the costs in line.
But as soon as government decides to directly control medicine, we can expect the system to bloat and collapse from its own weight.
Our government is awash in career lawyer/politicians whose expertise is in the redistribution of money, not medicine or insurance. Small wonder that we are now $17 trillion in debt and growing.
It has been said that the world’s great civilizations generally last about 200 years. We are already 237 years old. Is there a message there?
Caring about Kansas
At the Jan. 17 hearing of the KanCare Oversight Committee, a mother of a 6-year-old child born with cerebral palsy brought up a good point regarding Gov. Sam Brownback’s State of the State Address.
She said how disheartened she was “because the governor spoke proudly about the upcoming birth of the state’s three millionth resident. But not one word about KanCare.”
With the many issues still facing Kansas’ new Medicaid program, KanCare, she asked, and I hope the governor takes this truly to heart, “What’s going to happen if that child is born with a disability?”
Mark J. Greene
Roaring in Kansas
Kansas Republicans and their hayseed supporters still believe that somewhere past the rainbow thousands of businesses are lining up to begin their final journey into the state because Kansas has a low income tax on businesses. They just won’t tell us how many and just exactly where they are.
But that is not the only thing waiting to get into Kansas. Faced with a possible Kansas Supreme Court decision over funding for public schools, there are Republican arguments just waiting to get in as well.
The first argument is the Scarecrow, and he will argue that should the court rule against the governor and indirectly his tax plan, then any resulting state deficit will be the court’s fault and not theirs.
The second argument is the Tin Man, and he will tell us that because of the court's ruling, property taxes will have to go up to cover treasury shortfalls, hiding the ugly truth that they were going to go up anyway.
The third argument is the Cowardly Lion, and he, well, he will just roar and roar until the governor’s opponents, along with the antelope and the buffalo, are all gone.
Dream of schools
I had a dream a night or two ago. I saw Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. standing on the steps of Kansas City’s City Hall, and he was speaking to a vast audience. He spoke in strong, clear tones, and his words washed over the crowd like thunder.
He said: “I have a dream that some day the children who live in the heart of the city, black, brown, yellow and white, will have the same opportunity of education that those who live in the suburbs and exurbs of this city do. I have a dream.
“I have a dream that the adults involved with education in Kansas City Public Schools will put away their bureaucratic turf wars and elevate the education of the children in the heart of the city to the same level of concern as they hold their deals, salaries and reins of power. I have a dream.
“I have a dream that some out-of-town newspaper will send a journalist to Kansas City to do a feature on what has caused the dismaying record of failure of the Kansas City district for more than three decades, and that journalist will point out those who are responsible, why and how, so that no child in this community shall ever be subject to it again. I have a dream.”
Then I woke up. It was just a dream, wasn’t it?
James B. Jackson
Au revoir 2013
Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million. Oil spills and extreme weather continue as climate change remains unaddressed by national leaders.
Secrecy surrounding the Trans Pacific Partnership remains unreported by mainstream media. DREAMers brought attention to the need for immigration reform.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing government documents to Wikileaks.
Edward Snowden revealed National Security Agency documents confirming that Big Brother indiscriminately watches. Pope Francis I addressed gross worldwide economic inequality and “the golden calf of greed” echoing the voices of Occupy.
Low-wage, fast-food workers executed strikes and marches nationwide trying to increase the minimum wage. A U.S. air strike on Syria was averted because people spoke loudly: “No!”
The Affordable Care Act was implemented and, like Social Security and Medicare, experienced glitches. Tea party Republicans shut down the government on Oct. 1 in a vain and costly attempt to derail Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act.
Thousands of people were killed by guns in the months after the Newtown massacre, while gun sales increased. Former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela died.
Au revoir “Madiba” and 2013.
Taxes on vehicles
I was born in Kansas, lived out of state for 35 years and returned. What has happened to account for the cost of registering an automobile?
I registered a car and a truck to the tune of more than $1,300 for one year. As a Harley rider, I think there shouldn’t be a rocky road anywhere in this state.
We paid to have them paved in this county alone.
I would like to call attention to the incredibly slow process that veterans face when returning home from war with disabilities.
I was honorably discharged from the Army in 1992. Upon my exit and Veterans Affairs examination, it was noted that I had a seizure disorder. In 2008, I lost my driver’s license because of it.
At that time I filed for compensation. The claim has been under appeal with the VA since 2009, with no movement.
Several times, I have contacted my congresswoman’s office for help, only to be ignored. Veterans have no recourse in dealing with the VA because there is no oversight board or accountability.
If the VA takes three years to move a claim from one office to another, the veteran suffers. The numbers published by the VA go unanswered, and the Inquiry and Information Routing System does not answer emails even though it publishes that it will in five business days.
The system is broken, and Americans should not allow veterans to go through hell when they return to their own country after going through hell in somebody else’s country.
Be careful what you wish (vote) for. We hoped for change, and we got it:
• Allies enraged.
• Enemies emboldened.
• Debt exploded.
• Affordable Care Act exposed.