Letters to the Editor

September 10, 2013

Go. Jay Nixon’s veto, Kansas City Museum, food stamps

Tax cuts sound great. But let’s look at the big picture. Less tax revenue means that something and somebody is going to have to suffer. Who takes the hit?
Uphold Nixon veto

Tax cuts sound great. But let’s look at the big picture.

Less tax revenue means that something and somebody is going to have to suffer. Who takes the hit?

Schools? They have already taken massive cuts.

Seniors? They too have endured cuts. Welfare? Highways?

Truth is, every single area of government assistance is going to take a hit. Nobody and no program will go untouched.

Tax increment financing is rampant, bringing business and costing the state millions in revenue already. Cutting taxes isn’t going to draw new business or save us a lot of money to spend as we see fit.

No, this will end up costing all of us a lot. Say no to the override.

Brian Acker

Kansas City KC Museum flap

I am distressed. I love Kansas City, Union Station and the Kansas City Museum. As a fourth-generation Kansas Citian, I consider preserving the town’s history important.

I had been thrilled with the excellent job George Costello and Christopher Leitch were doing, but I am appalled that the powers that be are advocating separation of the museum and Union Station.

As a past president of the women’s division of the museum and as the daughter-in-law of the late Mrs. Ben Page, who was one of the founders of the museum and its costume wing, I feel I must speak up.

To move the artifacts and collections would be a very misguided decision. Curator Denise Morrison has spent years cataloging and organizing them, not to mention the expense of building required museum rooms with lights and cabinets and air conditioning the old basement. It has been a huge undertaking.

If we want people to donate their treasured manuscripts and historic items, they must be able to trust the leadership and know their gifts will stay where they were given and be shared with the next generation. Let us educate people and have discussions before we spend millions on lawyers.

Georgette S. Page

Kansas City Peace with Syria

On the proposed U.S. attack on Syria, please, Mr. President, take a deep breath, calm down, get your finger off the trigger and talk it over with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Arlin Buyert

Leawood Reform food stamps

The federal food-stamp program currently transfers about $85 billion from working taxpayers to more than 100 million “poor” people each year. The program that discourages work, rewards idleness and promotes long-term dependence on the government is long overdue for reform.

A fiscally responsible Congress should transform the program from one that rewards dependence into one that encourages work and self-sufficiency.

Some reasonable measures would include: returning food-stamp spending to pre-recession levels and cap future spending, transfer control over food stamps from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Services, eliminate application loopholes that permit food-stamp recipients to bypass income and asset tests to reduce fraud, prohibit food-stamp payments to illegal immigrants, convert food stamps into a work-activation program and require drug testing of food-stamp recipients.

These measures roughly follow the model of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of the mid-1990s. After passage of that welfare reform, caseloads dropped dramatically and remain at a low level today.

Ed Geither

Overland Park Cheers for hunt

Thanks so much to Brent Frazee for the great article on Sept. 8, “Youth hunt on target,” on the Youth Dove Hunt at Clinton Wildlife Area. People really enjoyed the hunt, and everyone thought it was real cool to be in the newspaper.

Jim Zimmerman

Lansing Nullification laws

I write this letter in regard to the new bill set to criminalize any federal gun law enforcement.

I would like to start by letting you know that I am an avid supporter of the Second Amendment. I think the federal government has no place enforcing laws that make law-abiding citizens subject to the same gun restrictions criminals face.

If voters and lawmakers think states’ rights should be able to overrule federal law, they must understand the implications.

Currently, the United States faces issues where federal authority and states’ rights are at odds. We need only to look at Colorado and the legalization of recreational marijuana at the state level.

Voters and lawmakers must look at this logically, recognizing that support for a ban on federal gun-control laws also means respecting other states’ rights to pass laws that go against federal law. Legalizing marijuana or same-sex marriage are just two examples of state-level laws at odds with federal laws.

Regardless of the stance lawmakers and voters have on these issues, they must by proxy support the rights of other states to make and uphold laws that go against federal law.

Neal Johnson

Olathe Streetcar waste

Because I do not live in Kansas City, I figured how Kansas City spends its money is its business. Well, that changed when I read the Aug. 31 article, “Major boost for KC project,” on the federal grant of $20 million to the downtown Kansas City streetcar project.

Now my hard-earned tax dollars are going to fund a two-mile streetcar line that many do not want and do not see as a wise use of funds.

Yes, I know a special tax district was established for funding the project. We all know these special taxes either never go away or become misdirected over time.

If I have to give my dollars to Kansas City, I’d rather see them fix the city’s infrastructure problems.

Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver are said to be elated over the money. I am not surprised because they think Kansas City was given free money but just not for the right use, and they don’t care what I think.

Jeff Kocen

Overland Park Fees for service

We are fortunate in America to buy whatever we desire, provided we have the money to pay for it.

Tell me, what is the difference between a politician and others who are paid fees for services?

Marj Teter

Warrensburg, Mo. Ogallala Aquifer

The Star recently reported and editorialized about concerns over the draw-down of the Ogallala Aquifer, noting that irrigation of corn crops has contributed to the problem (9-8, Editorial, “Protect the Ogallala Aquifer to boost Kansas’ economy”).

Farmers cannot be faulted for the increased irrigation, because they are rational individuals behaving rationally.

When government policy created a huge demand for corn for production of alcohol for our motor vehicles, three things happened: The price of corn went up, the production of corn rose and demands on the Ogallala increased.

The policy of requiring alcohol (ethanol) in gasoline has not held the price of gasoline in check. For example, the price of gasoline is up from a year ago.

The claimed benefits to the environment are dubious when the effects of the distillation of alcohol from corn, transport issues and disposal of byproducts are considered.

If the Ogallala Aquifer’s water were used to make really good whiskey — OK. But does it really make sense to convert water from the aquifer into alcohol to burn in our cars?

Jim O’Connell

Shawnee Sick animal abuse

This world is full of some very sick people.

Drowned cats, dogs with crushed skulls being dumped in trash bins, kittens being found submerged in paint cans and my special favorite — Ella, the beautiful deer who brought so much pleasure to so many people — murdered for absolutely no reason.

I never got to meet Ella, and now I’m glad. It broke my heart to read of her death, and I know it would have been worse if I’d gotten to know her.

God bless you, Ella. Now you’re free to roam unafraid with others of your kind.

We all miss you. But you are truly now in a better place.

Joyce Kidd

Kansas City

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