State of the Union
I liked President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. He is a good man with mostly good intentions.
Unfortunately he lives in the land of unicorns and fairy tales. His perception of the world and reality are miles apart.
To say that the economy is in good shape, that people only believe it is bad because they are afraid, shows how out of touch with the American people he is. Stating that our standing in the world has improved under his watch is complete fantasy.
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President Obama is a good man, but we need a leader who knows how to lead. We need a person of steel, not a person full of warm and fuzzy feelings.
We need a person is willing to make decisions, not a person so consumed with his legacy that he will sacrifice and say anything.
Return to pork
The Star’s Jan. 12 editorial, “U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver must get over his preference for pork,” prompted me to write in support of Rep. Cleaver’s proposal to restore earmarks in Congress.
The Star grudgingly grants that the congressman’s thinking “isn’t totally off the wall,” but the editorial goes on to state that Cleaver is “taking a page from the Republican playbook.”
Rep. Cleaver’s proposal deserves serious consideration as a reasonable step to return to a political process in which at least some things can be accomplished in the extremely toxic political environment.
and James C. Olson
of Public Administration
of Public Affairs
Value of guns
The nation appears evenly divided on gun control. It seems foolish to take sides with my comments.
Consider that more people will be killed by cars this year than in homicides by guns. Do we focus on legislation against carmakers?
By the same token, should our attention be against guns or the “bad” people who use them? While pondering this question, keep in mind that there are about 250 million automobiles in the U.S. and an estimated 350 million guns.
The gun-control debate will continue to be fueled by each gun massacre.
“It’s official. Kansas is broke,” Kansas House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs said about his state’s looming fiscal deficit (1-5, A4, “Kansas tax revenue falls short again”). In December, the state’s individual income and sales tax receipts were dismally below projections.
Gov. Sam Brownback might have to call Republican presidential candidate and billionaire Donald Trump to help steer the state through federal bankruptcy court. Kansans might wonder whether Brownback suffers from amnesia.
Tax cuts for the rich failed to stimulate the economy and create jobs when Congress passed President George W. Bush’s Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. It did help the national debt grow by several trillion dollars.
For a state that got it right, look at Minnesota. In 2011 Gov. Mark Dayton raised individual income tax rates to 9.5 percent for individuals earning more than $150,000 and couples earning $250,000.
From 2011 to 2015, Minnesota added 172,000 jobs, and Minnesota ended 2015 with a billion-dollar surplus.
Kansas Republicans like to crow about elections having “consequences.” In November, Kansas voters can show these legislators the consequences of raising taxes on the middle class, pandering to the rich and decimating the state’s finances.
“I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
I wonder whether any of our elected congressmen and congresswomen remember the above oath taken upon being sworn into office, or did they all have the fingers on their left hands crossed behind their backs?
Don Rinck Sr.