Letter writers sound off on President Obama, Hobby Lobby, ALEC

07/11/2014 7:00 AM

07/11/2014 5:03 PM

Truth from Obama

Here’s what President Barack Obama would tell the American people if he drank truth serum:

The nation is in dire shape. Under my term, the poverty level is its highest in 50 years. The labor-participation rate is its lowest since 1978, with fewer Americans working.

The federal debt has grown. The gross national product has decreased in 2014. Obamacare premiums are skyrocketing, and I was brazenly untruthful in saying people could keep their coverage and doctors.

My administration was involved in the Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, National Security Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs scandals, plus the Taliban swap.

My “leading from behind” foreign policy has seen the rapid growth of al-Qaida, Iran is close to the bomb, and Russia and China have gained massive geopolitical influence.

I’ve abused my power and ignored the Constitution repeatedly. I’ve pitted men vs. women, rich vs. poor and black vs. white, leaving Americans divided like never before.

I can do this because the liberal media won’t report the truth about my presidency.

How’s that for transparency?

Jim Collier

Kansas City

Hobby Lobby hope

Now that Hobby Lobby has won its Supreme Court case and doesn’t have to provide contraceptive insurance for its employees, I assume the corporation will provide paid maternity leave and child day care for its employees.

Ed Stine

Prairie Village

Smart aleck, ALEC

When I was young, disrespectful people were sometimes called “smart alecks.” As an adult, I wondered whether “aleck” was euphemistic (7-9, Editorial, “Telltale typo reveals source of bad bill”).

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recently made the less-than-smart move of drafting a “model legislation” bill containing a typo that altered the bill’s meaning.

We all make mistakes.

I wonder where the acronym ALEC came from. Perhaps the similarity to aleck is a coincidence.

Then again, we could be looking at an example of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Janice Stallings

Kansas City

Retirement at risk

The Show-Me Institute, funded by St. Louis multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield, is methodically working to privatize public pensions across the nation, one state at a time.

In Missouri, the Show-Me Institute is working to put education new hires into a 401(k) system.

As an example, if this happens, it would eliminate the 14.5 percent employee contribution and would also eliminate the 14.5 percent contribution from school districts in the Public School Retirement System and Public School and Education Employee system. If they succeed in changing this, the PSRS/PEERS pension and cost-of-living adjustments could not be sustained much more than 20 years.

Plus, PSRS retirees do not have Social Security to fall back on. All education retirees must join together to protect the best educator-retirement benefits in the nation — or go begging after our funds have been stolen.

Once again, it’s time to contact our elected representatives concerning the actions and motives of the Show-Me Institute and St. Louis multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield.

Edwin Woolsey

Willow Springs, Mo.

Nation of immigrants

It is so easy to say that the immigration system is broken and illegal immigrants should be deported (7-5, A2, “City clashes over immigration”). It is easier yet to blame President Barack Obama.

In Murrieta, Calif., flag-waving American citizens interrupted the work of law enforcement by the Border Patrol, afraid that immigrants would “flood” their city.

It’s OK for immigrants to work the thousands of orchard acres to put food on America’s dinner tables. It’s not OK for immigrants to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Americans are so fearful. They cannot remember that, other than the Native Americans, we are all immigrants.

America can accommodate and prosper.

Ascension Hernandez

Shawnee

No on sales tax

Missouri roads and bridges need a lot of upgrading, repairing and such. The cost of this is quite high, and the need has been neglected far too long.

However, to even suggest that this be funded by a sales tax is quite ridiculous, unfair and thoughtless. The users of the roads should be paying the cost.

The tax on fuel has fared very well for this purpose in the past and should be raised. In addition, large vehicles such as over-the-road trucks should be made to pay their fair share.

They might not even fuel up in Missouri as they pass through.

There are many ways to correct this.

Where on earth did the idea of a sales tax come from?

Wayne Wagner

Independence

Roadwork debris

In traveling westbound on Interstate 670 in July, I experienced some debris falling from the repair work on the overpass and it caused road rash to my car equal to 10 years of use.

Although no dents or glass breakage occurred, the car has damage to the hood, windshield, roof and moon roof.

The contractor should use better methods to contain the debris, or someone could suffer more harm from the negligence.

Ed Dawson

Louisburg, Kan.

People over guns

Do we really need even fewer restrictions on guns and ammunition (7-7, A1, “Missouri a bastion of gun rights?”)? Do we value our guns more than our children?

Every 30 minutes, a child is shot in the U.S. More children are killed by guns every year than law-enforcement officials are.

The U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but we own an estimated 35 to 50 percent of the guns. Five times more children die from guns in a year than our soldiers in war zones.

Guns in the home increase the homicide risk threefold and suicide risk threefold to fivefold. We have nearly as many guns as people.

I don’t see the need for more guns.

As a retired pediatric physician, I am stunned at the Missouri ballot proposal on guns.

Robert Binda Jr., M.D.

Kansas City

Hobby Lobby, guns

I am sure people have heard enough about the misguided U.S. Supreme Court decision by five Catholic men (7-5, A1, “Obama is considering ways to cover women’s contraception”).

My concern with Hobby Lobby, which claims to be family-oriented, is whether the company allows guns in its stores.

Marlene Shulkin

Overland Park

Kansas earthquakes

Isn’t it curious that a Gov. Sam Brownback-appointed task force can’t figure out the cause of the increased number of earthquakes in the state (7-7, A1, “Kansas earthquakes on the rise, but causes are elusive.”).

The task force also can’t get timely data on oil and gas wastewater injections even though “scientists have already linked deep injection of drilling waste to earthquakes just over the border in Oklahoma, which is seeing a massive spike in seismic activity,” the news story notes.

Don Fisher

Kansas City

Gas tax for roads

I see what the payoff will be for Kansas City if the transportation/highway sales tax is approved by voters on Aug. 5 (7-10, A4, “State picks KC projects for sales tax funding”).

Wish list, payola, whatever you want to call it. I’m going to vote against it.

Our sales taxes are already too high, and I think a transportation/highway tax should be a user tax.

Missouri’s gasoline tax is one of the lowest in the nation. Increase the gasoline tax, and let the people who use Missouri roads pay for Missouri roads.

A gasoline tax is the right way to go.

Let’s defeat the transportation sales tax and see whether Missouri legislators can find the courage to vote for a gasoline tax, a user tax, rather than forcing another regressive sales tax upon Missouri consumers.

Steve Grant

Kansas City

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