Voting on Saturdays
I read an interesting article in The Star (1-21, A1, “To keep polls open, kids could get day off”).
It seems that schools, although required in Missouri to be available as polling places, have security concerns. There is a proposal to close the schools on election days. That would do it, although not without consequences.
The obvious suggestion is an old one: Move elections to Saturdays, when schools are closed. Not only would security concerns be greatly alleviated, voting would be easier for countless thousands.
Who knows, voter participation might even increase.
A Jan. 11 Star editorial headline says, “More bikes rolling up and down boulevard a grand idea.”
A grander idea instead of two bike lanes on Grand Boulevard would be to put diagonal parking on the west side of the street south of Ninth Street and a bicycle lane on the east side of Grand Boulevard.
Bicycles are allowed on Kansas City streets by law and would have no trouble keeping up with traffic if going downhill on the west side of Grand Boulevard.
Parking has been a longtime problem in our city, and the parking-space shortage hurts our businesses. Mike Hendricks’ Jan. 14 front-page article, “KC’s parking predicament,” speaks of the First Friday gridlocks and states that the down side to all the increased vitality of downtown and the Crossroads is that parking is becoming an issue.
A residential tower going up at 13th and Walnut streets, a tower proposed between Grand Boulevard and Walnut Street at Truman Road and a $10 million apartment building at 1914 Main St. all add to the congestion of the Crossroads district, the Power & Light District and the Sprint Center.
To have a vibrant downtown, we have to have convenient parking. Diagonal parking would add more spaces.
Not so very long ago, when a black man did something laudable, you could count on someone saying, “He was a credit to his race.” What a backhanded compliment.
I’ve heard the phrase used about Jackie Robinson, Sammy Davis Jr. and many others.
Recently, the Rev. Dr. Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson passed away (1-18, A4, “Remembering a true leader”). He was president of the Kansas City chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for many years and led Kansas City’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration (the largest in the country) for decades.
He was a passionate and vocal proponent of equal rights for everyone and human dignity. Even the last few years, while illness weakened his body, it could not diminish his commitment.
I wish I could have known him better as well as longer, but one thing I can say with certainty: The Rev. Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson was a credit to his race — the human race.
Health care woes
To gain some insight regarding the future of Obamacare, look to the green mountain people’s republic of Vermont. The most socialist state east of California had a single-payer health care plan that insured all residents of the state.
The plan was really an advanced version of Obamacare. It modeled the ultimate goal of the liberals’ health care agenda, equal care for all at a great price.
The plan imploded recently because it was judged unaffordable by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. The plan required a 10 percent income tax increase on already overtaxed residents.
All told, the price tag for the single-payer system was estimated at $2.6 billion in a state with revenues totaling about $2.7 billion a year. The program met its early demise because, like all wealth transfer schemes, they ran out of other people’s money.
Thank you, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, for keeping your hands off our health care.
In the Jan. 21 story, “An aggressive agenda,” on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, I’d like to point out an important exclusion. The writers, stated that the president “grew cocky” when he said, “I have no more campaigns to run. I know ’cause I won both of them.”
What the writers failed to include was how the Republicans sarcastically applauded when the president made the first statement, which prompted him to make the second statement.
This is not cockiness. It’s confidence. Read between the lines. Because the Republicans expressed their sarcasm, the president let it be known that if there were another term to campaign for, he’d probably win that, too.
Face it, people. This president has done more good things for this country than any other president in recent history.
Also notable is how the writers, as well as many others, fail to give this man the respect he deserves. Many of us are better off now than we were before he took office.
David W. Brown
Face of Republicans
President Barack Obama gave a speech Tuesday night, which spoke to many issues close to the hearts of American voters. I watched the televised speech and was fascinated with the times House Speaker John Boehner did not applaud, which would indicate his non-support and that of the Republican Party.
Is it possible educated voters do not want to support companies that invest in America? Or why would climate change — or at least a discussion of it — not be a viable option?
I was put off by Mr. Boehner’s non-response to the president’s comment about equal pay for women doing the same work as male counterparts.
If this is the face of the current Republican Party, of which I’ve been a registered member for 40 years, I want no part of it.
We have a number of representation problems in Kansas. One is that legislators and the governor can be elected by an extreme minority of the electorate. Another is that legislators can gerrymander electoral districts.
Why not tie lawmakers’ pay to turnout and registration?
The problem is that our representatives currently are rewarded for decreasing registration and turnout. Therefore, they structure districts to have slight majorities of their constituencies. They make it harder to vote and to register.
As a result, fewer people vote but entrenched candidates win the elections. Witness the last election in which our governor and national senator won with less than 23 percent of eligible voters’ votes.
What’s the solution? Hit them in the pocket. Pay legislators and the governor according to the percentage of eligible voters they win.
That would give them incentive to get more voters registered and more people voting. Their pay should suffer if they suppress the vote.
In summary, build incentives for legislators and the governor to increase registration and turnout. Pass a law to pin representatives’ pay to registration and turnout.
State tax cut costs
Missouri legislators made significance of the fact that they voted to cut taxes. However, they did not take responsibility to maintain roads such as Interstate 70.
Voters should let them know that making I-70 a toll road is another hidden way we are charged for lawmakers’ vote for tax reduction. Also, they did not appropriately fund the A+ scholarship program that helps students go to community colleges.
Voting for a tax cut makes good election statements, but how much does it cost us?
I read the letters to the editor of individuals touting the lower premiums of their new Obamacare health insurance compared with their previous health insurance. But are they aware that there is usually a $5,000 to $8,000 deductible included in these policies?
Or better yet, do they even know what a deductible is?