The “riders” added to the congressional spending budget are an indication of what can be expected of the pending Republican Congress: elation and hope for the wealthy and business; dejection and fear for those of us who care about everything else.
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Boost voter turnout
Our legislators are not accountable for their laws. Let me be specific: Legislators pass voter registration and voting laws.
Only 80 percent of eligible voters register to vote. Legislators are not held accountable.
Only 40 percent of eligible voters vote. Legislators suffer no effect.
They blame the public as indifferent and irresponsible because the system they built does not work for us. That is commonly called victim blaming.
What's the solution? Make legislators salaries depend on eligible voter turnout.
Don't tell legislators how to get high registration and high turnout. Just cut their salaries if they don't.
Imagine what would happen.
Bill Mauldin drew a classic cartoon after the death of President John F. Kennedy, showing Abraham Lincoln crying at his memorial. After the events in France, where satirists were murdered by Islamic thugs, I would have to state that Thomas Jefferson would be crying about the First Amendment.
God gave us the Bill of Rights, and there is a reason why these rights are ranked. The First Amendment grants freedom of worship, speech and press, the right to petition the government and to assemble peacefully. If we forget that then we are no longer a free people.
David W. Anderson
Time for gas tax
While we are reveling in lower gas and oil prices, our representatives in Washington, D.C., should consider imposing a temporary federal tax on gas at the pump.
This tax could be used to repair our roads, highways and bridges. But it should be written into the tax code that the tax increase must be reduced and/or removed when gas prices again increase — and they will.
It has been was in the news that the flu vaccine being administered may not be effective because of a new and virulent form of the virus. I can attest to this as I had the flu shot in October and later suffered from the flu, type A.
Thank God I went to a walk-in clinic and got Tamiflu, which can only be given within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. I did have less severe symptoms because I had the flu shot.
So I believe in the flu shot as I was miserable and hate to think what I would be like if I had not had the flu shot. I have not had the flu since the 1980s because I have always had the flu shot.
I know I will always get the flu shot after this.
Tax cut folly
The reports are not in. Sadly, too late for us regular citizens. Timing is everything, and certainly it is true for Gov. Sam Brownback.
Before the election, he criticized people who warned against cutting taxes too much. He said, “They are Chicken Littles.”
Only after the election, did he admit that “he didn't know” the bad news. A case of selective hearing?
And pandering to people who shirk their civic responsibilities? So the results of a very responsible research firm are in.
It is the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit that is non-beholden to the Koch family. It asked, who benefits from cutting corporate taxes?
It found that main benefits go to the owners, 35 percent to workers and 25 percent to the landowners. Further, it found that tax cuts over time lead to lower wages and lower property values.
The siren song of tax cuts is a fooler for too many. And still, sadly, more people and more states will push to cut, even when results will not be in their best interests.
Back to the future
Did you notice something about Kansas City International Airport news coverage during the holidays? All the reporters kept saying, “Be sure to check the status of your flight on the Internet before you leave for the airport.” It is interesting to note that those same websites work even after the holidays.
Maybe you have also noticed that there are a number of smartphone applications that know where you are, can be told where you want to go (say KCI for instance) and then tell you the best route and estimated travel time adjusted for current traffic and weather.
Golly gee, technology can get us to the airport right on time so we won't have those unnecessary extra hours when we have to shop at overpriced stores — the terminal experience. And improving screening technologies plus new Transportation Security Administration pre-approved programs makes security much less a hassle.
Why with these developments, it almost makes the super-accessible KCI design seem futuristic. How disappointing for a task force set on approving a billion-dollar dud based upon a society without wifi.
Maybe we should fax them about it.
To send letters
Visit the Letters website at kansascity.com/letters to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.