Joco Opinion

Letters: Raise the gas tax, Music Hall service, BackSnacks idea

Raise gasoline tax

If only the members of Congress could work together. We find ourselves in the rare and enviable position of paying much less for gasoline these days.

I can remember the days when we broke out the champagne when gasoline hit $2.75 a gallon. Now, the average cost at the pump is below $2.50, and, it is predicted that gasoline prices will continue to be lower throughout next summer.

Here’s where Congress could make a huge impact on our decaying infrastructure. Both houses of Congress could get together and add a nickel or a dime to the federal gasoline tax for the next 90 or 120 days, and the cost would still be under $2.75 a gallon.

They could even phase the law to end the tax before the set term if prices rise again beyond a certain point. Think of the untold billions of dollars that could generate to a generation of Americans used to paying much more for their gasoline.

And think of the potholes, bridges and roads that could be repaired, while the public could benefit from lower gasoline prices as it does now. If only members of Congress could work together for the good of the commonwealth instead of their own narrow, partisan self-interests. Yet, one more opportunity lost.

Tom Davis


Yoder criticized

Rep. Kevin Yoder’s phone has been ringing off the hook with criticism from the “far left,” he says (12-17, A1, “Yoder defends banking change”). Callers are upset about his inserting into the “cromnibus” bill a measure that lets federally insured banks use financial “swaps,” the same swaps that were largely responsible for the crash of 2008.

Now, with the aid of Yoder’s measure, banks will be able to gamble with swaps once again, risking another banking crisis. Yoder contends it’s the “far left” that’s responsible for the “avalanche of criticism.”

Kevin, I don’t know where this “far left” is, especially in Kansas. But wherever they are, they aren’t the only ones criticizing your measure. Plenty of people of all political leanings are smart enough to know that repeating the mistakes of the past is a recipe for disaster.

Pity you’re not one of them.

Liz Craig


Motown experience

Our show, “Motown The Musical,” at the Music Hall was marred by being told that we were sitting in the wrong seats — three times. It wasn’t as if we sat down in a random seat.

We were escorted to each seat in error by different ushers. After disturbing patrons while the show was in progress several times, we left the theater out of embarrassment.

Waiting for 10 minutes for a supervisor, all the while being soothed by the manager, an usher and a bartender we were greeted by the event manager, Barry. He appreciated our frustration in now missing more than 15 minutes of the show and informed us that if we wanted a refund, we should go to the box office.

Disappointed in his cavalier attitude, this is when Walter the usher manager encouraged us to stay for the show. We swallowed our embarrassment, and he escorted us directly to the correct seats.

Kudos to Walter, Ludie and the dear bartender or we would have missed out on a phenomenal production. What a lesson for us all.

With calm, compassion and understanding their behavior tempered an otherwise negative experience. They deserve an applause for handling a difficult situation with grace.

Rachelle and

Norman Craig

Overland Park

Obama, Cuba

How wonderful for an American Catholic to have both her president and her pope agree that when relations between countries as well as people are cordial rather than confrontational, all parties involved stand to benefit. That is basically what President Barack Obama intended last week when, with moral support from Pope Francis, he set in motion policies that hopefully will begin to normalize relations between the United States and our near neighbor to the south, Cuba.

This would end a more than 50-year period in which the two countries have basically been enemies, and while it is just a first step, it is a momentous one. Of course, many of the president’s political enemies couldn’t wait to grandstand and remind their GOP constituents that they object to this, just as they have been on record opposing most of President Obama’s recent actions, no matter how forward-looking they are turning out to be.

In doing so, people like Sen. Marco Rubio reveal how out of touch they are with the hearts and minds of many Americans, to say nothing of many Cubans who must be ecstatic at the prospect of any relaxation of the oppression under which they have become accustomed to living.

For my part, I give the president praise for taking this bold action, which can only result in more positive feelings among the citizens of both countries about each other, and may also hold promise for development of joint interests in the areas of agriculture, education, and business, and someday soon, perhaps even tourism.

Janelle Lazzo

Roeland Park

BackSnack program

This BackSnack issue in which charities fill backpacks full of food and send them home to underprivileged children on weekends has me thinking (12-15, A1, “Raytown pupils get BackSnacks, and some food for thought”).

From almost everything I’ve read, the new federal guidelines (championed by first lady Michelle Obama), dictating school lunches are leaving children unsatisfied, hungry and a whole lot of food is being thrown away. Maybe the BackSnacks should be given out on Monday instead of Friday.

Terry Kliethermes


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