Trash the litter
Mayor Sly James and incoming Kansas City, Kan., Mayor David Alvey: The Kansas City metropolitan area needs to clean up its act.
As a booming, midsize city in the middle of the country, we have much to offer potential new businesses. Yet how can we even think about inviting business here when our streets are strewn with litter?
Whether driving on U.S. 169 in the Northland or on Kansas 10 onto Interstate 435, you see trash and plastic bags all along the sides of the roads. It makes me sad and it makes me sick.
We need a citywide initiative, and you mayors can do this. You must increase fines for littering and offer more recycling centers and cleanup days. Start publicity campaigns to make people proud of their clean cities.
Royals blue and Chiefs red have little meaning if our streets are covered with trash. Where is our civic pride? It needs to be revisited and improved to make Kansas City a great place to live.
For the past few weeks, tax-reform legislation has been the main topic of conversation. TV interviews with congressional representatives have brought out some interesting points.
The high-tax states are arguing that some points in the legislation are unfair to them because they don’t get back as much money in federal funds as their people pay in federal tax. My question: Doesn’t it seem stupid for the federal government to take funds from the states, then send the money back for things the federal government thinks are important?
Why don’t we cut out the middleman? Lower the federal taxes to the point that the feds have money for federal functions, and allow the states to tax and spend on what they believe is necessary to function.
How much could be saved this way?
Your federal government thinks it needs your money so it can perform vital services for you that you would not think up yourself in a million years.
Thank you for sounding a warning about Missouri tax-reform bills. (Dec. 30, 8A, “Missouri, don’t repeat Kansas’ mistakes”) Further reducing revenue dedicated to critical infrastructure and programs hurts the quality of life for all.
State Sen. Bill Eigel’s Senate Bill 617 contains many ideas worthy of discussion:
▪ Modernizing the motor fuel tax and individual income tax brackets;
▪ Eliminating the deduction for federal taxes paid: Missouri is an outlier, being among only six states that allow such a deduction;
▪ Decoupling from federal standard income tax deductions to give the Missouri General Assembly more control over our own destiny;
▪ Entering into the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to promote equity between bricks-and-mortar and online stores.
But we have several grave concerns about this bill, besides the deep decline in already inadequate state revenue:
▪ Capping the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, given the current crisis in affordable housing;
▪ Failing to raise the fuel tax enough to match its value at the time of the last increase two decades ago — or offer a credit to offset fuel-tax regressivity;
▪ Not including an earned income tax credit.
A comprehensive discussion of tax policy is long overdue, and Empower Missouri will vigorously participate.
Jeanette Mott Oxford
All in order
I just cut out the Jan. 2 “Short Take” on death cleaning and put it on the refrigerator as a reminder to work on it. (7A, “Death, taxes and basement junk”)
Perusing my small kitchen, I don’t see anything I want to part with. Practically everything is a gift or was purchased by me, most likely in a thrift store or at a garage sale.
I do need to re-evaluate stuff though, as my purchases are stacking in the basement. What about the stuff handed down to you? What to do with a First Communion veil?
I love the idea of creating a box of meaningful things to be tossed on my death. I’ll get right on it.
Mouths of babes …
Republican supporters and former aides of the president have put a lie in the mouth of a child. The nonprofit group America First Policies’ TV ad shown over the recent holiday season, showing various people saying, “Thank you, President Trump,” ends with a little girl thanking him “for letting us say ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
I have always felt and in fact have always been free to say “Merry Christmas” at my choosing. That TV ad represents merely the ideology of victimhood, into which political operatives want to drag this child.
Adults may say whatever they want about their own views, but to involve this child in such mendacity is nothing short of abuse.