Preserve tax credit
The Kansas budget gap is in the news daily. Clearly, the state is facing difficult choices about tax dollars, but Kansas’ refundable earned income tax credit is one of the best investments our state can make. It should be off the table for cuts.
A significant body of research has shown that the EITC gets and keeps people working, reduces poverty and reduces the use of public assistance. Each year, more than 282,000 Kansas children benefit.
These benefits to our future generations are significant and long-lasting. The children of families with more income from refundable tax credits are documented to do better in school, and they are more likely to attend college and to earn more as adults.
United Way of Greater Kansas City opposes any reduction or elimination of the EITC. It is an important tool for reducing poverty among children, and it offers parents temporary support to get out of poverty.
Let’s help working families take care of their children. Preserve the Kansas earned income tax credit. Our children’s future will be better because we do.
President and CEO
United Way of
Greater Kansas City
I enjoyed Steve Kraske’s article (5-23, A4, “Minority observes Kansas battles”) describing the difficulties of conservatives in the Kansas Legislature. It seemed more true than scathing.
However, I want to clarify a point about the non-Democrats in both the House and Senate.
I live in a part of northeast Johnson County where we have a refreshing group of moderate Republican legislators, mostly women, who seem to be able to cross the aisle and speak to liberals and moderates as well as, I assume, a good many Republicans.
They are courageous people, and we need to honor them for their refusal to toe anyone’s party line.
KC’s smog problem
Are there smog deniers anywhere? I don’t think so.
Smog has been a problem ever since I can remember, and I’m 67.
It has been well-documented that smog is worst in places with lots of cars emitting exhaust. Los Angeles, Mexico City and Beijing are examples.
Those engine exhausts are carbon emissions, the same carbon emissions that 97 percent of scientists say are causing climate change. Many of the 3 percent of scientists claiming otherwise are in the pay of oil producers.
We’ve had many ozone-alert (smog) days here in the Kansas City area. We’re asked to curtail driving, buying gas, using power mowers and other carbon-emitting activities.
So, you may be a climate-change denier. But even if you think carbon emissions aren’t changing the climate, do you really think it’s OK to continue polluting the air, causing smog?
Can you honestly say you’re a smog denier? I didn’t think so.
Suzanne B. Conaway
The Star prints lots of letters decrying the dollars the Koch brothers donate to Republicans. Why does The Star not print any letters decrying the hundreds of millions of dollars contributed by the fugitive from Europe, George Soros, or the hundreds of millions spent by Michael Bloomberg?
Both donate this money to (extreme) left-wing Democrats. It seems to me that in the interest of fair play both would get equal treatment.
But wait, I forgot that The Star is a left-wing newspaper and will do nothing to criticize Democrats or their donors.
Kansas cars and guns
Kansas clings to the old-fashioned notion that to drive a car, with its capacity to cause fatal injuries, requires driver’s training and a license. But the Republican Party and governor, in their wisdom, recently passed a law allowing Kansans to carry concealed weapons without training or a license.
Both cars and guns can and do kill people, but of only one can the state now reduce unqualified users through licensing. In recent polls, more than 70 percent of Kansans opposed the new law allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon.
Apparently, nostalgia for the good, old Dodge City days appeals to the Republican-controlled Legislature, if not its citizens. Why not put this issue on the ballot and let Kansans decide?
You know the reason. It would not pass.
So much for government by the people for the people.
Harold J. Schultz
The following is a quotation by author Louise L. Hay that was printed on a calendar. It seems appropriate.
“The earth is a wise and loving mother. She provides everything we could ever need. There is water, food, air and companionship. We have an infinite variety of animals, vegetation, birds, fish and other natural wonders. We have treated this planet very poorly, using up our valuable resources.
“If we continue, we will have no place to live. I commit to lovingly taking care of and improving the quality of life in this world. ... It is my planet, and I help to make it a better place to live. I imagine a peaceful planet, with a clean, healthy environment for all.
“I see all the people on the planet opening their hearts and their minds and working together to create a world where it is safe for us to love each other. It is possible, and it begins with me.”
Let us commit with our thoughts, words and actions to truly making our world better and sustainable.
Concern for horses
I learned recently of a proposal to refurbish the Gillham Park horse stables, which would also then be able to offer a summer camp program, I would assume to have city children ride horses.
But what most surprised me was that the horses would not be allowed to spend the night in these stables because of a Kansas City ordinance on horses in the city.
These horses are still to be trucked during the summer and winter at the end of a long day to other stables outside Kansas City?
My No. 1 concern is the quality of life and welfare of these animals when it comes to human entertainment and enterprise.
Kansas City, Kan.
Beyond low wages
There has been a flurry of news reports on the need to raise wages for fast-food workers. Wages are determined by the supply of labor with skill sets and the demand by businesses for those skill sets.
Engineers, electricians and plumbers make higher wages because there is a limited supply of those skill sets and a greater demand. Fast-food workers constitute a large labor supply that exceeds the demand by those businesses.
In other words, they can be replaced with very little cost of training a replacement, and there is a large supply of potential replacements.
So what should the unskilled worker do to improve his or her living conditions?
Rather than protest, invest in yourself and move from the unskilled- to skilled-labor category. Go to school to learn a trade or get a college degree in an area demanded by business.
Sacrifice short term to win in the long term by making yourself part of the skilled-labor supply.
Those in the skilled-labor category have already made these sacrifices and made those investments in themselves and receive those higher wages.
Honoring the flag
It is honorable to show patriotism and display the flag, but it becomes an insult when the flag is tattered and frayed.
When flags become torn, tattered or shredded, that is the time for them to be retired and replaced.
Yes, there is a cost, but that comes with the responsibility of a company, institution, government agency or individual who chooses to display the flag with honor.
When a flag needs to be retired, please do not dispose of it yourself.
Take it to an organization such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Jewish War Veterans or other groups that will either take it for proper disposal or direct you to take it to another place. If the flag can be repaired, fine, but make sure it’s done correctly.
I am a veteran and proud citizen.