Not our problem
The quote on the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — is a just a poem. It is not policy or a requirement. Yet liberal politicians are acting as if the United States is bound by this poem.
Immigrants are often told by agents in their countries that all they have to do is get to America and the United States will give them food, a house, a car and a job. They just have to show up at the border, and they will be taken care of.
Well, what about our own citizens? Where are the houses, food, cars and jobs for them? Shouldn’t we take care of our own “huddled masses” first?
It is not up to the United States to take care of these immigrants who want to break our laws. The problem is at Mexico’s northern and southern borders first. Let these countries feed, clothe and house their own people.
As a person of faith who believes in the basic human dignity of all people, especially the most vulnerable among us, I am appalled by recent reports of the cruel and inhumane treatment of migrant children held in U.S. custody.
Federal law sets strict limits on how long a migrant child can be held. Many of these children have been in custody for much longer.
Most of these children, more than 80%, have a parent or other relative in the United States. Why haven’t they been reunited?
Money is not the issue. A Health and Human Services official told NBC News that the U.S. government spends $775 per day to hold one child in detention. For the cost of one or two days of detention, a child could be flown anywhere in the United States to be reunited with family rather than endure horrendous conditions of incarceration.
The treatment of migrant children held in U.S. government custody is a national disgrace. How can we criticize other nations for human rights violations when we treat vulnerable children with such cruelty and indifference?
Sister Helen Mueting
Who’s behind it
It was no surprise to see Dave Trabert’s June 20 guest commentary, “Kansans are being set up for another tax hike,” railing against the proper funding of our public schools. (11A) The Star, however, should question its policy on which columnists deserve significant space and prominent display in the opinion section.
Ideas across the political spectrum should be expressed. But when an organization such as Trabert’s Kansas Policy Institute lobbies for lower taxes for its wealthy donors, then it’s incumbent on The Star to insist on transparency about the funding source of that group — be it liberal or conservative — when it uses the newspaper as a sounding board.
This is not the case with the Kansas Policy Institute. Nowhere on its website is this information available. As such, Trabert’s message deserves no more status than the rest of us mere mortals, who are limited to 200 words in the letters to the editor.
California voters approved Proposition 13 in 1978 to amend the state’s constitution. It was highly endorsed by future president Ronald Reagan, who had been California’s governor until 1975.
If a similar initiative were approved in Missouri, there would be no more need for property assessors, and we could stop this reassessment mess across the state.
Because of Prop 13, California homeowners pay a maximum property tax of 1% of their home’s purchase price. Annual increases in assessments are capped at 2% per year, or less if the inflation rate is less than 2%. Hence, it takes 50 years to double a California home’s taxes if it has the same owner.
California homeowners can improve their homes without tax increases until they resell those properties. Then, the new purchase price becomes the base for future taxes.
What could be more fair than using the purchase price as a base for property taxes?
Ronald E. Levy
The Missouri Department of Conservation is planning to introduce more restrictive requirements on the issuance of resident landowner hunting permits and to require that landowners “register” their land. The department claims public support for these changes.
Anyone with even blurry eyesight knows very well that our game animal population is quite healthy and even poses a vehicle collision risk. Restricting landowner hunting rights is thus nothing but an undercover tax increase.
With huge amounts of our government budget already spent monitoring law-abiding citizens, even as our borders are left wide open, the last thing our tax money should be spent on is yet more bureaucracy tracking only those who are already paying their property taxes (and would produce a personal information list that, sooner or later, would be hacked).
I request the conservation department divulge how many people supporting this new policy have no skin in the game but apparently feel qualified to tell me how to manage my hard-earned property.
If you are concerned about yet more taxes and yet more regulation, my suggestion is to contact your state legislators.
Robert Eugene Ballay