No, it’s spending
I read with interest a Sept. 2 letter to the editor concerning the budget deficit, which said that the main driver of the deficit is lagging revenue caused by income tax cuts. (7A) A table of budget comparisons from the Congressional Budget Office tells a different story.
Outlays from 2017-2018 show an increase of $126 billion over the previous year. Income grew by $13 billion. Individual taxes increased by $96 billion, which more than covered the loss of $92 billion from corporate taxes.
The biggest drivers of the deficit were the stunning $62 billion increase in interest on our debt, $43 billion more for Social Security and the bipartisan agreement to spend $32 billion more on defense and non-defense items.
While there is a case to be made that the wealthiest should pay more in taxes, it will never be enough to solve the problem as long as Congress and the administration fail to address the issue of spending.
In a conversation with a physician, I learned about a patient whom he had diagnosed with diabetes. The doctor prescribed insulin. The man asked what the cost would be. The doctor told him it would be about $6,000 for six months.
Shocked, the man said that was roughly the amount of his savings. He asked, “So my choice is to take the drug for six months and then die or spend my savings on my family and myself and die sooner. Those are my choices?”
More and more Americans are facing that choice. Because of monopolies by drug companies, we pay the highest brand-name drug prices in the world.
That’s why AARP, where I am a volunteer, has launched the national Stop Rx Greed campaign urging federal and state policymakers to crack down on price-gouging drug companies.
No American should be forced to choose between paying for the medicines they need and paying for food, rent or other necessities. I urge Congress, especially members of our Kansas delegation, to protect older Americans and pass bipartisan, commonsense legislation to lower prescription drug prices.
Robert J. Roberts
A letter writer recently expressed concerns that the pending SECURE Act would force heirs to divest IRA accounts that they inherit within five to 10 years. (Sept. 5, 10A) I would ask her to realize what an IRA account is and what it is intended to do.
IRA stands for “individual retirement account,” and it was never intended to be wealth passed on to future generations. That is why at age 70 1/2 (which would change to 72 if the SECURE Act is passed) minimum distributions are required so that the money is used in the account holder’s lifetime.
If you are looking for a legacy account, you should consider some other type of investment. Even a Roth IRA allows for better distribution options because the money that funds it is not tax-deferred.
A traditional IRA account is an excellent choice for working-class people, but it should be recognized and used as it was intended.
It’s a draw
Instead of taking money from the military, couldn’t President Donald Trump just take a map and a Sharpie and draw in a border wall?
Weapon of choice
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 467 people were killed in the United States in 2017 by “blunt objects” such as hammers and clubs.
Are we going to start doing background checks at the hardware store?
Not a saint yet
Don’t you think we should give Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes a little journalistic rest, at least until he has taken several snaps in the regular season and before The Star has completely canonized him? (Sept. 5, 1B, “Mahomes will be a better quarterback this season”)
There are at least 13 head coaches and defensive coordinators who have spent the last eight months, or more, devising ways to neutralize this guy, and we’d be naive to think their efforts won’t have an impact.
Mahomes can’t do it all by himself, and he has a lot of great teammate talent to help him. Besides, how many endorsements does one quarterback need?
By the way, are The Star’s sportswriters aware that KU won a football game last Saturday?
By my count, this past Thursday’s sports section had 29.5 column inches of print about Kansas State and 26.5 column inches touting MU, but not a single mention or column inch about KU football.
Come on, Star. Past seasons are history.
Bob Asher Sr.