There is obviously more than one reason our national debt has exploded since 1980. Tea party members and some others lay sole blame on increases in government spending.
But the historical tables in the federal budget reveal that a decline in income tax revenue has been a much greater cause. In 2012, income-tax revenue, as a percentage of gross domestic product, was lower than in 1980.
This decline in revenue dwarfed the 5 percent increase in spending as a percent of GDP over the same period. The failure of income-tax receipts to grow in proportion to the economy began after the income-tax cuts enacted during the Reagan administration and started again after the Bush tax cuts.
Tax-cut advocates express two conflicting rationales. The first is that by promoting economic growth, income-tax cuts will pay for themselves or, at worst, not result in a decline in revenue.
The second is that reduced revenue is a good thing because it forces Congress to decrease spending.
History has shown that neither of these intended results has occurred. Instead, tax cuts have helped create runaway deficits and a concentration of wealth by those at the top of the income scale.
It is sad that a formula that has proved so disastrous for more than 30 years is still advocated by so many in leadership positions as the way to address our fiscal and economic challenges.
Leawood Endangering planet
A global crisis exists with the standoff between Ukraine and Russia, with other world powers involved. I compare this to the 13-day Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, when the United States would not tolerate nuclear missiles in Cuba, leading to a blockade, a showdown and a near launching of a nuclear exchange.
What a sobering lesson. Now, Russia has sent troops into Crimea and Ukraine’s border and has made demands.
The U.S. has sent F-15 fighter planes to Lithuania, rallied Baltic countries, sent warships into the Black Sea and placed advisers in Ukraine. Elected by a majority of voters, Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was forced to leave Ukraine.
Crimea residents may vote to join Russia. Both sides have valid issues, but war would be a tragedy of epic proportions.
The world’s citizens must demand a stand-down and immediate freeze of all military actions, lest a nuclear exchange occur, even if limited. I hope and pray politicians, philosophers and moral and religious leaders sit down together and come to a just, peaceable resolution.
The world should not tolerate destructive power politics that endangers our planet.
Chair of PeaceWorks
Overland Park KC’s wealth disparity
Two news stories came to my attention, and both left me feeling ill.
The first was of Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse’s annual salary (3-8, A1, “Hesse’s hefty 2013 haul: $49 million).
The second was of the impending cuts to the Kansas City Police Department.
I firmly believe that the men and women of the Police Department would lay their lives on the line for the people of my community any day, yet they face a threat of departmental cuts.
How incredibly sad and unjust for our first responders. It’s a slap in the face.
Which raises the question: What is the true value of a man’s or woman’s service? I believe it lies in the commitment and sacrifice made to others.
So, just saying, Mr. Hesse, it doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a world-renowned corporation or if most of your $49 million salary is tied up in stock.
I respectfully submit that your salary is obscene. The financial disparities of today are stupefying.
There is something seriously wrong with our society.
Kansas City Megachurches, money
Is it true that the church with the most money is the most holy (3-9, A1, “Leawood megachurch eyes a $90 million overhaul”)? Or the church with the most money wins?
Wouldn’t it be great if churches that had millions to use for even more expansion were to take 10 percent of that money and spread it around to inner-city churches that need a roof or an air conditioner or were burned down, or for some other reason to help the disadvantaged? Are not churches nonprofit organizations?
After all, once you are the biggest and on television around the world, what else is there to do with your money? I think helping other churches would be appropriate and appreciated. I also think God would bless you more for it.
Olathe Backward Brownback
I checked out Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s espousal of all day-kindergarten. I haven’t seen that look of discomfort on the governor's face since he was in class at Kansas State University.
C’mon governor, admit it. This is a sham.
Your real plan is to have your sycophants in the Kansas Legislature overturn any effort toward all-day kindergarten (if it were ever to come to a vote). Your plan is to look like a moderate for one day — Election Day in November.
No can do, governor. Your ideas were new in the 1890s, and they didn’t work well then, either.
Fortunately for you, governor, facts won’t get in the way of your analysis of your “successes.” Everything you do hurts those among us who can least afford it.
The one great equalizer in life is education, and this proposal is a bogus answer for supporting that. If your ideas are so great, how could you turn a guaranteed win in Kansas into a legitimate battle?
Get in the 20th century, governor, and then we can work on getting you into the 21st century.
Lenexa Violent TV show
I recently sent WDAF-TV, Fox Channel 4 my thoughts on the most recent episode of “The Following” series. It included a girl captive in a cage, then a cult leader killed her in some disgusting manner.
His tools had been laid out for him. And he was obviously so sexually turned on with bloody everything that he rushed to make love to the woman who had prepared the girl for him.
I suggested that the network programmers get their children, grandchildren and neighborhood kids together and watch the episode. I suggest others do the same.
Someone who watches this prime-time show will be on the front page someday.
I am not a fanatic, but this is not entertainment. It is sick.
Blue Springs Daylight savings?
Just when we begin to see the light of day at the end of the long dark tunnel of winter, daylight saving time arrives the first weekend in March to cast our mornings back into darkness.
The length of daylight saving time has been extended twice since its implementation in 1966, the most recent in 2007 when four weeks were added. Energy savings have been the rationale for the extensions, although lobbyists for the sporting, charcoal and convenience store industries have also had significant influence.
While energy savings have proved minimal at best, is anyone evaluating the loss of productivity in schools and workplaces because of the darker mornings? What about the effect on children waiting for buses in darkness and morning walkers and joggers?
Although the increased hour of daylight in the evening is appreciated by many, the weather can be quite marginal for outdoor activities during the three additional weeks of daylight saving time in March.
Daylight saving time may have its merits and be popular with many, but has the length of the season been pushed too far? Perhaps it’s time for Washington, D.C., to re-evaluate and shorten the season.
Lenexa Putin vs. Obama
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama. A mover and a mewler. The man and the mouse. A communist and well ....
However you compare them, it comes out the same. How’s that hope and change working for you now?