For more than 30 years, one political party has pushed an incessant tax-cutting policy. Tax cuts sound good, but it’s time to judge the results.
Who has benefited and who has suffered?
The income disparity between the rich and middle class has grown exponentially and has reached historic highs. The middle class has shrunk, and the ranks of the working poor have swelled.
Additionally, these tax cuts are causing great harm to our schools, infrastructure, military and social programs.
So how do these politicians continue to sell this harmful policy? They scapegoat the least powerful group, the poor.
We have all seen the hateful emails that denigrate the poor as parasites or heard the dehumanizing comments by politicians and their right-wing media mouthpieces. This technique of blaming a particular group of a society for all its ills has a long and sordid history.
Our parents and grandparents recognized the need to invest in this country and were willing to sacrifice to ensure a bright future for their children. Our generation has squandered that investment by not investing in our children’s future as we pursue the latest gadget or shiny bauble.
We should be ashamed.
Max D. Aber
Woman as priest
Kudos to The Star for having the courage to print the article on Georgia Walker, who intends to become ordained as a Catholic priest, knowing full well that she’ll immediately be excommunicated from the church she loves (12-26, A1, “KC woman plans to become priest”).
I wish her well because it sounds as if she has an uphill battle ahead of her.
Now I will anxiously await the companion article The Star will surely publish about the Muslim woman who wishes to become an imam.
Feminism as a noun is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality of men.
We are advocating for our rights not only in the good ol’ United States but also in India, Africa, Asia and anywhere women need the rights that they don’t have.
A lot of people argue that women have it all or that feminism is just about hating men and refusing to shave, but it’s not.
It’s about not being asked, “Oh, well what was she wearing?” when a rape victim comes forward. Or, “She was asking for it.”
It is about women in other countries who get mutilated every day, week, month, year, just to get back at their families.
Women need equality. Women need feminism.
People on each side should take a deep breath, raise their right hands and swear: “I will not get emotional about this. It is a factual question, not a political one. I will spend time finding out what scientists think. Not people trying to sell coal or economic theories, not peaceniks, not senators — but scientists. I will go to Google and find out.”
It is more important to educate ourselves on what the research shows than to speculate on the immigration problem, Ebola, presidential power, minimum-wage questions, same-sex marriages or what the Chiefs will do next year.
I think the barbarians are at the front door, and we are discussing what color to paint the dining room.
I am going to keep checking the results and conclusions, and others should, too.
Experts on climate change met in Peru this month and will gather next year in Paris. They are working hard on these questions. We should listen.
Increase gas tax
Concomitant problems of America’s crumbling infrastructure and national debt could be addressed thusly:
Fuel prices are sustainably lower. Congress should increase the fuel tax by 50 cents per gallon, limiting the tax to four years and restricting the proceeds to repairing the nation’s infrastructure, such as roads and the electrical grid, and to debt reduction. Federal coffers would swell by millions of dollars a day. The resulting increased employment would generate even more tax revenue.
Conservatives would oppose it because, to them, “tax” is an unthinkable word. Liberals would argue it would hurt the poor. The wealthy would hardly notice it, and the poor could be given gas discount cards like supermarkets issue.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO are lobbying Congress to raise fuel taxes. This plan would answer their prayers.
President Dwight Eisenhower proposed our freeway system 60 years ago to facilitate a mobilization in case of war. Today, improved roads would benefit commerce and buttress national security.
Norence A. Nelson
Greed in challenge
The ice bucket challenge will only pad the doctors’ bank accounts and will do very little to help people who have ALS. The same is true for the other research on illnesses.
Greed has a grip on the medical field, and health-care professionals may not want to want to find a cure for cancer or anything else.
If they did, look how many people it would put out of a job.
If any Republican theme stood out in the recent election campaigns, it was the nonstop attacks on the president as the source of most of America’s ills, from the Islamic State to the Affordable Care Act.
I want to add to that list of complaints two more major criticisms that the Republicans oddly overlooked. Certainly, the stock market climb from just 8,000 under President George W. Bush in 2008 to more than 18,000 merits complaints, especially from the wealthiest 1 percent.
And somehow the drumbeat of conservative criticism of the huge stimulus package of 2009 that virtually every objective economist says halted the Great Recession from becoming a massive depression, like the one Republican administrations could not cope with in the 1920s, failed to be found in the barrage of anti-President Barack Obama attacks.
I’m just curious why Republicans failed to add these major economic developments to their roster of Obama ills.
Harold J. Schultz
Value state workers
I really do not know why state workers get such criticism. We are doing a great job in meeting deadlines, getting things ready for audits and making sure things are running well in the cities and counties, and too many people still do not appreciate us.
Everything keeps going up, including taxes, water, gas, electricity, telephone and our retirement expenses, and employees are worried about having jobs. But we keep pushing on.
State workers are dedicated people and know the meaning of giving 100 percent in everything they do.
If you don’t know what you are talking about, you should see what some of your state workers are doing with less. I really do not understand what more your dedicated state employees can do.
I would get more personal, but this is about all of us not just me.
Frances G. Parks Rice
The Dec. 18 story, “Area families receive lessons on how to stretch food dollars,” stated that “home-cooked meals don’t have to be complicated and costly.” I heard Professor Henry Higgins exclaim about Eliza Doolittle, “By jove, I think she’s got it!”
Kudos to Harvesters — The Community Food Network BackSnack program and all involved in feeding families, but providing the knowledge of nutrition, smart shopping and do-it-yourself smart cooking is crucial for feeding families.
In the 1940s, a 10-pound bag of potatoes, a chuck roast or pound of hamburger, some canned vegetables and fruit, and a loaf of bread went a long way to provide many meals for my mother and father, five kids and my grandfather on a limited income.
My dad had a steady government job, but Mother had the will and knowhow, and most important, the love for and pride in her role as a mother.
Let’s work on that, too, and God bless us, everyone.
Mary Pat Miller