Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on Cuba, GOP tax cuts and The Woodlands

Obama, Cuba misstep

Yes, I believe most citizens would like to see better relations with Cuba. I wonder, though, how we justify doing business with a dictator who is beholden to Russia for aid and succor while we still enforce major sanctions on Russia.

Is this administration going to demand that Cuba return property and treasure to Cuban families from whom it was confiscated?

Until we learn more, it looks as if President Barack Obama has stubbed his toe once again.

Edward “Gomer” Moody

Kansas City

Tax-cutting GOP

The Republican Party’s economic policy is based solely on cutting taxes. Otherwise, its cupboard for generating growth and jobs is bare of essential ingredients.

Economist Arthur Laffer says that taxes are job killers, yet under President Ronald Reagan, cutting taxes only made the national debt worse, a lot worse. Nor did it create jobs, and economic growth was very flat.

But instead of admitting they were wrong, the Republicans tried again with President George W. Bush, and when he left office the national debt exceeded $11 trillion.

Many Republicans, however, blamed this on the Democrats, though they didn’t make it clear why the Democrats should shoulder all the blame.

Here in Kansas, the “experimenting” continues under Gov. Sam Brownback. What many have forgotten is that Brownback’s tax cuts are in addition to those already signed into law by former Gov. Bill Graves, and those were the largest in state history.

Now we are told that Kansas faces millions of dollars in additional spending cuts, something that was kept quiet until after the midterm elections. Was that merely coincidence, or was it a convenience to hide another blunder by anti-tax Republicans?

Michal Betz

Wichita

Woodlands debate

In regards to reopening The Woodlands in Kansas City, Kan., I think the same as many other people because many area residents travel to other cities to bet at other race tracks.

It is a shame we can’t have what we used to have here.

At one time, before the casinos started in the Kansas City area, The Woodlands was a booming place to go and have fun. The casinos opened, and everything changed.

I remember when cars would be lined up all the way down Interstate 435, waiting to exit to go to the race track. You have to think many people get tired of casino gambling and would love to wager on the horses again.

Actually, one side of The Woodlands could be converted into a hotel while the other could be the race track, and you could put slots in it. I know the owners of some casinos here also have race tracks in other states, so evidently it hasn’t hurt their business at those other places.

I have been to one in Charles Town, W.Va., which has table games and also slots. What great memories for many of us who had participated in the fun at The Woodlands.

Barbara Gaume

Kansas City, Kan.

In response to quests to reopen The Woodlands, I offer the following. It should not be about money but the health and welfare of the dogs.

Only a small percentage of the dogs actually race. They are fed the lowest quality of food, given minimal medical attention and are merely pawns in this most cruel form of entertainment.

They are forced to race in all weather conditions and when not racing are kept in dirty crates so small they cannot stand fully up or turn around for up to 22 hours per day.

I am sure racing fans would not care for that quality of life.

The “sport” is thankfully on its way out as more and more people see the animal abuse involved with it.

I suggest that racing fans find an alternative driving route so they don’t see The Woodlands. Hopefully, soon no one will see it. It is an example of man at his very worst.

Bob Magnus

Overland Park

King, work ethic

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, and many of his speeches and quotes will be repeated. One speech of his is rarely used.

That speech included a quote on work ethic, calling all people to work with integrity and diligence at their jobs as a way to honor God.

King said: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

Joe Lavender

Lenexa

Running government

This month, the Legislature is back in session in the statehouse in Topeka, considering laws that govern our daily lives.

All colleges in Kansas should teach a three-hour credit course and high schools should conduct workshops, motivating students and parents to participate in the Legislature.

Follow what is going on in the Legislature by reading The Kansas City Star each day. Discuss the issues with family and friends.

Notify your state senators and representatives how you want them to vote. Obtain their names and addresses by calling the election office in your county.

They receive many emails but very few handwritten letters with postage stamps. So your letter will really count if you write it.

Either you run government or government runs you.

William T. Davitt

Bel Aire, Kan.

Lower oil prices

When the price of a barrel of oil declines, then the price of diesel fuel and gasoline should also decrease.

The transportation costs for products consumers purchase and need should also subside.

Accordingly, the prices should decrease in relation to the lower transportation costs. However, the prices do not fluctuate according to the law of supply and demand.

Then the consumers are at risk for price gouging by the greedy corporations.

Terrance R. Hawbaker

Atchison, Kan.

Communication gap

As a regular reader and a concerned voter, I cannot help but notice something: the absence of convenient ways for constituents of government to contact our employees, i.e., our elected representatives.

How can these public servants truly represent, us, their employers, when we cannot write to them?

Of course, I’m poor and disabled, though I vote. I strongly suspect that if I were a rich capitalist, I would have amazing ease in communicating with elected officials.

So, this is true representative government?

I know from experience that I can at least write to the White House.

Laura Jackson-Radford

Warrensburg, Mo.

Community college

How can a nation so hopelessly broke and on the fast track to Third World status possibly entertain the idea of government-sponsored tuition for community-college education (1-13, Editorial, “Obama’s college idea could be made simpler”)?

I suppose the answer will be to raise the tuition rates at four-year universities two to three times their current cost to pay for it, much as insurance rates have skyrocketed for those not covered by the president’s insurance plan.

Perhaps then the state can dictate the curriculums and tell students what colleges they have to attend and what occupations they are most suited for.

Just like the government did in the good, old Soviet Union.

Brook Harness

Smithville

U.S. military service

It never ceases to amaze me when I see that former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is back in active politics, saying we should send ground troops back into these unjust wars.

But neither he nor his sons apparently has shed any blood for our country’s freedom.

They enjoy these freedoms, as does former Vice President Dick Cheney and most members of Congress whose families aren’t and never served in the military.

My husband served and was proud to protect our freedoms.

Those who don’t and haven’t served in the armed forces should be ashamed of themselves.

Wilma S. Maness

Blue Springs

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