State budget mess
To all you Kansas Democrat lawmakers who voted against rescinding the 2012 tax cuts for small businesses, fearing the Republicans would hammer you for raising taxes in the next election cycle, those were tax cuts.
So voting to rescind them is not a tax increase; it is a restoration of taxes that should not have been cut in the first place.
How hard can it be to understand?
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The sales and tobacco taxes were Republican-instigated increases, for example. Lawmakers should have used their votes to position themselves to an advantage.
No wonder the Republicans run wild in Kansas. The few Democrats we have are wimps.
Our state’s budget problems would be so easy to fix if we just had some unselfish souls in either party to simply do the right, and obvious, thing.
Another mind-boggling report is that Gov. Sam Brownback might become president of Kansas State University. Are you kidding? After the budget cuts he has made to higher education?
This guy’s ego challenges that of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Just leave, sir, please.
From a former Republican.
Quiz for lawmakers
I found myself shaking my head in disbelief that a mental-health center funded with federal, state and local taxpayer dollars could be so lackadaisical about serving my wife in 2016.
I personally plead with taxpayers in Kansas City to ask these simple questions of their elected officials in the Missouri General Assembly:
▪ Do you know who the chief executive officer is of the community mental-health center representing and serving your constituents?
▪ What is the chief executive officer’s responsibility and his or her job description?
▪ What is that chief executive’s yearly salary?
Finally, I respectfully ask you to encourage state elected officials to learn the answers to these questions and then find a person receiving services from the area community mental-health center.
Ask whether he or she thinks the taxpayers’ dollars could be better spent in a different way in Missouri.
We, the people, should get the chance to decide the type of justice we want at the Supreme Court level through the next presidential election.
The balance of powers among the branches has been eroded under President Barack Obama, and allowing him to appoint a third Supreme Court justice would further exacerbate the problem.
The main issue is one of judicial philosophy.
Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year, was a strong proponent of adherence to the text of the Constitution. In that sense, he was willing to apply the sort of judicial restraint envisioned by our Founding Fathers on matters that fall outside the scope of the U.S. Constitution.
But the dangerous judicial philosophy of the liberal side of the court, which believes the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document, allows judges to manipulate the Constitution to accommodate for flimsy whims of our rapidly changing culture.
These sorts of justices see themselves as agents of cultural change and not as officers of the law.
Senators who stand against rushing to confirm another Obama nominee, favoring the vote of the people as they select a new president in just a few short months, are actually living up to the highest standard of that sacred oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
for America of Kansas
I was saddened to read the story of one of the boys in blue who died in the line of duty May 9 (5-10, A1, “KCK detective slain”). His end of watch is a sad story, and yet it is a story of bravery and courage.
My heart goes out to Detective Brad Lancaster’s wife and two daughters.
Besides the event and Detective Lancaster’s death, the other disturbing reality is that The Kansas City Star chose to show a picture of the car the suspect used on the front page and a mug shot of the shooter in the story.
Nowhere did The Star include a picture of Detective Lancaster.
How could the newspaper miss this opportunity to show the hero in this story versus the villain?
You can do better, Kansas City Star.
Awash in firearms
It was refreshing beyond belief to see Dr. Joshua Freeman express the opinion of one Kansas physician against the tidal wave of violence that is permitted by a society awash in guns (5-11, A7, “Ban firearms from college campuses, hospitals in Kansas”).
As he points out, the instantaneous deadly effect of a firearm puts it outside the category of almost any other weapon that can be used to kill or main. It is simply preposterous and absurd that Kansas public officials either promote or tolerate by their cowardly silence the legitimation of public possession of these weapons.
As a very imperfect Christian, I simply can’t comprehend how my fellow people of faith could with a straight face pray for the victims of gun violence without in the very same breath condemning the promiscuous distribution of firearms in America today. It exposes a betrayal of faith to profess to believe in God whom we mock with our cowardice.
Those are hard words, but isn’t it time to utter them?
The Jewish prophets condemned idolatry in the harshest terms, and Christians aren’t exempt from those strictures, not today, not ever. Isn’t our tolerance of a tidal wave of weapons in America, in Kansas, a form of idolatry?
David A. Lee
As I conducted a bone-rattling tour on downtown Kansas City streets with friends from out of town, I thought: “But we have a streetcar” (5-10, A4, “Streetcar ridership getting a strong start”).