Made federal loans that students always knew they had to pay back? Not on my dime – Kansas City Star | Vette Leader

OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion pieces provide perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our news editors.

Taxpayers' money isn't free, and no one should be exempt from a signed pledge.

Taxpayers’ money isn’t free, and no one should be exempt from a signed pledge.

Pay in full

The Star editorial team may think that $10,000 in student debt relief is a good idea, but students who took out loans knew they had to pay them back. (Aug. 8, 5A, “Biden must deliver on promise to forgive federal student loan debt”) The board thinks I have to pay his debt as a taxpayer, but I say, “Not so fast.”

Not only did I pay off my student debt, but also that of someone I co-signed for when they defaulted. Should this program progress, I expect $10,000 as well.

Let’s remind ourselves that taxpayer money is not free money. Those of us who pay taxes contribute to these funds, and some people who blindly use those dollars to pay off someone else’s debt are so far removed from reality as to be absurd to me.

Bottom line: if you took out the loan, pay back the loan. Stop teaching people that they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions.

-Jim Wells, overland park

keep it together

Loose voters, Democrats and Republicans in Kansas formed a rare coalition last week as we firmly opposed an anti-abortion ballot measure. Amending the state’s constitution would have given state legislatures the power to make medical decisions related to pregnancy.

The lawmakers who have so proudly called for this change are backed by anti-abortion advocacy groups who have vowed to keep pushing for such government control. This is possible because their extremist politicians have a supermajority in our statehouse.

The Kansans have vigorously denounced our government’s attempt to interfere in our private lives, so will we all see that connection too?

Can I dream that Kansas voters will get together again this November to let these legislators pack their bags?

I hope so.

– Amber Hruska, overland park

protect consumers

Sens. Roger Marshall and Dick Durbin’s Credit Card Competition Act would limit the ability of credit unions, community banks, and other small card issuers to continue to offer low-cost, no-cost payment cards. (August 5, 6A, “Fighting Wall Street Banks With Credit Card Competition”)

The current system works for consumers, retailers and financial institutions. Consumers choose the card that suits them. Retailers offer convenient payment options and receive funds instantly, and financial institutions use exchange funds for consumer benefits, including fraud detection, credit monitoring and protection against fraudulent purchases.

That bill would allow retailers to choose the cheapest payment network regardless of its security, bringing bigger profits to big retailers who promised to pass interchange fee savings on to consumers — which they then never did.

Improving the payment ecosystem means investing in technology to make it faster and more secure. Instead, this bill would allow the country’s largest retailers to bypass established secure payment networks at the expense of consumers and small businesses.

We must ensure that every entity with access to consumer credit card information is equally responsible for preventing fraud, which is disruptive and costly to consumers. For years, credit unions have been begging Congress for these kinds of privacy laws. Instead, the Credit Card Competition Act undermines consumer security.

-James Nastars, Chairman of the Board, Heartland Credit Union Association, Wichita

Tender memory

This weekend, we celebrate Jackie Robinson and Negro Leagues baseball when the Royals don 1945 Kansas City Monarchs uniforms when they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. I have a very special memory. As a young newsboy from St. Paul, Minnesota, I won a trip to Milwaukee to watch my favorite team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, play the Milwaukee Braves. It was special because the St. Paul Saints were a Dodgers farm club and I knew a lot of the players.

It was a double header and when the first game was over, Jackie Robinson came up to us. He stopped and commented on our cheers for the Dodgers. He spent time chatting with a group of white boys and shook hands with each one. That was very special.

-Steve Burger, Kansas City

On the same page

You in the Star editorial team were in great excitement the other day that Spire Energy was digging newly paved roads. (August 5, 6A, “Spire needs to stop digging up brand new pavement”) On Wednesday, I saw a crew from the city water board digging up the newly paved Meyer Boulevard. What do you say?

What Kansas City needs is some sort of clearinghouse to coordinate the city’s plans for redevelopment and the utilities’ plans for digging in the streets.

– Charles Frisbie, Kansas City

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