Any pandemic relief bill must have global component
A global pandemic requires an urgent global response. The White House and Congress don't seem to get that. Lawmakers left Washington for a long recess, telling millions of people to be patient and that they would work on it.
In many low-income countries, the pandemic is undermining decades of progress in fighting other diseases. Millions of children are missing out on life-saving vaccines and suffer food insecurity. Starvation is rising fast. Global organizations devoted to fighting other diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are out of emergency funds. The stakes have never been greater.
Members of Congress must break the stalemate in Washington and pass an emergency response package that fully addresses the urgent needs of Americans and includes no less than $20 billion for international development. When will Congress do something and finally take decisive action? We can't afford to keep waiting.
Amy Morros • St. Louis
Legislature still fails to pass an internet sales tax bill
I, along with all my fellow members of the Missouri Legislature, have been in a strange, chaotic and mismanaged special session for weeks. I have lived in St. Louis longer than any member in the General Assembly, and I love my city. We have challenges, major challenges with violent crime, but deep down I believe there is not one citizen who says: If we only pass a few more laws, we can have an impact on violent crime.
The issue that I believe should have been addressed in a special session was to support passage of a Streamline Sales Tax reform bill also known as the Wayfair tax.
Missouri leadership has failed in passing this bill. Every state in the nation that collects a sales tax has closed this loophole for online sales vendors except Florida and Missouri.
Basic fairness demands that online sales be taxed in the same manner as are our brick-and-mortar stores. This would not be a new tax. Rather it would simply collect the sales tax due on purchases and level the playing field for traditional stores. Closing this loophole would allow critical funds to flow to both state and our local municipalities, which rely heavily on sales tax revenue.
To offset the loss for out-of-state purchases, the Wayfair legislation would help local cities and towns to substantially maintain the level of services required by our citizens.
I hope we can make our 2021 legislative session more productive than this year.
Steve Butz • St.Louis
Missouri state representative
Ignore the campaign rhetoric and check all your facts
Regarding "Facebook moves to target misinformation before election" (Sept. 3): What we need now: leadership, civility, unity, calm, patience, open minds, hands linked for the common good. What we have now: chaos, rancor, misrepresentations, lies, anger, hate, greed, self-indulgence, division.
When we need our leaders to work to make our world better, we get only fear-inducing threats that we won't be safe if President Donald Trump or Joe Biden is elected. Medical personnel and police — our protectors — are overwhelmed and unsupported. Extremists on both sides spin a kernel of truth into a full-blown platform for more craziness. The constant media attention stirs the pot.
There is no going "high when they go low," as former first lady Michelle Obama recommends, because they are all low. Neither party resembles the ones I learned about growing up and merely act to protect their kingdoms, gather wealth, and retire with lucrative pensions and opportunities to build their pile of gold.
As citizens, we need to commit to a combined effort: read, check facts, use your intellect and common sense, resist knee-jerk opinions posted to social media, do what you know in your heart is right, and care for each other.
Everyone is suffering. Everyone is hoping for less stress. Everyone needs peace.
Linda Glassner • Valley Park
Quote reveals that maybe GOP is still party of Lincoln
Regarding the letter, “Trump dishonestly claims GOP is still Lincoln’s party” (Sept. 1): The current Republican Party is still the party of Abraham Lincoln in one major way: its highly racist beliefs.
President Donald Trump’s views have been widely publicized. Lincoln’s views and actions on both slavery and the genocide of Native Americans have been largely omitted in our school books. But here is what Lincoln said in his fourth debate with Stephen Douglas on Sept. 18, 1858:
“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people … There is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. … There must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
Some people may hate me for pointing out such a flaw in one of our heroes, but I believe truth is important. How can we gain wisdom from the study of history if we don’t have the full story?
Carol Aucamp • Creve Coeur
What took suburbanites so long to move outstate?
Regarding the letter "Suburban flight could make rural land soar in value" (Sept. 2): I’m sorry that President Donald Trump’s comment about the demise of the suburbs scared the letter writer, but I am glad the writer is bringing friends and their massive wealth to the rural Missouri town of Pucky Huddle.
But I’m wondering, what took them so long? I see the population of the letter writer's hometown of Rock Hill has declined each of the past five decades. Apparently those people were able to figure out all on their own that they were better off living somewhere else.
Terry Heuring • Farmington
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