Make $10,000 in one summer? There is no way
In 1971, tuition at the University of Kentucky was $165 a semester. Gasoline was about 33 cents a gallon and a Lamborghini Miura cost $20,000. A regular car was about $2,000. Minimum wage was $1.60 an hour.
It was feasible for a student living at home to work summers and make enough money to pay for each year of college.
Today, gasoline is about $3.60 a gallon, a Lamborghini costs around $220,000 and that regular car around $22,000. Annual college tuition is over $10,000. There is no way a college student can make over $10,000 in the summer.
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Politicians are afraid to touch education because it's for the children. A virtually unlimited supply of borrowed money funds tuition. People spend borrowed money more freely than their own money, such as their savings.
Students focus on the payment instead of the principal, plus repayment is delayed. No one questions the inefficiency and waste in education, nor the price. Tuition increases are not limited to the rate of inflation. Education has become a safe haven for excesses.
By the time students realize they have been scammed, it's too late. They are stuck with loans they cannot escape and must repay with an income that can't justify the price of their education.
Universities are never questioned about their voracious appetites for tuition increases, nor required to explain why they cannot keep expenses in line with inflation.
William E. Doyle
No longer a secret
The U.S. House of Representatives has decided to open another investigation of the perceived conspiracy to cover up the truth about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept.11, 2012.
During the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney administration, 13 different attacks on embassies and consulates occurred, including two separate attacks on the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.
The first attack to the consulate in Karachi occurred on June 14, 2002 and resulted in 12 deaths and 51 injuries.
A repeat attack occurred on March 2, 2006 and resulted in four deaths, including the targeted killing of U.S. diplomat David Foy.
This second attack came after the Bush and Cheney administration failed to improve security at the consulate following the 2002 attacks and was very similar to the Benghazi attack which occurred six and a half years later.
The cover-up of the two Karachi attacks and the 11 other attacks between 2002 and 2008 has been so successful that none have been included in the previous embassy and consulate security investigations.
Surely, the conspiracy to cover up the inadequate security at U.S. embassies and consulates started back then.
The current investigation into the Benghazi attack should be broadened to include those 13 earlier attacks.
Bipartisan tax plan
I have a co-worker whom I consider a reactionary Republican extremist. Which is fine, because he considers me a pinko-commie Democrat.
Our recent discussions have been on federal tax reform. We have come up with an outline for it:
■ No exemptions, no loopholes, no credits, no dodges and no pencil whipping. Everyone's ox gets gored.
■ Buy in. If you can afford a cell phone, you can afford to ante up in the taxpayer club. Some symbolic payment, $100 or less, gets you in the game.
■ Progressive tax rates. As you make more money, you pay a higher percentage in taxes. The actual rates can be negotiated, but should be made easier by the above two provisions. This will be actual rates received and can be better matched to budgets and expenditures.
■ Defined income. Income is defined as any money you see for the first time. The source does not matter; once it's yours, it is taxable.
We feel like we have done the hard work on this one. We leave it to the rest of you to fill in the details and get this passed.
Child care aid essential
In April 2013, Kentucky passed a freeze on child-care assistance, resulting in a cut of $58 million.
This meant no new applicants could apply and families currently receiving assistance would have to meet newer and more strict income guidelines.
In the recent session, lawmakers partially restored eligibility for child care assistance in the first year of the budget and returned eligibility requirements to their previous level in the second year.
Without child-care assistance, working parents may have to quit their jobs because they simply cannot afford child care. Due to this, families are at greater risk of needing further assistance because they cannot work.
If the state cannot support our children, by helping parents work toward a better future, then Kentucky will have no investment and will surely lag behind in the future. It is sad that Kentucky politicians do not care about future generations.
The bottom line is that Kentucky families should not have to decide between having child care and having a job. It is imperative that Kentuckians make their voices heard and vote out those who stand against families.
Amy Clark and Jackie Doucet
Get healthy, Ky.
While many Kentuckians are celebrating the overwhelming success of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as kynect in the state, several political figures have pledged to continue fighting to repeal the ACA.
It is difficult to witness elected politicians undermine this program which is already providing benefits to thousands. Our picturesque Kentucky is well known for poor health, high obesity and cancer deaths.
Furthermore, the recession and loss of coal mining jobs have increased unemployment in many Kentucky counties. This has also contributed to the inability to maintain health insurance coverage. As the cost of health care continues to soar, many people can't afford to pay expensive premiums and they need government assistance.
Since the inception of kynect, over 300,000 previously uninsured Kentuckians now have health insurance. Why do certain political figures continue fighting to hinder the success of programs that bring health and prosperity to people?
It appears that some politicians care more about their affluent interests rather than ensuring Kentuckians have adequate health insurance.
For the first time, Kentucky has the gold standard that others follow. We need to embrace this opportunity. It is time that Kentuckians stand strong and demand that our elected representatives actually represent the will of the people by demanding that they support the Affordable Care Act.