Midwest perspectives:Politicians can agree – on overspending; Community vital for north Omaha; Meat labeling not about free speech

Midwest perspectives:Politicians can agree – on overspending; Community vital for north Omaha; Meat labeling not about free speech


Politicians can agree – on overspending

Leaders on both sides of the congressional aisle came together in an unusual show of bipartisanship. President Trump is on board, too.

Their unifying cause? Circumventing the 2011 deficit reduction law.

A House bill calls for raising limits on discretionary spending by $321 billion over two years, blowing up the strict spending caps. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates this plan would add roughly $1.7 trillion to projected debt levels over the next decade.

The deficit will exceed $1 trillion every year beginning in 2022. In 10 years, the federal debt will be 92% of the economy, according to the Congressional Budget Office report. Right now, it's 78%.

Apparently, spending far beyond our means is no longer a problem our federal lawmakers worry about.

A silver lining is that Republicans and Democrats in Washington really can negotiate. But it's disheartening that what it took to motivate this collaborative effort was kicking the debt ceiling "can" way down the road.

- Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph Herald

Community vital for north Omaha

Community input is the focus of a commendable new initiative to promote development along North 24th Street and surrounding neighborhoods. This approach has encouraging potential to provide new opportunity for the historic heart of north Omaha.

The initiative, titled Forever North, encourages public buy-in, so that goals are compatible with residents' needs and preferences. Housing and transportation needs are two of the main discussion points.

Residents have indicated that they want a variety of housing types, including affordable rental housing, senior housing and single-family, owner-occupied homes.

The area has seen positive development, including the $2.4 million Fair Deal Village Marketplace, The Union for Contemporary Art and the under-construction Heart Ministry Center. Apartments and town houses were built several years ago. New businesses include restaurants, a coffee shop and a business that serves shaved ice.

With community input and proper coordination, Forever North offers hope for further progress ahead.

- Omaha World-Herald

Meat labeling not about free speech

Last year, Missouri became the first state in the nation to make it a criminal offense for businesses to misrepresent as meat a product that is not derived from livestock or poultry.

The law aims to limit confusion as consumers navigate grocery store aisles filled with a growing number of plant-based items and other meat alternatives that look a whole lot like traditional products.

Free speech is not a license to mislead consumers. Truth-in-advertising laws exist for a reason. If food is plant-based, companies should label it accordingly. No one should be left wondering what they're consuming.

This issue should not be complicated: Fake meat isn't meat.

As an array of plant-based and clean-meat products gain popularity, consumers should know what they're eating. Companies should be required to inform consumers that their products are derived from plants or non-traditional agriculture.

Requiring the use of a "plant-based'" qualifier on packaging is simply truth in advertising.

- Kansas City Star



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