On Page 6 of a Minneapolis Paper, on 03/12/04 I read: "The government recorded a deficit of $226.8 billion in the first five months of the 2004 budget year, more red ink then realized in the same period last year, the Treasury Department reported. The White House expects the deficit this budget year to balloon to $521 billion; the Congressional Budget Office forecasts $447billion. Either figure would mark a record in dollar terms. For the budget year that began Oct. 1, spending totaled 4.2 percent more than the same period last year. Revenue growth, however was much slower at 0.8 percent. The year-to-date deficit of $226.8 billion is 16.8 percent larger than the shortfall of $194.2 billion reported for the first five months of the 2003 budget year."
Since that brings the debt, for every individual, man, woman, and child up from $24,295. To $25,005, one would think that it would be on the front page. In red print perhaps.
And because of Wal-Mart, foreign cars, etc., our foreign debt is now about the same. Will there be a forced national bankruptcy?
Are there moral issues here? Regardless, we as citizens of this country, will share the burden of correction, at some point.
Dennis G, Gordon
When Republicans use the morality issue, I can only wonder what kind of morals they must possess. Feeding and sheltering the hungry and homeless is definitely God's work, so why are the Republicans so against that? What about the issue of taking care of this beautiful Earth that we are so blessed to live on? Is it Christian to trash the environment in the name of more profits for the billion dollar energy companies? Lastly and most perplexing of all, the call to war. Most all clergy in this country denounced the attack on Iraq, pleading for peace. Did this plea fall on deaf Republican ears in church? They use the Bible for their own claims of superiority, all the while revealing just how hateful, vengeful and judging they truly are. How moral of them.
I have joined with the over 250,000 people who have called for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Co. at www.VoteToImpeach.org. This campaign, initiated by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, has drafted articles of impeachment for introduction in Congress and is gaining great momentum around the U.S.
President Bush lied to the people and to Congress about weapons of mass destruction and the purported "grave and imminent" threat Iraq posed to the U.S.
The unilateral actions of the Bush Administration in waging and threatening wars of aggression do not serve the interests of the people of the U.S. The billions of dollars being spent on war, taken from the working people of the U.S., are being funneled to the Big Oil and Corporate elite who are Bush's true constituents.
The Bush Administration and Attorney General John Ashcroft have treated the Bill of Rights with contempt and have sought to roll-back decades of hard won civil rights and rights for working people. This President has claimed for himself the authority to jail citizens and residents of the United States indefinitely, without any charge against them, without trial and without access to a lawyer.
It is worth remembering historical precedent. In July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee voted for articles of impeachment for President Nixon for lying to the people and to Congress. Within a month Nixon resigned from office. Nixon's political demise came less than two years after he won one of the largest landslide electoral victories in U.S. history.
No room for politics
I was surprised to see DFL Sen. Tom Bakk's recent letter to the editor because it so wildly misrepresented action on his bill to prevent the outsourcing of Minnesota jobs.
The truth of the matter is that Sen. Bakk withdrew his bill after his own DFL colleagues began to question whether it was truly necessary.
I actually planned to vote for Sen. Bakk's proposal. We may be from different parties, but when it comes to creating and maintaining jobs for Minnesotans, there is no room for politics.
The most important thing we can do to strengthen our families, our communities and our economy is to encourage the creation of quality jobs. I was proud to vote for initiatives that have convinced major employers, like Polaris, to greatly expand their operations here. I have pushed for measures that will benefit our tourism industry and will help make Minnesota a bioscience capital of the nation.
It's unfortunate that Sen. Bakk is using lies and scare tactics to manipulate such an important issue. If he was truly focused on creating jobs in Minnesota, he would be working across party lines, asking for cooperation from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike.
If he was truly focused on creating jobs in Minnesota, he wouldn't have allowed the Iron Range Resource Board he sits on to send a government contract overseas to Germany.
Minnesota's future is looking brighter every day. Trade, transportation and utilities added 2,000 jobs in February. The financial industry gained 1,500 jobs last month. Most importantly, our unemployment rate remains significantly lower than the national average.
I guarantee you that I will take every opportunity to make our state and our district more attractive to new businesses and will encourage existing employers to create more good paying jobs.
Sen. Paul Koering
Distorting the facts and rewriting history seems to be popular with supporters of the current regime.
A recent writer blames the Democratic presidential candidate for not increasing jobs and helping the economy. During Clinton's (Democratic) regime, unemployment and inflation were both low, and the budget was balanced. During the regimes of Reagan and Bush, Jr. (both Republicans), we have had the most massive deficits in the history of the U.S.
In explaining why Mr. Bush has had to deal with the situation in Iraq, the writer states that 100,000 Kurds were murdered by Saddam Hussein during the Clinton administration. Clinton was president from 1993-2001 (during the U.N. sanctions). According to Bill Moyers, Saddam did use chemical weapons against Iran and the Kurdish uprising in Northern Iraq during the 1980s (Ronald Reagan's regime), at which time he was our ally, and he bought the weapons from the U.S.
Everyone has a right to his opinion, but please, let's stick to the facts.
Patricia W. Scott
In response to the questionable information given by the retired teamster from Ironton. I, too, am a retired teamster. I worked out of Local 120 in St. Paul for 21 years and I have no idea what local he was in because few of the things that he talks about would have been tolerated where I worked. He claims a mandated 10-minute break every two hours, 120 stated that we had to work two hours before we were eligible for our one (paid)10-minute break per day, and that was 10 minutes off of the job. He states 30 minutes for lunch every four hours. We got 30 minutes for lunch (unpaid) once a day after working for four hours. His time clock paid in 10-minute increments, ours paid in six-minute increments. We, also, had no performance standards, we could not control the traffic we were driving in but if our daily output was considered low we were asked to explain our lack of output. If we were known as a fast worker our fellow drivers would ask us to help them load their trucks so they could get started sooner on their delivery run. No one wanted to be last on the dock. He states if you knew how to work the clock you could get paid for time you did not put in. Once in a while we had an employee that milked the system, they either shaped up or were fired. He states that the company that he worked for went out of business -- small wonder with the work ethics that evidently was in vogue at their place. The company that I retired from is still operating.
Where do they learn?
One teen-age boy was caught with 20 homemade bombs and a rifle at his high school in Nebraska, ready to blow up everyone, except for three friends.
At another school in Montana, three young people were found with a loaded pistol, ready to shoot a grade school classmate who teased them. (Both articles Dispatch 3-19-04, page 14.)
Where on Earth do young people get the idea that it's all right to use bombs, and guns, to resolve disputes and to settle grievances?
Certainly not from us grown-ups.
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