In response to the Crosby resident whose Open Forum letter criticized the Tea Party protest, his letter missed the point. He lists a number of things that our taxes support which we all use in our daily lives. The Tea Party protest does not advocate eliminating all services, but does advocate living within our means. Our government as of April 7, 2009, has borrowed roughly $11 trillion dollars, which is our current debt. This means that since we are a government of the people that each one of us (man, woman, and child) owes $36,676. The average family of four people owes $146,604 and this is just the beginning. On top of this the government is piling program after program requiring huge increases in the debt. We have to curtail our spending or we're going to sink the ship of state, and whether we're Republican, Democrat, independent, or disinterested citizen, we're going to drown together.
Arrogant public officials
The decision by the Brainerd School Board committee to increase property tax without voter approval validates one of the reasons for the public outrage on out of control, arrogant elected officials at all levels of government.
I believe it is the responsibility of Mark Ronnei, and the school board to educate the ignorant public (April 17 Dispatch) on why they cannot live within their budget. The voters should approve any additional property taxes, not the school board using some state accounting error to increase taxes before the error can be corrected.
Most people don't have a problem paying their fair share of taxes to provide a strong military, public education, fire and police protection, roads and the many other government programs that require funding. They do have a problem paying taxes to provide wasteful/unaccountable spending for so called stimulus programs, bailouts, exorbitant wages/pensions paid to auto workers and un-accountable school boards.
Approximately 40 percent of the U.S. work force are public employees and receive a wage and benefit income that is 30 percent higher than the private worker. It is time to elect public officials that believe in controlling expense cost, eliminating waste and determine wage by performance.
Why health care costs are high
There are three major reasons for high health costs:
1. There are only 135 medical schools in the United States, compared to 200 law schools and only about 42 percent of applicants with proven qualifications are admitted to medical school each year. The American Medical Association is, in effect, a cartel that limits the number of doctors and thereby keeps prices artificially high.
2. About 40 percent of babies born in the United States are illegitimate and most of the cost of birthing and infant care is borne by those who pay for other medical services. This is an enormous problem because there are about 1,700,000 illegitimate births each year.
3. Increased knowledge of medicine, new drugs and new medical devices are a cause of high prices.
We should, as a nation, have courage to limit the influence of the American Medical Association and provide enough schools so that all qualified students can become doctors.
Reducing the number of illegitimate births requires a return to strong family values and a return to the concept that it is wrong to bring a child into the world and expect someone else to pay for it. Politicians must realize that every time they approve another subsidy for women and children they vote for the unintended consequence of more unwed mothers.
We should not limit the technical advances that are in our future but we must, somehow, limit the use of these advances to instances in which they are really needed. To keep costs down the concept of using the simplest way to the best result should be ingrained in every doctor.
Financing retiree costs
The Brainerd School District wants to levy $23 million of its retiree costs onto us taxpayers without voter approval. The unemployment rate in Brainerd is approaching 13 percent. The national average unemployment rate is 5.8 percent. With few jobs available, people in Brainerd are losing their homes to foreclosure at ever increasing rates and the school board wants to increase their burden by adding a huge tax levy for the next 13 years? What happened to all the millions they discovered in their coffers last fall.
Thank you, Brainerd Dispatch
We seem so quick to criticize but compliments come a little slower unfortunately. I would like to compliment the Brainerd Dispatch for on Easter Sunday it wished its readers a Happy Easter. Thank you for going contrary to most Minnesota newspapers. For instance, April 4, the Minneapolis Star Trough (trough, where animals are daily fed) in bold letters Gay marriage arrives in Heartland. How that ruling must have grieved God's heart.
Eight days later, on the day of the greatest story of mankind, nothing of Easter. April 4th's story I'm sure offended many Christians, Easter, I suppose, would have offended the Trough's base too much.
Anyway, thank you, Dispatch, for saying it's OK to acknowledge Christian holidays these days. It's too bad to think that we're living in a time that to do this takes courage right here in America! How things have changed. Pretty soon Christians will have to go into closets besides to pray.
God bless America and God bless us!
Stephen L. Heinecke
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