Wow, how can people lose $2 million? I wish I had half that much just to spend. These are our tax dollars. I am certainly for schools as our schools are way behind our neighboring countries. We must have stricter rules and get up to the same as foreign schools.
Let's get back to the three Rs. The foreign students must take a language. So, let's get our schools up to what they should be.
Why did we need the bridge by Super One for bicycles? We should have put that money to our schools. Let's not waste our tax dollars.
Another look at taxes
Certainly "taxes" is not a dirty word. But I think the writer from Brainerd (Sept.15) has it wrong. She said, "Taxes should be levied in direct proportion to overall benefit." Hmm. That doesn't seem fair at all. Even the poorest of the poor have the same benefits of schools, roads, government, etc. Should they really pay the same dollar amount of tax (remember "direct proportion to overall benefit") as those making over, say, $250,000? Of course not. The tax should be, as it is now, progressive, and in some proportion to income, not to overall benefit. However, the proposal on the table by one presidential candidate not only increases taxes for some (I wish I made enough to be part of that!), but provides a rebate for some of those who currently pay no taxes at all. We already have welfare, food stamps and other safety net programs for these people. Let's all pay a fair share, but let's not have the government give new handouts.
Be aware of statistics
There are a number of problems with the statistics on abortion thrown at us the other day in this Open Forum. First of all, the CDC did not even start trying to track illegal abortions or their related deaths until 1969 so I really don't know how this person got the 1967 number of 829,000. In the year 2000 the CDC reported 857,475 legal abortions. Are we really supposed to believe that in 1967 the illegal abortions were close to the same in number?
The CDC has in fact reported that in 1972, the year before Roe vs Wade, 24 women died from causes known to be associated with legal abortions and 39 died as a result of known illegal abortions. This is no where near the 400 deaths the previous writer claimed happened in 1960, nine years before the CDC even started keeping track of these things.
Anyone can give you statistics. It doesn't mean they are true. People have been falsifying coat hanger numbers for years. I can't believe people are still eating it up.
An incredibly costly scam
A recent writer had only one thing right when he pointed out that ethanol does nothing to reduce our oil demands. Several years ago at a renewable energy conference in Pine River, I asked Rep. James Oberstar why he continued to support ethanol when reliable data showed it to be a net energy loss. Jim quickly and deftly avoided answering my question by quoting a fistful of USDA figures that proved ethanol production to be a heck of a deal if you happen to be a corn grower. It's an incredibly costly scam that will live on because, like so many other big government programs, no elected official will admit it lest they anger the agri-mafia.
The writer concludes, after a multitude of baseless, liberal rants including the hula-hoop of all political topics, "global warming", by "pushing for a carbon cap and trade system." What better way to bring our economic engine to a complete standstill and force business out of the country than by allowing a gaggle of government goons to create and enforce laws based on pure junk science?
Another writer tells us that "taxes is not a dirty" and should be looked at rather as "my fair share." As Charlie Rangel and Al Franken will attest, our 67,000 page tax code can be confusing. For the 60 percent of us who actually pay taxes and even the 40 percent that don't, a flat tax or consumption tax would be a whole lot cleaner and fairer.
Stephen A. Busch
American financial crisis
As we watch giants in the banking and insurance industries collapse, we wonder how this could have happened. Was it a lack of oversight, was it mismanagement, or was it a fluke of the financial markets? While all of these may have contributed to the collapse, the reason is much broader.
For decades we have been undermining our economy by allowing our manufacturing base to outsource American jobs to third world countries to take advantage of the slave labor that they offer. The products made in other nations are shipped back to America to sell. This cycle creates a constant flow of money out of the American economy and has caused the severe weakening of our financial markets. This continued weakening has resulted in the current collapse of major financial institutions.
With this crisis occurring in the midst of a heated election year, we would like to believe that the candidates asking for our vote would be quick to offer a solution to our financial crisis. Instead we hear arguments about lipstick and temperament. We look for any hint of substance, but we only find endless commercials attacking the opponent's character. Watching the major party political candidates completely ignoring the financial crisis in America shows us how we came to be a nation in crisis.
U.S. Senate Candidate
Let's go back to the 1950s
In a discussion I was having with friends the other evening, we talked about the fact that back in the fifties this country could afford to build infrastructure. We built the interstate system, we updated much of our military which was much larger, new schools were built and we didn't incur a trillion dollar debt. This was at a time that we fought the Korean War. The major difference was the income tax structure. Any income over $250 thousand was taxed at 93 percent. Life was good and we didn't have as much abject poverty. We imported labor, our borders were open. What happened to our relatively classless society? The tax code changed somewhat, paranoia set in, and drugs became more affordable. Moonshine was the illegal social drug of choice back then.
The tax code continued to change and we developed a neo-rich society. The rich could buy off the law. Our heroes became sports stars and gangsters because they were able to quickly accumulate large amounts of wealth. Now the dollar isn't worth a whole lot. Maybe we should go back to the old tax system, only multiply amount in the steps by ten. The personal deduction would be $6,000 instead of $600 and the steps going up for the top bracket would end with any income over $2.5 million taxed at 90 percent. At $250,000 it would go to 40 percent and so on as it went down from there. Those huge salaries would start paying down the debt. We could afford a reasonable size military and we could afford to replace worn out infrastructure. Businesses could afford to pay their help because all the income wouldn't have to go to management and profits.
JESSE NIX is secretary of the Crow Wing County DFL.
We need honest government
A few years back I wrote about the terrorists and how they were so intent on destroying us. I also wrote about how they need not worry, because at some point, unless we change, we will destroy ourselves. That window for change closes more each day, and yet we go on the way we have been. We go on because we have leaders that smile and say we are in little downturn when financial institutions that have existed for over a century are collapsing. They survived the Great Depression of the thirties, but they can't survive today's market. We have leaders who have openly lied and we continue to elect them.
That is the weak point about capitalism. It encourages greed and corruption. It doesn't matter how you get to the top, just so you get there. Remember in true capitalism there is only one winner.
There is only one answer for all of this. We need an open and honest government. We need people running for office that don't just shout change, but tell us how they are going to accomplish that. We have listened to way too many empty promises over the years. We need leaders that are not corrupted by lobbyists and party platforms. People who will do what most of us want accomplished. Where do these kinds of people come from? We have these kinds of people in our society, but they want no part of the political process that is in place. If we truly want change is has to start right there.
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