I looked up the Minnesota state government Web site the other day and found some interesting statistics. Beside our federal senators and representatives, we have 67 state senators and 134 state representatives. Minnesota employs about 50,000 people in executive branch agencies. It pays its state employees higher salaries than most other states. They receive more paid holidays, vacation days and paid sick leave than employees of private companies. So how much of our tax money is needed to support a government of this size?
Think of how we could redirect that money if we cut government at all levels by at least half? Do we need to support that many people making decisions for us? The two major parties just seem to fight each other instead of working for the betterment of the state or country. Let's have just one party for the people. So many in government seem to help themselves first, then big business, while they think up more ways to tax or fine the rest of us because government always needs more money. Of course, this doesn't apply to the very rich.
Let's be a leader in shrinking state government. Then we could start working on doing the same with the federal government.
The rich get richer
About eight years ago, the conservatives were blaming President Clinton for the economy going down hill. Now they are blaming home buyers for taking out to large a mortgage and Fannie and Freddy and a lot of other people. There is plenty of blame to go around but it happened on Bush's watch and was caused by not enough oversight which was his responsibility and it conflicted with the conservative belief that the market just needed to be left alone and every one would get richer and everything will turn out alright. However I did learn over the years that there is cause and effect and an equal action and reaction if one group gets richer another group gets poorer. I also can see that those who had the most to do with this latest crisis took the biggest part of the money and ran the only way any will be recovered will be if there was provable criminal wrong doing. So now the government needs to step in and try to save as much of the economy as possible so they have some sort of working class and we don't have another revolution. Unless you didn't study history very well you know that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer in real capital during depressions as well as in booms in fact probably more in depressions.
I would hate to believe it but it would not surprise me if this was planned by some of the more right wing zealots. Grover Norquist, a super conservative, wants to leverage the budget enough that all social programs would have to be eliminated and government could not interfere with the market. When they investigate this they should look for his fingerprints.
The precious gift of safety
The Mid-Minnesota Women's Center is a safe refuge for women and their children. Last year we provided physical and emotional safety to 107 women and 90 children who were fleeing domestic violence. This Christmas, we will once again be "home" to women and children who are homeless and "family" to those who have no family. In addition to meeting their immediate needs at the time of their crisis, we try at Christmas time to provide some hope and joy to these families. While we are able to offer that most precious gift of safety, we need your assistance to provide the more tangible signs of sharing.
These times are financially difficult, but most of all for those women and children who have fled their homes to escape violence, many of whom are forced to leave behind all of their belongings and rebuild their lives in new, violence free homes. As Christmas approaches, these mothers face the reality of not being able to provide gifts for their children. For them, the usual anticipation of Christmas and giving will be replaced with dread, You have an opportunity to replace these mothers' anxiety with joy and the expectation of a Merry Christmas for their children and themselves.
A cash contribution will be used to purchase gifts or perhaps you would prefer the personal touch of adopting an entire family. For more information on creative ways you may be able to help, please call (218) 828-1216.
The spirit of generosity in our community has assisted us in making Christmas brighter for countless families, and for that we are very grateful. But each year brings new families with new needs. Please join us in keeping the Christmas message of peace alive.
Mid-Minnesota Women's Center
Please vote yes on amendment
The ballot amendment question deserves a "yes" vote. It means about eight pennies on a $20 purchase to help restore wetlands and wildlife habitat, fund parks, streams, prairies, forests and cultural heritage. The tax for a median Minnesota family - less than $5 per month - is worth every penny!
Lies won't help Coleman
Hey, Sen. Norm Coleman! One item you can't blame Al Franken for, is voting 90 percent of the time with George W. Bush! Your monkey see, monkey do voting record is pretty sad! Don't deny it as more lies simply just won't help.
Accident waiting to happen
To the person claiming the Paul Bunyan trail bridge was unnecessary. I wonder if you ever even use that trail. I am assuming you don't because that spot was an accident waiting to happen. I have biked that trail several times with my children and I have always been fearful of what is going to come around that corner at a high speed. It was only a matter of time before a pedestrian was killed. I suppose just as long as you don't use something there is no need for improvement there.
Franken and DFLers
The chair of the Crow Wing County DFL, who sounds eerily like the secretary of the Crow Wing County DFL, tells us that she has met Al Franken and his wife several times. I have never had the opportunity to meet Al since I live in Minnesota and Al has spent the majority of his alleged adult life out of the state he now claims as home. Al probably wouldn't want to meet me anyhow because he has publicly and profanely announced that he hates "those (expletive deleted) conservatives." In Al's case, a conservative is anyone not in total agreement with his socialist slants, rants and tax accounting procedures.
The DFL chair blames "the worst economic crisis" on President Bush in spite of the fact that DFL policies and practices forced both lenders and borrowers into no-win loans. The DFL majorities in Congress were livid when it was suggested several years ago that Fannie and Freddie be subjected to closer scrutiny. Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Art Davis, the foul-mouthed Gregory Meeks and a host of other loyal DFLers denied in 2004 testimony that any problems existed at Fanny. They saw nothing wrong with Fanny's CEO, Franklin Raines, now Obama's financial advisor, receiving a $1.5 million bonus on top of his $500,000.00 salary after he had testified that there was "no way" the citizens of the United States could loose on his loans.
This is the same sort of oversight we could expect from the "passionate" Franken, whom I hope never to meet, and from Obama, who hopes to be "spreading things around."
Stephen A. Busch
LeMieur's stands distorted
Recent letter writers have been distorting 12B candidate Mike LeMieur's stand on issues. They claim that as president of Little Falls City Council, it was "unethical" for him to vote to waive the building fee for his church's school addition. LeMieur and the city council put a $1,500 cap on the waiver and it only applies to city K-12 schools, public and private. The city council's education goal states: "We (the city) will support the school boards in maintaining and enhancing the private and public school systems to be the best in the area." That's what LeMieur and city council members were doing when they voted for the waiver.
Another letter claims LeMieur doesn't support school choice because he voted for this waiver and he wants to extend it to the entire state. What LeMieur wants to "extend" to the entire state is equal funding for rural school districts. Currently metro public school districts receive over $26,000 per student in state funds while rural school districts receive about half that much. Incidentally, Rep. Al Doty voted against an amendment that would've given an additional $33 per student to rural school districts or $990 per classroom of 30 students. (2007, HJ 3952)
Just because LeMieur wants to eliminate state income taxes on Social Security retirement income, letters claim he wants to raise taxes. Minnesota is one of eight states that still tax this income and he feels senior citizens need a break. He knows the state has to prioritize spending when deciding on a budget and that's exactly what he'll do. He certainly won't vote for a 42 percent gas tax increase, higher license tab fees and a new car tax as Doty did. LeMieur will be a voice of reason on taxes and fight wasteful government spending.
CLARA KEDROWSKI is vice chair of the Morrison County Republican Party.
Shaw will encourage growth
As a Brainerd City Council member, Ed Shaw will bring fresh ideas and change to Brainerd. Ed would bring change to Brainerd by encouraging retail and business growth. Ed will bring change to your pocket with frugal, responsible spending. Vote for change, vote for Ed Shaw for Brainerd City Council.
Don't be duped by Obama
Information on the body count in the war zones-Chicago, Obama's district, 292 murders in the past six months - 221 killed in Iraq that contains a much larger area. Senators Obama, Durbin, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Gov. Rod Blogojevich, House leader Mike Madigan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Mayor Richard Daley, the leadership in Illinois are all Democrats. The Chicago establishment has not been able to solve the major crime problem and they can't blame the Republicans because all the leadership are Democrats.
The Illinois state pension fund is $44 million in debt, the worst in the country. Cook County (Chicago) has the highest sales tax in the country (10.25 percent). The Chicago school system is one of the worst in the country despite one of the highest costs in the country. Now I have to ask you, " If Obama can't fix the problems in his own district how in the world can he solve the U.S. problems in Washington, D.C.." Hot air and rhetoric won't get it! Don't be duped.
Robert C. Olson
Rural Pequot Lakes
Election is about you
One of the core ideals of Thomas Jefferson was that, "The wall of separation between church and state is the best method to keep religion free from intervention by the federal government, government free of religious disputes, and religion free from corruption by government."
Two years ago, at the invitation of the Catholic Church in Royalton, I was invited to attend the church service on the Sunday before Election Day. During the service, the priest correctly preached during the service, that he could not tell you who to vote for. He urged all parishioners that it was their civic duty to research and to understand the candidate positions seeking their votes. He concluded by asking people to vote their conscience.
This election is not about religion, name calling, or personality, or who can better attack the character of their opponent. This election is about you! Who do you believe would have your best interests at heart when we send them to represent you over the next few years?
How safe is your retirement money? How safe is your job? Is the economy better or worse than it was 8 years ago? Are your children better off?
Vote your conscience!
TERRY SLUSS is a former Crow Wing County Commissioner and DFL candidate for the Minnesota Senate in 2006.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.