WALL STREET MELTDOWN
Plenty of blame to go around for both parties
The American people are sick of politicians making irrational claims about who is responsible for the current mess we are in.
The reality is that a Republican administration and a Democratic Congress presided over and allowed financial entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enter into unsound practices in regard to both mortgages and investments without doing a thing.
Most of this was done in the name of putting more people in homes regardless of ability to pay. Both parties should be condemned for this.
AL SCHAFER, TONKA BAY
On Monday, Republican presidential nominee John McCain stated that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. This is obviously not true, and just another of a long and lengthening line of deceptive remarks from the candidate.
What I thought was interesting wasn't so much the remark itself, but the inevitable backtracking. McCain later said what he meant to say was that the American worker was the best in the world.
What happened Monday was another demonstration that McCain, whose lifestyle is insulated from the financial concerns of most Americans by his extreme wealth, is out of touch with what's going on in America today.
JON MINERS, CRYSTAL
Thank you, Sen. McCain, for your remark Monday that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." If any more proof were needed of your famous admission that you don't know much about the economy, now we have it.
NICK PEASE, MINNEAPOLIS
I'm no politician. Even though I have always voted, I have never even considered myself to be very political. Until this election. The stakes are so much higher than they ever have been!
Both candidates are promising change. But I'm concerned about what changes they will bring.
On one hand, you have Barack Obama -- a young, inexperienced senator whose plans to raise taxes could cripple the growth of small business in this country. Anyone savvy in economics will tell you that means a net loss in taxes and in jobs.
One of the other big changes Obama promises is universal health care. You only have to look to Canada to see how this works. It doesn't.
In the past, John McCain hasn't always put forth the policies that I wanted, but he has shown that he can fight the good fight. And he has been more interested in what he believes is right, than in what is popular.
I would always vote for less government, not more. And I would prefer to make my own financial decisions, like selecting and managing my own health insurance, as I do with the insurance on my home and cars. Those are the changes I'm looking for. They mean more conservative solutions and change.
JACK PIERCE, PLYMOUTH
HEALTH CARE IN JEOPARDY
Washington aims to halt Minnesota's gains
Washington bureaucrats have decided to penalize Minnesota for being a health-care leader.
We need to stop them.
Minnesota blazed the trail for children's health coverage back in 1992 with MinnesotaCare. When the federal government finally caught up and launched funding for children's health insurance, we were allowed to use Minnesota's share of these funds to also cover parents. Washington is backpedaling on the agreement, and that means more than 18,000 Minnesotans will lose their health coverage.
Washington's decision targets families with a gross income under $2,933 a month for a family of three. It would increase their current premium from $187 to $748 a month.
Today, Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, is conducting a hearing on the issue at the State Capitol. Minnesota has less than two weeks to show the federal government how its decision would create more uninsured. (Common sense doesn't seem to be working in Washington.) Our congressional delegation, all 10 of them, need to help fix this mess. Berglin's hearing will give them the facts they need to get the decision reversed, because it affects all of us, even Minnesotans with private insurance. Eliminating the funding that helps cover 18,000 individuals will lead to more uninsured residents, creating more uncompensated care at local health-care facilities. The cost of that care is passed along to all of us.
President Bush himself said that "Keeping our nation competitive requires affordable and available health care. Our government has a responsibility to provide health care for the poor."
Innovative programs such as MinnesotaCare allow us to do just that. States must be permitted to innovate and lead without penalty. Otherwise, the federal government won't have a trail to follow.
JULIE BRUNNER, ST. PAUL;
MINNESOTA COUNCIL OF HEALTH PLANS
Name ballpark after those who paid for it
I was dismayed after reading that the new Twins stadium will be named Target Field (Star Tribune, Sept. 16).
The ballpark should be named Hennepin County Citizens Stadium. After all, we "own" it, not the Minnesota Ballpark Authority.
DEAN MCCARTY, GOLDEN VALLEY
I think the new Twins stadium should be named Taxpayer Field. After all, it's the taxpayers who paid for it.
MICHAEL RESIG, CRYSTAL
ANGRY VIKINGS FANS
Two ways to sell tickets
Note to Vikings: Bench Tarvaris Jackson, and I will buy 10 tickets for the Carolina game. Fire Brad Childress, and I will buy 20 more.
REED SAUNDERS, ROCHESTER
So Jimmy Irsay, whose dad gave him the Baltimore Colts, arrogantly comes to Minnesota to aid and abet Zygi Wilf, whose dad gave him a business which enabled him to buy the Minnesota Vikings, and extort a stadium from the state of Minnesota just as he did in Indiana.
You can see why Jimmy and Zygi think they should get something for nothing.
JOHN BENJAMIN EASTON, ST. PAUL
PAYING AT THE PUMP
Price of crude goes down, but gas goes up?
This week oil fell to $96 a barrel, the first time since November 2007. Last November, the average price of gas was $3.01 per gallon. Today's price is $3.84, 28 percent higher in the face of identical oil prices. Where is the difference going? Could it possibly be to stratospheric oil company profits?
SANDRA NELSON, MINNEAPOLIS