Readers write: Wednesday, March 30

  • Updated: March 30, 2011 - 11:48 AM
Illustration by Bruce Bjerva

Illustration by Bruce Bjerva

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GOVERNMENT BUDGETS

Who's winning and who's losing

I used to have no respect for Mark Dayton and thought that he was a joke of a gubernatorial candidate but for his name.

However, today I can say with certainty that he is "rolling" Republicans, absolutely "rolling" them.

I particularly enjoy the teacher in Dayton sending legislators, like ninth-graders, back to rewrite their papers until they are complete ("Dayton rejects GOP trims outright," March 29).

What a great move to create an authority position in negotiations. Hey, GOP, you underestimated the man, as I did.

DAVE CONKLIN, VICTORIA

• • •

As a parent of an adult son with significant disabilities, I know the pain that will be experienced if the current health and human services bills become law.

Our son needs 24-hour care and support. Most of that is basic needs -- dressing, bathing, positioning, and feeding.

A cut in his hours by 15 percent, as the Minnesota House bill proposes, would not mean doing without frills and luxuries; it would be a loss of care that provides the basics of daily life.

Those who call for families to take on the responsibility of this care don't realize that families like mine already provide extensive care in addition to the support they receive from direct care staff.

With a cut of 15 percent, I would also have to reduce back my work hours, which makes our family's finances that much more challenging in troubled economic times.

These cuts affect real people and cause real harm. They are cuts to programs that Minnesotans overwhelmingly support. I urge legislators to take stories of families like mine to heart and take these cuts back.

KAREN M. LARSON, FARIBAULT

• • •

Over the past decade, income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and for corporations have significantly reduced revenue streams at both the federal and state levels.

American corporations not only are moving manufacturing jobs overseas, but many are moving corporate offices to tax havens offshore. While business leaders bitterly complain about a federal corporate rate of 35 percent, few, if any, actually pay that.

As reported in the Star Tribune last week, General Electric, a large and successful corporation, pays no corporate income tax due to its ability to game the tax code through lobbying efforts in Washington.

Meanwhile, legislatures are competing over which state has the most friendly corporate tax structure. The Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan legislatures all have passed corporate tax reductions even beginning to grapple with multibillion-dollar revenue deficits.

They've moved on to reduce the salary levels of state workers, slash support for the state university and college systems, and eliminate programs that provide a social safety net.

It is time to consider an alternative minimum tax for corporations. Let's end the political shenanigans and impose a reasonable tax level to effectively collect a revenue stream that is fair considering that doing business in the United States is of value.

Let's also seek to standardize state corporate income tax rates. Then possibly all states will find it reasonable to provide services and opportunity for their people rather than being engaged in a race to the bottom.

KURT ROGNESS, MINNEAPOLIS

• • •

We all can appreciate U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's recent bill to expand aid for victims of military sex assaults, but wouldn't it be nice if just once she were to advance a bill to cut spending or reduce cost?

ALAN RICHTER, MINNEAPOLIS

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JOB DISPARITIES

JOBZ initiative was misdirected

Thanks to Erika Dani for today's letter pointing out the "job desert" in north Minneapolis and the discriminatory or racist behavior of many employers in the Twin Cities (Readers Write, March 29).

I assisted unemployed people in the old north Minneapolis Workforce/Job Service Center about 10 years ago, and little has changed. There are also other job deserts in the Twin Cities.

When former Gov. Pawlenty and his Republican cohorts promoted their JOBZ program, which provided tax incentives to encourage business development, they missed a great opportunity to invest in urban areas and help African-Americans.

The JOBZ program was mostly for greater Minnesota and not for the Twin Cities, where racial gaps in joblessness exist the most.

GARY THOMPSON, ST. PAUL

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U.S. AND LIBYA

Unconvinced by the president's address

President Obama's address Monday about the military action in Libya was underwhelming. I'm no fan of the nut job in Tripoli, but what has Moammar Gadhafi done to America since former President Ronald Reagan approved the bombing of his compound?

 Nothing. National interests? What about the pirates off the coast of Somalia who are actually kidnapping and killing Americans?

If we are taking action to protect civilians, are we then going to bomb Russia for the attacks in Georgia? What about the civil war in Sudan? Thousands being killed. What about China? Dissidents still disappear there.

I'm sorry, but unless the president is willing to be consistent, his argument is nothing more than political grandstanding.

BILL CORRIGAN, SPRING LAKE PARK

• • •

To compare the Libyan rebels to Hitler, Stalin, and Lenin is way off base in the March 29 Letter of the Day ("How well do we know the rebels we're helping in Libya?"). Let's remember some other famous rebels in history: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. France came to the aid of these rebels. Thank goodness, right?

KATIE BOHN, SHAKOPEE

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Illustration by Bruce Bjerva