The losers in the stadium deal are the taxpayers. The winners are Big Labor, Vikings players and management, the NFL, the Star Tribune, other Twin Cities media, and the self-centered Vikings fans. The costs for this thing will be shuffled around like a shell game so that no one can figure how much of the economic ice buildup on the wings of Minneapolis and Minnesota is attributable to this ongoing giveaway. Yet you can bet when things get tight, none of the sheep will have any inkling this might be part of the cause.
KEN CARLSON, WOODBURY
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Thank you for printing the wonderful column "What can we, as Americans, do together?" by Tim Penny and Tom Horner on May 20.
They discussed so thoroughly and knowledgeably just what our present legislators are failing to do: work together for the common good. Can't such leaders see that we are losing our middle class, which has always been the strength of our nation?
Jobs are being cut by huge corporations and often are moved out of the United States to countries where products are manufactured for less. Our veterans are returning to inadequate health care, few job opportunities and inadequate funds for schooling.
The United States would never have become a great country if the founding fathers had not concentrated on cooperating for the welfare of all when they created that wonderful document, the U.S. Constitution.
GRACE WIGGEN, COLUMBIA HEIGHTS
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It's naive to think that many Republicans in today's U.S. Senate or House would vote for the bipartisan big things of the past. These ideas will be dispatched as GOP talking points to Fox News as "big-government socialism." Rather than shared sacrifice, we are offered a tax code that favors the "job creators" and penalizes student borrowers.
Penny and Horner perpetuate the false equivalency of equal GOP and Democratic responsibility. They should read an article by Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann: "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem," published in the Washington Post.
ROBERT SCHIESEL, MINNEAPOLIS
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Once again, Penny and Horner tell us what's wrong with our politics as it relates to our economy by understating the obvious without suggesting any solutions. They tell us we should be asking two questions of all of our candidates, essentially, where will they find common ground with opponents on the major issues of the day, and how do they disagree with their own parties? This is the theme of every Penny-Horner article.
As always, they proceed to excoriate Congress and, I assume, President Obama, for a failure of leadership in unifying to create a solution of shared sacrifice. But, when one side signs "no tax hike" pledges, makes categorical statements such as "we will not compromise" and reneges on delicately negotiated debt ceiling deals with the president, what do Penny and Horner suggest then? Other than to say "compromise?"
It's a vicious circle that won't end until one party or another dominates all three branches of government and the U.S. Senate's filibuster rule is thrown out.
KEVIN DRISCOLL, ST. PAUL
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When I began my career as a family physician more than 40 years ago, things were much simpler. The business of health care was mostly in the hands of smaller clinics and hospitals that charged just enough to pay bills and salaries with enough left over for needed improvements and performance bonuses. No one seemed to be getting filthy rich off the system.
With the wonderful advances in health care have come some very disturbing developments. Now America's health care system is by far the world's most expensive, and it's run as a huge, for-profit business with the goal of making money for investors and executives.
The facts are that our results are no better than those of other, cheaper systems; that millions of Americans remain uninsured or badly underinsured; that thousands of Americans die every year because they can't afford needed health care, and that bankruptcies caused by health care debt are ever on the rise. This should be of grave concern to us all.
I encourage all politicians to halt their mindless attacks on efforts to reform health care and instead to offer meaningful ideas on how to face this crisis. Our common goal must be to get affordable health care to every American. Anything less than this is fiscally and socially immoral.
MARK A. GRAY, WASECA, MINN.
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Wow, someone paid $4.4 million for Babe Ruth's jersey (Sports, May 21). Wouldn't it be a shame if someone with those means had to pay more income taxes and create fewer jobs?
PATRICK FURY, JANESVILLE, MINN.
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Republicans should be the environmentalists. After all, they tend to believe in traditional values. What's more traditional than nature? They would logically want the fields and woods preserved for hunters and others who believe in gun rights.
Democrats, on the other hand, should support the prolife perspective. After all, they tend to believe in protecting the underdog and defenseless people, and who seems more defenseless than an unborn child?
JIM BARTOS, BROOKLYN PARK
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.