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Continued: Readers Write: (June 25): Storms, Brodkorb case, smart spending, U.S. and Israel

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  • Last update: June 24, 2013 - 8:15 PM

D. KINGSLEY HAHN, Arden Hills

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SMART SPENDING

Commentary offered an excellent idea

Required-reading tip of the day: “So is that $38 billion well-spent?” (June 24), by Peter Heegaard and Angie Eilers. Having some independent agency to look at state spending and programs, like the state of Washington has, is exactly what Minnesota needs.

Can you imagine what it would be like to know what happens to our tax money? Can you envision what it would be like to hear recommendations without all the politics of “them vs. us” (Republicans and Democrats) of future spending?

The writers have an excellent blueprint for the rest of us to push for from our Legislature. Read their article, and contact your legislator. Let’s get to a point in our great state where we care less about our tax rank compared with other states and instead concern ourselves with getting the best value for the tax dollars we give to the state. Maybe we’ll all get to the part of our lives where we’re actually happy with what our government is doing, instead of complaining about it. What a concept!

My thanks to Heegaard and Eilers for today’s article, and to the Star Tribune for printing it — hopefully, many of us will read it, then do something in support of the idea.

JIM STROMBERG, White Bear Lake Twp.

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VISA RECIPROCITY

It’s helpful to know what’s in the details

Thank you for printing the very informative commentary “Visa proposal: Reciprocity it’s not,” June 21 It is helpful to have provisions with negative impact that are hidden in a larger bill pointed out.

Many Americans may not know that Congress often passes legislation that is not in the best interests of the United States. Examples include the annual $3 billion-plus in aid given without any accountability.

The U.S. relinquishes the leverage it would have over Israel’s actions by transferring the full amount at the beginning of each fiscal year. Since the U.S. borrows much of what it spends, our government pays interest on the money given to Israel, which Israel then can bank at interest.

The United States did not protest when Israel refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and subsequently is widely believed to have built the first nuclear weapons program in the region. Congress has blocked some very profitable weapons sales to which Israel strongly objected.

In addition, the U.S. consistently vetoes United Nations resolutions that call Israel to account for its actions, thus enabling Israel to continue its policies so detrimental to regional stability and to our standing in the Arab world.

FLORENCE STEICHEN, St. Paul

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