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These interest rates are now at 6.8 percent — a result Kline voted for. Rather than forging a solution, Kline is playing the typical Washington blame game. Here is my message to Congress: Pass a bill that ties interest rates to a low market rate, put in a reasonable rate cap that reflects our need to invest in these students and let students lock in their rate from day one. Everyone but you can see that this is the responsible solution.
MIKE OBERMUELLER, Eagan
The writer was the DFL candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s Second District in 2012 and has announced his intention to run for that seat in 2014.
TAX AND SPEND
We need revenue to invest in infrastructure
Republican state Rep. David Osmek is eye-rollingly concerned about every penny that leaves his pocket, but he is correct about one thing: We have “piled up too much debt on our credit card” (The Dayton/DFL tax bill will burden you now,” July 2). Why? Because politicians have reduced revenue to the point where the state cannot pay for even the basics.
Imagine those who decided they would cut back from full- to part-time work, and then wondered why they could not afford to pay the rent or buy groceries. That person is the GOP. The truth is, when Minnesota (and the nation) was at its most prosperous — the 1970s, when we landed on the cover of Time — taxes were much higher than they are now. Hospitals, schools, higher education, roads — they were the envy of the nation.
I, for one, am a middle-class taxpayer who would be happy to pay extra in taxes if it meant that the state’s infrastructure and quality of living could return to even a shadow of what it was when I moved here in 1975.
DANIEL PINKERTON, Minneapolis
Climate can’t wait for cleaner energy options
“In short, wait.” That apparently is Xcel Energy’s bottom line on whether to continue burning coal at two of its largest and dirtiest plants — too much uncertainty in the regulatory climate, so Xcel will wait for further orders (“Xcel Energy will keep running two coal-fired generators in Becker,” July 1).
The plain fact is that we can’t afford to wait. Though the regulatory environment may be uncertain, the climate impacts of continued coal burning are not. The future looks more dangerous every day with business as usual. Xcel knows this and should act as a leader in energy technology, not a follower with a “wait and see” attitude.
BRETT SMITH, Minneapolis
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.