Readers Write (Aug. 5): Utilities, taxes, comfort women, State Fair, Twins, Vikings

  • Updated: August 5, 2013 - 9:33 AM

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Municipal utility

Lileks may be joking, but plan is seriously bad

Every Minneapolis resident should read James Lileks’ Aug. 2 column (“When the city starts taking over, why stop at electricity?). He hints at what might happen if Minneapolis takes over the electric utility and possibly other retail outlets such as grocery stores. His thought that the city might eliminate 1 percent milk on store shelves and encourage people to consume only half as much 2 percent milk might be in the cards. He has many other thought-provoking examples of possible changes in service from Minneapolis, but the milk example sums it up well.


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I struggle with labeling Lileks’ column as satire. With the folks who make the decisions at Minneapolis City Hall, his article is too realistic for that label.


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A counterpoint on lower corporate rates

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak recently offered his proposal for corporate tax reform (“Put federal tax reform on the state’s wish list,” July 12). As CEO of a small courier service in the Twin Cities, I’d like to offer a contrasting view.

I believe in all parts of society pulling their weight, and in recent years many corporations have not. We need corporate tax reforms that right that wrong. Ishrak argues that our 35 percent corporate tax rate is too high. In reality, most corporations, including Medtronic, are paying far less.

While corporate profits are booming, new brutal budget cuts (the “sequester”) are kicking kids off Head Start and abandoning hungry seniors in need of Meals on Wheels. Our infrastructure, critical to the success of businesses like mine, is crumbling. Our fiscal house is a mess.

We need to close tax loopholes and make sure everyone is paying their fair share. No more accounting games. No more tax-free offshore havens. No more corporations reaping the benefits of our taxes — educated workers, safe roads, fast Internet — while not paying their own.

Doing this could raise $600 billion over the next decade, according to a congressional tax committee. That’s money we could use to invest in our communities, strengthen our national finances and restore a sense of shared responsibility — the kind of outcomes that would, in my view, represent successful corporate tax reform.

JEFF WRIGHT, Richfield

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