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Cuts punish farmers, grocers as well
GOP House members are no doubt beaming with pride. The decision to let needed funding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (food stamps) lapse will teach all those bums they cannot look to the government to support them. Yet this action punishes more than the sluggards. Yes, in addition to some 40 million of the poorest among us, millions of farmers whose industry and hard work produces food for the nation are also taking a cut. Even representatives from farm states (such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa) have chosen to ignore the impact of the cuts for family farmers, not to mention for the thousands of independent grocers. It is ironic that the party that claims to champion small business is just fine with the decision. All this at a time when food shelves are already overwhelmed.
I also find it ironic that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee who has described himself as someone raised in the Catholic tradition, is a leading proponent of the cuts. He must have missed the lessons of the New Testament, as well as the exhortation of Pope Francis to focus on the poor.
JOHN HELGERSON, Victoria
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Insurers choose; so can you, business owner
Yet another small-business owner claims the Affordable Care Act is going to cost his business thousands of dollars over the next year to cover his employees (Letter of the Day, Nov. 4). Something he fails to mention is that the changes made to his coverage are actually being made by the insurance company, not the ACA. You no longer have a multitude of choices for doctors or locations? Now you only get 50 percent paid after the deductible? It’s your insurance company making those changes, not the ACA. I would suggest shopping around if you’re not satisfied with the options your insurance company is providing.
AARON BLECHERT, Minneapolis
Fiduciary duty requires adaptability
In response to Ken Cutler’s Nov. 1 letter defending his fellow Minnesota Orchestra board members, stating that “endowments should never be invaded,” the situation actually calls for strategic investment in entrepreneurial and exponential growth — banishing the belief that there is a shrinking pie to be sliced into increasingly smaller pieces. For instance, drawing down a small portion of the endowment to create a new Minnesota Orchestra “learning and access” division (similar to the thriving Chicago Symphony) would help develop cross-sector and education partnerships, thereby broadening the audience and donor base. And, have you ever heard of a successful business diminishing the quality of its product (in this case the musicians of the orchestra) to promote growth?
The board’s fiduciary responsibilities require prudence, but also necessitate operating with a proactive vision to lead the Minnesota Orchestra to success as a relevant cultural organization in tune with its times.
NATHAN DAVIS, Golden Valley
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.