AP, Associated Press

Readers Write (Dec. 7): Slain officer, Warren Buffett, charity, bullying, GOP, Vikings

  • December 6, 2012 - 7:01 PM


Paper, letter writer were wrong on 'parade'


Rarely has a letter to the editor made me more angry ("Slain officer deserves honors, but 'parade' wasn't necessary," Dec. 6). Does the writer not understand grief and how every police officer no doubt thinks, "There but for the grace of God go I"?

The cost of the "parade" (a very offensive word to use) is infinitesimal to the degree of grief it expressed both for the slain police officer and his widow and children. As to why this particular letter is the featured Letter of the Day, perhaps the Editorial Board could explain.


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Plenty of evidence backs his tax argument


Edward Conrad's Dec. 5 commentary claims that Warren Buffett used "superficial and flawed" evidence to make his case for supporting higher taxes on the wealthy ("Buffett can 'take it.' America can't"). Conrad, a former partner at Bain Capital LLC, radically exceeds Buffet's so-called flawed evidence in scraping the bottom of the barrel for supporting evidence to support his ideology for low taxes on the wealthy.

He says that economic growth requires investment that comes from these low taxes. The wealthy now have some of the lowest taxes in modern history, with a gross abundance of cash sitting on the sidelines. So why isn't this cash being invested in economic growth?

In the 1990s under President Bill Clinton, with a major increase in tax rates, we had some of the longest and largest increases in economic growth in our history. Conrad fails to recognize the enormous stimulative effect of a pro-science administration.

Under the Bush anti-science administration, we had some of our best and brightest minds lured to Wall Street and the finance industry to suck wealth from the middle class to the upper class rather than focus on the kind of true innovation that grows our economy for everyone. This, of course, ended with the worst worldwide economic crash since the Great Depression.


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Nonprofits worry about Washington debt talks


Thank you for your well-written Dec. 5 article "Charity writeoffs face D.C. cliff risk." As a leader of a nonprofit in the western suburbs, I am appalled that the tax-deduction formula is even a topic of discussion in Washington. The government continues to cut grants, so inhibiting giving would be a "double whammy" for us. Nonprofits cross their fingers during the last weeks of the year, hoping to make budget with donors' extra year-end contributions. In fact, we often get checks slid under the door on New Year's Eve. People do give because they care; let's be certain that their generosity will continue at the same level so we can focus our attention on those who need us the most.


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Lessons can be learned from private schools


Minnesota's anti-bullying laws have been labeled as some of the weakest in the nation. Being a freshman in college, it struck me that none of my past private schooling included the bullying that I kept hearing about.

I'm not claiming that bullying does not occur in private schools, but it seems to be magnified in public schools.

Proposed anti-bullying laws would be statewide and would apply to private and public schools alike. Although this may have some positive affect, I believe greater improvement could be achieved through studying how individual private schools handle it. If there's less bullying in private schools, we ought to learn more about how they deal with it.

If a tougher statewide law is passed, power regarding the discipline and definition of civil discourse will be taken away from the private institutions. Instead of instructing all schools how to manage bullying, we should mimic the techniques used by the less-bullied schools.


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Both need a more balanced approach


I would like to give the same advice to the leaders of the Republican Party that I would give to the coaching staff of the Minnesota Vikings: Reassess your goals.

If, as members of the Vikings coaching staff, the goal is to build an excellent ground game around a premier player -- Adrian Peterson -- then you're successful. Game over.

If, on the other hand, the goal is to penetrate the end zone regularly, then you may need to consider a more balanced offensive attack, that is, construct a passing game as well.

And if, as members of the Republican leadership, your goal is to protect the capital assets of the wealthiest members of our society, well done.

But if, on the other hand, your goal is to lower annual deficits and reduce the national debt, then you may need to consider revenue enhancement. In both scenarios and both settings, a balanced approach is key.


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