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Readers Write (March 10): Taxes, U of M, special ed, marriage, TSA, minumum wage, guns

  • March 8, 2013 - 6:58 PM

TAX HIKE

Poll only shows we’re worried about ourselves

The headline for the story on the Minnesota Poll about Gov. Mark Dayton’s tax proposal read: “Most want tax hike only on wealthy” (March 3). It could have been put this way: “Most want someone else to pay.”

JOHN LAMPRECHT, Robbinsdale

• • •

So 54 percent of Minnesotans favor a Dayton tax increase on the rich? How could you not expect this response? It’s easy to answer yes to this poll question when you’re not affected. Or to think: Those rich people don’t deserve to be making that much money. It’s unfair — give it back to me! Try lowering the classification of “rich” to $50,000 per individual, then see what kind of a response you get.

DAVID SPEIDEL, Eden Prairie

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MARRIAGE POLL

Lawmakers face a test on doing the right thing

If the Star Tribune polled the same group on interracial marriage or the need for the civil-rights act as it did on same-sex marriage, what would the results be? (“A majority doesn’t want gay marriages,” March 6.) Quite similar. Prejudice and misinformation run deep on many levels. It’s up to our legislators to guide their constituents, so we can all have an equal and better future.

DANE ANDERSON, Golden Valley

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U ATHLETICS

Lessons are needed on spending public money

The editorial on University of Minnesota athletics should have gone further (“A contract blunder for U athletics,” March 5). The U deliberately hid this extension. It wasn’t that long ago that former athletics director Joel Maturi extended the contract of Pam Borton, the women’s basketball coach, even after five players left the team. It’s time to punish the U by limiting cushy extras. Start by making the new athletics director and his staff travel by rail, car or bus and make all motel arrangements at Motel 6 — for the next six months.

STEVE MOORE, Minneapolis

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SPECIAL EDUCATION

Finding what’s best for students, taxpayers

What a huge drain on taxpayers in school districts to provide an “education” to kids who are so disabled they can’t learn (“Rising special ed cases are huge cost to Minnesota schools,” March 3).

We need all of our resources for the kids who will be our future workers. Spend money on the disabled who can learn and do, like some Down syndrome students or others who aren’t too disabled.

There needs to be a means test before some of these kids can come into the system, as we cannot afford this anymore. Those who are severely disabled will end up in special homes where they’re cared for all their lives, so why put this burden on the taxpayers and school districts?

LOIS RYAN, Montgomery, Minn.

• • •

The majority of special-needs students do not require, nor receive, exorbitant accommodations. In fact, most schools’ special-education budgets are underfunded and the staff stretched thin.

It was a teacher who discovered my daughter’s huge difficulties with auditory processing and advocated for her to be included in courses and sports where she could succeed. It was a school speech therapist who opened the doors for her to develop meaningful communication. It was a teacher who advocated for my daughter to get training in office skills.

Today, my daughter is 23 and has paid employment three mornings a week, volunteers at four other job sites, and lives a rich life, in part due to public schooling.

JACKIE PUNCH, St. Paul

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AIRPLANE DANGERS

Passengers have had a false sense of security

A flight attendants union is upset at a decision by the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA gives OK to carry small knives on plane,” March 6), saying that the change could pose a threat to the cabin crew. These attendants have been living in a fool’s paradise. I laughed when security once took away a small knife, because I was left with another weapon easier to use: car keys. In a crisis, I could easily disable a person with my car keys while their hands were busy trying to get a pocket knife open.

EDWARD STEGMAN, Hastings

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MINIMUM WAGE

Let’s put this issue in proper perspective

The debate over whether to raise the minimum wage got me thinking: What if there were a maximum wage? What if CEOs could not make 500 times what their lowest-paid workers earned? What if legislators only got paid if their work was finished? What if legislators had to live with the same medical and financial constraints as the people who elected them? What if …?

SCOTT DEVITT, Buffalo, Minn.

• • •

In reading the pro/con commentaries about raising the state’s minimum wage (Opinion Exchange, Feb. 24), I couldn’t help thinking of the furor caused when Henry Ford increased his workers’ wage to $5 a day. Naysayers predicted the company would soon be bankrupt, but production increased, costs fell and those same workers could afford a Ford.

DAN STRONG, Brooklyn Park

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GUN VIOLENCE

Let’s focus on the real heart of the matter

The debate at hand isn’t about gun control: It’s really about the government’s control of the people.

RODGER PETERSON, Burnsville

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