Serve basic needs, then worry about the rest

The “High and dry” story on the April 22 front page mentioned bonding proposals for campus buildings, civic centers, theaters, museums, roads, bridges, housing and … water for people in the Worthington-Luverne area.

Does one of those proposals stand out? Who among us can live without water? How can Gov. Mark Dayton be so brazen as to try and use a water pipeline to extort funding for other less-important projects? I’m incensed!

Governor, make sure the people have water and then evaluate the rest of the projects. Thank you!

Robert L. Hall, Richfield



No more honoring Columbus? Ridiculous

Really. What is the matter with you Minneapolis City Council folks (“Mpls. targets Columbus Day,” April 22)? It’s been an often exasperating and an “Are you kidding me?” 27-year reading experience for us “immigrants” from other states who follow your actions in the paper. (The council is expected to vote Friday on a proposal to rename the holiday “Indigenous People’s Day” on all city communications.)

No more Columbus Day. Really. I assume that is because Christopher Columbus was acting unconventionally for his time in conquering the unknown with some brutality? I assume that it is because he intended to bring disease to new lands? I assume you would have hung him. Yet, if it were not for Christopher and all his “bad boy” explorer buddies, you yourselves would not be here to again malign his and their amazing accomplishments and courage in a time when there was no GPS, no phones and no morality-policing city councils. Let’s just pretend he and the others didn’t pave the way (or float the seas) for all of us to be here. Let’s all just pack up and move back to Europe. You first.

Vicki Roberts, Eden Prairie



There is, actually, evidence of its harm

An April 21 letter stated that marijuana has “never been proven beyond anecdote” to be harmful to one’s health. However, many studies have shown otherwise. The National Institutes of Health links long-term marijuana use to respiratory problems and cognitive deficiencies, especially when used by young people. Heavy use of alcohol and other legal substances also has negative health effects, so I have not yet decided whether I think marijuana should be legalized. But its impact on health should not be minimized.

Heidi Seltz, Minneapolis



Lower costs? I’m not buying CBO celebration

The Congressional Budget Office has released the results of its recent report that adjusts projected Obamacare costs downward by about $100 billion over the next 10 years. When you analyze this issue, please remember:

• This is a revision of a study only about two months old.

• That earlier study projected the costs to be far higher than claimed when the law was debated.

• Thus the reported “reduction” still means Obamacare costs will be materially higher than projected during the legislative debate.

• This reduction is only about a 7 percent reduction, and that’s spread over 10 years, or only about $10 billion a year.

Also remember:

• The reported “savings” covers only the taxpayers’ cost for health care subsidies, etc.

• It does not reflect the costs to individual policy owners, which are going way up overall.

The reality is:

• Anecdotal examples of individuals experiencing lower costs under Obamacare apply mostly to a relatively small number of subsidized individuals.

• If the person has subsidized insurance, that doesn’t mean it’s cheaper, just that someone else is paying for it — other policy owners and taxpayers.

• Both policy owners and taxpayers are paying more for health care, each as a group and in the aggregate.

• Total costs are materially higher.

And these trillions of dollars have given us:

• The CBO’s latest estimate is that there still could be more than 30 million uninsured in the country. Obamacare has missed its goal, has accomplished very little and has seriously damaged our economy.

Steve Bakke, Edina

• • •

Can someone please enlighten me? In the Opinion section recently a person wrote how wonderful the ACA was because for the first time their 30-year-old son has insurance. What was preventing him from getting insurance before?

Another person wrote about the Women’s Economic Security Act and grant money for women to become plumbers, truck drivers, welders, etc. Again, what has prevented women from taking classes to learn these trades? Matter of fact, there was an article the same day about high school girls taking welding courses.

Why does the government have to provide handouts for people to get the things that are there if they look or work for them?

Dave Zimmerman, Coon Rapids



Oh, like Obama has all these alternatives

An April 22 letter writer stated that President Obama can legally move detainees out of Guantanamo without further action by Congress. Where is the president supposed to send them? Not one U.S. state will take them. Not one will let them be tried within its state lines. That leaves a whole lot of Middle Eastern countries that would be willing to take them — but is that something that the writer encourages?

I think the writer needs to come up with a feasible Plan B.

Darlene Thyen, Paynesville, Minn.