What’s needed is a long-term plan

What’s the plan — what’s the vision for getting our national debt to a manageable level? Continuing to increase the limit, and especially to do so under duress every time we’re confronted with these debt ceiling deadlines, doesn’t instill confidence or have any semblance of a plan. I rarely see good decisions made or actions taken when they are forced by threats or accompanied by rhetoric.

Grudgingly, I’ll agree that the level should be raised (again) in order to prevent the defaults and potentially crippling impacts on the markets and our economy. However, this time it should be done only in conjunction with a bipartisan commitment (and it needs to be a real commitment) that a long-term debt plan will be created and implemented long before the next debt ceiling deadline crops up.


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Reasonable people could think that President Obama should meet the House Republicans halfway and find a way out of this mess. After all, the consequences could be severe if there is no solution. Gov. Mark Dayton did so when the Minnesota government shut down. The difference is that Dayton negotiated over an actual budget, not a 45-day extension or over allowing the government to pay bills already incurred.

The problem is that if the president gives in this time, what is it next time? The only way to stop the cycle is to say no and hang tough. Negotiate and pass an actual budget, but not an extension.

ALICE JOHNSON, Minneapolis

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According to some theories, Tony Blair (former British Prime Minister) supported the United States in Iraq not only because he wanted to preserve the special relationship, but also because he believed going to war was morally right. He supported the war without regards to his party’s support.

The Iraq war is in no way, shape, or form, similar to the government shutdown, but Blair’s approach to it is still one to be admired. Boehner needs to forget about being in good standing with Republicans, and do what is morally right for this country.

EMMA GARTON, Eden Prairie

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I have just finished reading Gregg Cavanagh’s column in Sunday’s paper (“Two years to two Americas: Let’s give it a go!” Oct. 6). It is always good to see people mix a little humor and sarcasm into their thoughts.

May I add a thought of my own? We may already have the situation that Cavanagh is talking about: Red and blue states and red and blue cities. If you happen to notice, it’s generally the blue states and cities that are running out of money. But I am afraid this is nothing to be humorous about.




Why housing plan is wrong for Cambridge

The letters debating whether sex offenders are human (Readers Write, Oct. 4 and 5) missed the issue. The issue is whether it is appropriate to locate sex offenders, human or not, in proximity to a residential area full of small children. The facility in Cambridge where the Department of Human Services proposes to house sex offenders is across the street from an area of single-family homes, townhouses and a small park.

When Minnesota closed the Cambridge State School and Hospital and transferred the property to the city of Cambridge, the city established an affordable-housing community on the property with green space, walking and bicycling paths. More recently the city, in cooperation with master gardeners and the Isanti County Environmental Coalition, established a large community garden where families can grow healthy food and stretch their budgets. The DHS proposal would put all of this in jeopardy and penalize the city and its residents for working hard to create a very livable, sustainable community.

I find it hard to believe that the DHS, if willing and able to think creatively, could not reconfigure existing space at either St. Peter or Moose Lake to meet the federal court mandate to offer less-restrictive treatment alternatives. DHS needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink its plans.

KAREN S. LEE, Cambridge, Minn.



The heart of the matter is still being ignored

Yet another allegation of sexual misdeeds of the Catholic clergy hits the headlines (“Under fire, archbishop scrambles to respond,” Oct. 6). There is a glaringly prominent elephant in the room that is being ignored: Did not the Lord God that made us all make us all sexual beings? Why does denying that part of one’s humanity make any of us more holy or closer to our maker? I do not intend to be flippant on this matter, but if priests, popes and other clergy members believe so fervently in the importance of a chaste life, I can see only one way to ensure that, without the strong urges and temptations that lead to scandal. One word: eunuchs. Being such would ensure that their vows would not be compromised, and although seeming severe, would also show a total commitment to their calling. In no way am I advocating this extreme measure, I am merely urging people to consider all aspects of this persistent situation and the realities that are left unsaid.




Nature of defeat was misrepresented

As a former Marine infantry officer and Vietnam veteran, allow me to add an asterisk to the Oct. 5 headline “Communist leader defeated both French and Americans.” Although Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was the architect who defeated the French militarily, he did not defeat Americans militarily. He did defeat America politically.

GARY NASH, Chanhassen