'47 percent' comment escalates the class war


If I'm not mistaken, candidate Romney's recent "47 percent" video commentary raises the spectre of "class warfare" in much the same manner as the Republicans assert the Democrats are doing when the issue of high-income earners and taxation disparity is surfaced. How can it be an inappropriate campaign issue in one instance, but not the other?


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I believe in this country, and I believe in my fellow citizens. I happily pay taxes on my income to support those who aren't as fortunate as I am. Those who on their own cannot afford to have a roof over their heads, or see a doctor, or need assistance to pay for food. Who would ever think they should be entitled to such basic human necessities?

Being from a state that has tragic first-hand experience with our nation's crumbling infrastructure, I'm happy to see part of my income go to projects that not only improve our way of life, but also provide job opportunities for thousands of blue-collar workers.

In these tough economic times, this country needs unity, and a leader who can bring us together to work toward a more prosperous future -- not someone who will callously dismiss nearly half of all Americans as lazy entitlement seekers.

I guess you were right about one thing, though, Mitt: You and your pompous ideas will never get my vote.


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I am feeling quite sad for poor Mitt Romney. By being raised with such financial and social privilege, he has missed out on what it really means to be a true American. It seems he has never been subjected to the wants and needs of the 47 percent of the U.S. population, which he apparently feels derives its life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the expense of the government.

My wife and I (and our children) are, fortunately, part of Romney's perceived 47 percent wasteland. We both have college educations, and we both served our country -- she in the Peace Corps and me in the U.S. Marine Corps. We have always worked hard, and both of us have taught in the public education system. But like many others who are not known to Romney, we have, most assuredly, paid our taxes. It is a blessing to be able to pay taxes and rely on our government at its various levels to provide us with the services that have made this country a very civil place to live.

I am sorry that Romney's privileged life and his chosen profession have not allowed him to enjoy the privileges and satisfactions of being a real American.


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Romney is wrong on one point: I'm part of the 47 percent who pay little or no income taxes, but I'm not in President Obama's camp by any means. I'm smart enough to know that if this country goes belly up because of unsustainable entitlements, my little Social Security check is going to go right down the drain with all the rest of it.


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Despite stereotypes, there's real diversity


It's so painful to hear that stereotypes about Anoka County still exist ("County workforces less diverse than residents," Sept. 18).

One person quoted in the story said friends had told him in the past that the county "was white, blue-collar and very Archie Bunker-like." "Was" is the operative word, yet time and time again I read stories in the Star Tribune that insinuate that the county is and always will be where blue-collar, hillbilly rednecks live.

It was stated in this very paper several years back that Anoka is one of the top 40 counties in the nation for income. It boasts the most diversity in the state outside of Hennepin and Ramsey counties. It is a peaceful county with no airplane noise overhead. And it's that much closer to the cabin and other northern delights.

Anoka County has come a long way. Businesses and citizens alike should no longer look east, west or down south for a place to be. Next time, try looking up!


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A sober view of new Gopher alcohol policy


Gosh, the writers of your Sept. 18 Letter of the Day must not have gone to the same game I did ("Beer-soaked Gopher games are a less pleasant place to be").

I couldn't even find the beer, let alone engage in any unrestrained, two-fisted binge drinking.


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Only industry pressure prevents better policy


Thank you for your editorial on the important issue of labeling food from genetically modified organisms ("Clarity in food labeling warranted," Sept. 18).

Public support for labeling is nearly unanimous -- upwards of 90 percent in polls. Unlike other issues, GMO labeling does not divide along partisan lines. The right to know and freedom to choose are widely held values.

The division on this issue is between the public and industry. The biotech and processed food industries have spent more than $27 million to try to dampen public support for California's GMO labeling ballot initiative.

Remove the industry influence, and GMO labeling would already be the law of the land.


The writer is co-founder of Right to Know Minnesota, which lobbies for GMO labeling.