ELECTION '08: THE ISSUES
We're redistributing wealth now to the rich
I am sick to death of hearing the Wall Street billionaires whine about the "redistribution of wealth." They certainly didn't complain when the wealth was being redistributed in their direction. Their greed has caused this economic catastrophe.
MATT BUTTS, ST. LOUIS PARK
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Why are both major parties being allowed to go unchallenged when they conflate "health insurance" and "health care"?
We're given stark examples of the denial of care, but no candidate shows any sign of thinking beyond bringing more people into this flawed system.
GARY MELOM, MINNEAPOLIS
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With the current banking raid on the Treasury and John McCain's proposal to have the federal government buy troubled mortgages, how about a tweak to the senator's plan to make it more workable?
Instead of the government buying mortgages and losing money on each one, follow the lead of the banking bailout and have the government take an equity stake in the properties. Here's how it would work:
•The federal government would compel the modification of a troubled mortgage based on the current market value of the house and at a more reasonable interest rate.
•The Fed would then take a lien on the property equal to the old value minus the new value. This lien would follow the deed to any subsequent owner, thus removing the incentive to "flip" the house when the market improves.
•The lien would be satisfied either by the owner repaying the funds to the government, or, when the real estate market recovers and the house is sold, profits from the sale would go toward retiring the lien.
At the risk of being called a socialist, I believe this method of repairing the mortgage market has the lowest eventual cost to the taxpayer without rewarding either the banks or the unwise home buyer. It's not a free lunch, like the McCain plan, which bails out everybody but the taxpayer.
There will be some pain for all involved, but it will keep people in their houses and stop the tidal wave of foreclosures.
TOM INGLEDEW, DENNISON, MINN.
THE FRANKEN COMIC BOOK
Coleman should force
GOP to halt smears
For Norm Coleman to state that he has no "control" over what material the Republican Party sends out on his behalf is just plain rubbish. His hypocrisy is astounding.
He is working to climb the ladder in the GOP hierarchy, so he more than anyone has party connections, and could stop this outrageous comic book smear against Al Franken.
Coleman's sweet talk is insincere and phony.
CHERYL COULTER, BLOOMINGTON
THE COLEMAN ENDORSEMENT
He became bipartisan only when he had to
The Star Tribune's endorsement of Norm Coleman is very disappointing. Coleman had no interest whatsoever in bipartisanship until he was in danger of losing an election, and his failure to go after war profiteering in Iraq is indefensible.
LOIS STRAKA, EAGAN
THE PETTERS SCANDAL
His investors showed very poor judgment
How many of the executives who invested their organizations' funds with Tom Petters remain in their positions? Their failure to investigate before investing is certainly gross malfeasance.
DON STEELE, HOUSTON, TEXAS
second district race
Sarvi represents a break from Bush politics
I am appalled by your endorsement of one of the most right-wing ideologues in Congress -- Second District Rep. John Kline.
He has voted for the failed policies of the Bush administration more than 90 percent of the time, and is hoping to be able to continue those policies.
In Steve Sarvi, we have a well-qualified candidate who, unlike Kline, will remember the middle class.
SHEILA BELL, NEW PRAGUE, MINN.
sixth district race
We need Bachmann's voice in Washington
Rep. Michele Bachmann is one of the strongest conservative voices in the U.S. House. She stayed in Washington to fight for more oil exploration even after Nancy Pelosi turned off the lights. She has fought the micromanaging that dictated which light bulbs we can buy. She voted against the $700 billion bailout, which was loaded with Democratic pork.
We need her and her strong voice in Congress.
CHRIS SCHONNING, ANDOVER
After recent disclosures in the media by Rep. Michele Bachmann, the 2008 election in the Sixth District has been called a referendum on Bachmann.
However, the election is actually a referendum on the district that Bachmann was elected to represent. Her true priorities have become quite clear, and it is hard to believe the good people of the Sixth District share her divisive and extreme views. Bachmann does not appear to represent the interests of her constituents.
People of Minnesota and of the nation await the results of the election and Bachmann's fate.
CLARENCE BYE, WEST ST. PAUL