It was an incredible relief to be able to read the newspaper and not see the former president's face nor read about his latest antics.

This past Sunday's double-page spread with articles about and pictures of Mike Lindell brought back that desolate feeling all over again ("Conspiracy gets the hard sell," March 14). Banned from Twitter, he is now finding a place in the newspaper to reach his "readers."

Great. Just great.

Gail Van der Linden, Minneapolis
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I was disappointed regarding the amount of ink given to "Mr. MyPillow." The article was two-plus pages of what could be considered free advertising to a potential candidate for governor of Minnesota, and a waste of ink.

The entire article provided information that everyone should already know about Mr. Lindell. His continued claims about the election fraud are old news. His obvious goal is to bring attention to himself. Cardboard cutouts of himself all over his pillow factory? He embraces the same personal traits and beliefs of his idol Donald Trump, including his lies.

Does the Star Tribune intend to give two-plus pages to everyone who may run for governor? I am sure the lengthy article made Lindell's day.

Just another Trump wannabe getting the attention he craves.

Allen Peterson, Eagan
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To Mike Lindell:

Sir, you do have the right to voice your opinion and support it with facts. But I, as a person of faith in Jesus Christ, ask that you do not drag Christianity into your conspiracy theories.

Kathy Hovey, Minnetonka
• • •

Labeling election fraud claims as baseless was dishonest. Why even print the article if you've already decided on the outcome? Pathetic!

Steve Stojevich, Duluth

Star Tribune opinion editor's note: We received about a hundred letters about the Lindell story this week from writers who were encouraged to send them following Steve Bannon's interview of Lindell on Bannon's "War Room Pandemic" podcast. Many alleged inaccuracies but didn't cite specifics. Few provided full contact information. We don't generally publish such letters, but for the sake of the record, we offer the following excerpt, which was representative:

"I would like to express how disappointed I am to read an article which seems to suffer no opportunity to shed a negative light on one of America's patriotic heroes. Mike has poured his whole life out to ensure free and fair elections. Mike is a wonderful man of God who sets the standard for how one should run an American company. In other parts of his life, he gives back to his community. Why would you do this? If you can attempt to make this man look bad, who do you put up as a model citizen?"


Good debt, bad debt? That is the pertinent question.

On the March 14 Opinion Exchange page, D.J. Tice made a valid point that the political party out of power always rediscovers the horror of deficit spending when the party in power is ringing it up ("Washington's debt-defying show goes on"). And then the mock horror is reversed with the next swing of the political pendulum. Republicans are more horrified when it's their turn in the barrel because they want to believe they are the party of fiscal responsibility, which perhaps they were until the turn of the 21st century.

Rather than using most of the article trying to explain where this Armageddon may lead, which most of us have already been told many times, Tice should have spent more time on the value of that deficit spending by both parties. Both the Biden administration's COVID relief bill and the Trump administration's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 saddled out country with about $2 trillion of additional debt.

Here is the important point: One will lift roughly 30-50% of adults and children out of poverty. The other lifted the top 5% of our populace out of "very wealthy" to "filthy rich wealthy." As former President Donald Trump was heard to say to his rich friends at his country club after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, "I just made you a boatload of money," or something to that effect. Which of these bills provides more value to our country? I'll let members of the public make up their own minds.

Richard Holman, Loretto
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Most conversations about our federal deficit focus on the liabilities and ignore the assets owned by the federal government. Of course, the U.S. has a tremendous store of physical assets. But there is one asset that does not show up on the balance sheet and is probably the most valuable: the taxing authority of the federal government.

Imagine for a minute the federal government decided to auction off this taxing authority to the highest bidder. How much would you bid? Well, let us start with the current federal tax receipts of about $3.5 trillion, which have been growing a few percent per year for a very long time. And for how long can we expect to receive this tax revenue? America has been around for over 240 years. Eventually this great American experiment will end, but I think a reasonable estimate is that it will last at least another 240 years before that happens. So how much would you bid today for the future rights to a growing $3.5 trillion income stream, expected to last 240 years?

One hundred trillion? $200 trillion? $300 trillion?

Whatever the actual value today, it is a large number. The problem is that we do not and will never know with certainty what that number is. And if we go past that number we can never know, we are broke. So how do we play a game where we do not know the limit, and if we pass the limit, we go broke? Very carefully.

As I see it, both sides of the debate have a part of the truth. Does the federal government have excess borrowing capacity? Almost certainly yes. Should we be careful about how close we come to testing the limit of the capacity? Most definitely.

Spencer J. Kubo, Minneapolis

The writer is an investment adviser.


True that

Please let Connie Nelson know how much I enjoyed her March 14 article "Of cats and comfort" and the story of Lucy FrankLynn. We adopted a shelter cat last November and named her Sansa. Along with the four chickens we added to a backyard coop last April, Sansa has been a delight to our pandemic life. What else would two people in their late 60s do when their grown children all live on the West Coast and it is a pandemic?

My husband has been making fun of me for months about my always searching for the cat. He makes endless fun of me. I now feel vindicated! I couldn't agree more on what a cat brings to a life. Sansa brings me comfort, makes me smile and calms me down. Thank you so much for this lovely, beautifully written article. Oops, have to go — Sansa is yowling for her dinner.

Deb Varner, Minneapolis