As a hostess, my job is to deal with the “hangry” customers who single me out to complain to. Recently a lady called in to place a takeout order. I asked to put her on hold, and she was outraged at the suggestion. I emphasized my sorrow for the inconvenience and explained my need to answer calls in the order they came in. It wouldn’t be 30 seconds. In her entitled fury she hung up, drove to my restaurant and screamed in my manager’s face for 10 minutes before leaving, casting one last scornful look at my nametag.
A while before this incident, a man came in and I handed him his pizza. It was absolutely perfect, but he complained that it wasn’t big enough and spoke to a manager. After receiving a full refund and a gift card for this “mistake,” he explained he was the partial owner of a restaurant near us and asked us to donate to his benefit for a man suffering from stage I breast cancer. He walked out of the restaurant with a free pizza, a gift card, $75, a T-shirt, a hat and an expensive bottle of wine.
My point is, ’tis the season to move inside as barbecue season ends and treat oneself to a dinner with delightful guest service. However, ’tis also the season to be respectful, patient and kind as the holidays come. If you wouldn’t treat your mother the way you treat restaurant staff, you shouldn’t be in that restaurant.
Katie Leibel, Little Canada
Why were suspects in shooting of 16-year-old back on streets?
Samantha Burnette, a 16-year-old high school student, allegedly was shot and killed in St Paul on Sunday by two ex-cons who had a long history of “gun violence” (“Teen shot in alley ‘woke up to die,’ ” Sept. 27 and “3 charged in teen’s shooting,” Sept. 28).
So why were these two criminals on the street? When I read their criminal records, I thought: These guys are serial offenders, have repeatedly used guns in the commission of crimes, they are dangerous, they should have been in prison for a much longer period of time. Mass incarceration is a social justice issue of enormous importance. We have imprisoned hundreds of thousands of blacks and browns in this country for nonviolent drug offenses. It’s racist and it’s wrong. What incarceration should be for is to imprison men like the two men who allegedly killed Burnette. The Legislature needs to enact legislation so that men (and women) who are true threats to the citizens of Minnesota are put away. People who use guns in the commission of a crime or felons who are found in possession of a gun should have mandatory, long prison sentences. There will be plenty of room in prison if we simultaneously release countless nonviolent offenders because of our racially biased criminal justice system.
Victor M. Sandler, Plymouth
DEBATE AND INCOME TAXES
Paying their fair share – well, just fact check these numbers
During this week’s two-against-one presidential debate, Hillary Clinton repeatedly said she would make wealthy Americans pay their fair share. She should have asked the fact checkers to check herself, rather than checking Donald Trump. Since the dishonest Democrats in the biased liberal media will not fact check the Democrat candidate, I will, and I will show you my source of data as proof: https://www.irs.gov/uac/soi-tax-stats-individual-income-tax-rates-and-tax-shares. (Please note this is a government web page and presumably trustworthy.) This page has a link to a document titled “Number of Returns, Shares of AGI and Total Income Tax, AGI Floor on Percentiles in Current and Constant Dollars, and Average Tax Rates.” This document tells us that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earns 19 percent of the adjusted gross income and pays 38 percent of the federal income tax. For those of you who are bad enough at math to be Democrats, let me point out that 38 is double 19. Why do Democrats think double is not enough for a fair share? What, then, do they think is a fair share: triple, quadruple or even more? The facts have been checked and Clinton is wrong. No less a source than IRS.gov has the proof.
Taylor Swanson, Eden Prairie
• • •
There are many things to criticize Donald Trump about, but the fact that he may not have paid federal income tax is not one of them. We have a tax system that allows deductions against income before the calculation of taxes occurs. Right or wrong, that system allows the extremely wealthy of our nation to often pay little or no federal income tax.
One letter writer (Readers Write, Sept. 28) went so far as to call Trump, “selfish, greedy, unpatriotic, sleazy, immoral, disgusting, freeloading,” etc., because he said he was “smart” when Hillary Clinton mentioned that he may not have paid federal income taxes. But I would ask, is Trump any different from you or me when it comes to taxes? Most people seek every possible deduction to reduce the amount of their taxable income, frequently using special tax software in our endeavor to lower tax payments. Do we refer to ourselves as selfish and greedy for doing this? No, we simply state that we are taking eligible deductions.
The bottom line is that, dislike Trump all you want, but the failure here is our current tax laws, not the people utilizing those laws to reduce their tax payments. Fix the tax laws and you fix the problem with Trump’s not paying federal taxes.
Mark Anderson, Ramsey
Opinion page coverage of debate was much too one-sided
Once again the Star Tribune liberal bias was on full display in your Sept. 28 edition. The combination of one-sided editorials, Op-Ed submissions and reader letters from the left have me wondering if there is any objectivity to be had in the mainstream media. For the record, Lester Holt reinvented Candy Crowley; Hillary Clinton postured as a high-school forensics champion, and the Star Tribune, as with so many Clinton supporters, remains reticent to address the personal and public history that makes Clinton unfit to lead this great nation. How unprepared the media is to cover this most critical election of our time.
Paul J Quin, Burnsville
Fake-account scheme shows need for limit on executive pay
The announcement by Wells Fargo that John Stumpf, the bank’s Minnesota-born chief executive officer, and Carrie Tolstedt, who oversaw the fraudulent account-opening scheme, will forgo their compensation worth about $41 million and $19 million in stock awards, respectively, was hardly graceful (“Wells Fargo claws back $41M from CEO,” Sept. 28).
What is disgraceful is that they should be paid that much at all, regardless of the scandal. The $60 million they are forfeiting (in addition to a reported $100-million-plus severance for Tolstedt) represents the annual salaries of approximately 1,500 of the lower-level personnel who carried out the artifice.
That dichotomy illustrated the need for legislation imposing reasonable and equitable limitations on executive pay. The late congressman from Minneapolis, Martin Sabo, advocated such a measure years ago, in the wake of the savings-and-loan scandal of the early late 1980s to early 1990s, but it got no traction in the lobby-influenced halls of Washington, D.C.
Nor is it likely to be reanimated there soon.
But that doesn’t prevent state governments from undertaking similar efforts to establish ceilings on excessive executive earnings. The Wells Fargo fiasco provides a clarion call for doing so here in Minnesota, perhaps spurring comparable actions elsewhere.
Marshall Tanick, Minneapolis