Based on the evidence provided in “Are the 2017 tax cuts working as intended?” (Nov. 25), it’s difficult to determine the impact of the tax cuts conclusively one way or the other. I’m inclined to say that the cuts did achieve the desired effect to a degree; however, the question of whether or not the cuts achieved the desired effect is the wrong question. Corporations having more cash on hand will inevitably lead to some sort of stimulating activity, but even if the tax cuts are having the desired effect, are we sure that’s a reason to celebrate?

Even at the time, independent economic analyses argued that growth from the cuts would be concentrated among the wealthy while dramatically increasing the deficit. The cuts would have to be a complete, utter failure to not “achieve the desired outcome.”

The plan of giving corporations back their tax money is not a bold one. The real question is whether or not the intended outcome of the cuts is really desirable at all.

Max Minsker, Minneapolis


Mr. President, you’re not helping

I am an ardent Zionist and believe wholeheartedly that the land won in the defensive war of 1967 is Israel’s to govern as it pleases for as long as it is willing to vigorously defend it. This demands no one’s stamp of approval.

That said, I cringed when the Trump administration made declarations about the legality of the settlements (“U.S. reverses four decades of foreign policy on West Bank,” Nov. 19). The problem here is that President Donald Trump’s kindnesses toward Israel are their own form of delegitimization.

The praise and support of a man whose actions are cruel, unconstitutional (not that anyone cares, really) and capricious is really not a feather in anyone’s cap.

This was a ploy to get Democrats to make anti-Semitic noises even as other people shoot up Jews while quoting his rhetoric.

In other words, Trump has figured out how to incite Jew hatred on both the left and right, and we need to remember this.

Rich Furman, St. Paul


My priority is my kids, not my guns

I love my guns, but I love my kids more. I held my first gun at 4 years old while my father prepared me for an afternoon of grouse hunting. Since then, I’ve comfortably held hundreds of guns thousands of times and have been fortunate to have hunted throughout the world. I am a 20-year member of the Safari Club.

But I am not comfortable with spineless politicians and those hunters or gun owners who believe our Second Amendment rights extend far beyond the intent of our founding fathers. Our kids are being massacred across the U.S., and this is being carried out mainly by the use of semi-automatic rifles by people who should not own a gun.

These are the facts. Then why won’t our elected politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, have the backbone to do the right thing? The answer is simple: They are funded by and therefore beholden to the National Rifle Association.

The NRA has to be stopped. Republican or Democrat, we cannot continue to support candidates who take donations from the NRA. These are bribes. The people who are elected to do what is in the best interest of their constituents are hostages and puppets to their money and influence. Enough.

It is very simple. We need a reasonable plan that includes background checks and the elimination of semi-automatic rifles and addresses mental health issues. This is common sense and does not take away any of my Second Amendment rights. I don’t want anyone to take away my guns, ever. I have dozens of friends who are hunters who think the same but can confirm, almost to a person, that they would support this plan. How many more kids have to die?

Real hunters love their kids more than their guns.

Mark Lacek, Minneapolis


Totals seem small, but they add up

In a recent article “How bird pairs keep the magic alive” (Nov. 20), the reporter cites data indicating 800 million birds die from hitting windows — an issue currently being addressed by the downtown Minneapolis stadium authorities — and a similar number being killed by house cats. Most people are not aware that Minnesota’s Animal Humane Society (AHS) is releasing cats considered unadoptable in all weathers to fend for themselves in various communities. This is their “return to field” program. The AHS annual reports document 3,175 cats were “returned to field” from June 2014 to June 2018. We have rescued two of these cats that came onto our property and they are now enjoying life indoors as affectionate animal companions.

Animal shelters across the U.S. have similar trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs that are good in theory only: The theory being that over time the cat population will decline. But in reality, with people allowing their un-neutered cats to roam free or escaping from their homes and getting lost and an elusive population of feral, breeding cats that are extremely difficult to trap, most community-condoned cat TNR programs, no matter how well intended, are a total failure.

Municipalities would do a better service for cats’ well-being, for wildlife protection and for public health by educating and legislating responsible cat care, including microchipping for identification and keeping cats indoors; how to make life indoors a safe and enriching experience for cats; establishing closed colonies of neutered cats for group housing by local animal shelters and cat lovers united. The “no kill” animal shelter movement should not mean that cats considered to be unadoptable are neutered and released into our communities. We would not do this to dogs and such cats should not be victim of the misguided sentiment of the advocates of TNR programs.

Michael W. Fox, Golden Valley

The writer is a veterinarian.

• • •

With regard to Dennis Anderson’s column “Fowl deaths at stadium require no sleuthing” (Nov. 17), yes, “only” 111 birds per year died at U.S. Bank Stadium. But add the totals for the other top buildings in Minneapolis, and it’s a total of some 500 deaths for just four buildings. Add the birds killed by buildings in other cities, and those deaths become many thousands per year.

A recent report states we have lost over 30% of our birds since 1970. Building collisions kill nearly a billion birds a year in the United States. Cats are a similar threat. All of these threats add up to the drastic decline in populations documented in these recent studies. And remember, bird-window collisions are preventable!

Many of these healthy birds are removed prematurely from the reproduction cycle. The collision deaths are not overrepresented by the old and injured. Vital genes are being removed from the pool! The argument that these birds would have died anyway is a hollow argument and has been refuted by several experts.

While U.S. Bank Stadium is being singled out (because the builders knew beforehand that it would be a bird killer), rest assured the other buildings will get their time in the limelight.

Retrofitting U.S. Bank Stadium would be an example of what can be done. Over time, thousands of birds would be saved here. The positive example of a U.S. Bank Stadium retrofit would spur other communities to fix their bird killers and stop building more of them.

Jerry Bahls, Fridley


We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here.