Big government shares the blame

I could find a lot to agree with in Sen. Amy Klobuchar's column about the financial bailout (Oct. 6 Star Tribune). There were failures on all levels.

I find it interesting that the senator did not mention the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in this crisis. The government stepping in to guarantee mortgages for people who could not even make a down payment certainly played a part in this.

I can understand why she would not bring it up, though, because that would highlight the role that big government played in this mess, which helps call into question the whole economic philosophy of the Democratic Party.

We conservatives certainly made mistakes. The biggest one was underestimating the amount of supervision that big government policies really need.

STEPHEN MANDERFELD

HOPKINS

Leaders deserve pay cut at all levels

Our government that we elected in my opinion has done a very good job of mismanaging our money.

The solution they keep seeking to their mistakes is for us to trust them with more of our money.

Quit talking about how much you care and show how you care about the people who elected you. Admit you're part of the problem and how our elected officials are going to be part of the solution by taking a 10 percent pay cut starting at the presidency and going down to city councils for the next five years with no increases and no free lunches.

Give me a presidential candidate who's willing to give back personally and hold our elected officials responsible for a job poorly done, and we just might get people running for office who are there to serve, not just for greed and power.

SHAWN WILSON

CHANHASSEN

Tough questions on taxes, money

I have a few questions that should have been used in the debates:

1. Close to 45 percent of all Americans pay almost no taxes. Do you agree with the notion that "It is easy to get Paul's vote when you are robbing Peter to pay Paul?"

2. Poor people create no jobs because they have no capital for job creation. Why do you demagogue the rich when they are the only ones employing the poor and middle class, other than government (paid for by Peter)? Is it merely wealth envy?

3. Will you acknowledge that American corporations pay no taxes, that all they do is pass on the taxes to their consumers in the form of increased prices? Isn't it a pathetic joke to state that you are going to "stick it" to evil corporations when you really end up taxing the people whom you say you are going to give a tax break?

For the record, I am a middle class guy, and I really hope to be wealthy some day.

JAY HUYCK

MAPLE GROVE

We are responsible so vote responsibly

The U.S. Congress as a whole is viewed with disdain. How about your own congressional and state and local representatives?

As another election approaches, are you feeling content about the negative campaigns, inclusion of legislative "earmarks" that cannot stand on their own merits, the lack of policy oversight and poor judgments that now saddle this country with a strained military and an economic crisis?

Are you content with the progress on issues of education, health, civil rights and Social Security?

We, the voting public, are ultimately responsible for our situation. Come Nov. 4, demand better of yourself and your country, and choose your representatives wisely.

RON DONDELINGER

MINNEAPOLIS

Amendment is not the solution

I am a lifelong Minnesotan with a great love for our waters, wildlands and the arts. I'm a consumer, user and supporter of these wonderful resources and think everyone else should be, too.

We have a representative democracy (as noted in an Op Ed piece on Oct. 5) and this system provides us with myriad ways to fund to the fullest extent possible the protection for these endangered treasures. Our representatives have not exhibited the will to do so in spite of an avalanche of evidence of the deterioration of these vital aspects of our quality of life in Minnesota.

So let's storm the Capitol, let's run green candidates for office, let's throw the rascals out who can't do the job we need them to do. But please, don't amend our state Constitution and weaken even more that representative voice we need so desperately in this chaotic, unstable time.

Please vote no on the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment.

A constitutional amendment will make us feel better for a while, but it will not ultimately solve the problem we have. The will of the people is not to fund these activities, and unless and until it is, we have to keep prodding, cajoling and exhorting them.

CHARLIE GREENMAN

MINNETONKA

Vacant homes need security, or we pay

I am a North Side resident of over 20 years and have a problem with how the system works regarding homeowners and their empty homes that they leave vacant.

Vacant homes are an easy mark for thieves who steal copper pipes, etc., that may result in a house explosion such as the one that just recently occurred on Golden Valley Road in North Minneapolis.

The homeowners are insured and are covered if the house is lost. The community is blessed that a child playing outside near that explosion was not killed or injured.

The insurance company pays the homeowner and the taxpaying public will pay the insurance company by paying higher premiums. I suggest that a law be passed to make the homeowner install a home security system on any vacant property they have, to ensure the police are involved when there is a break-in, thus eliminating the problem all together.

JIM FULLER

MINNEAPOLIS