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Tribune editorial: Cheers to sled dog races; jeers to tax rebate

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Cheers to sled dog races in Frazee.

Some of the top racers in the world traveled to Becker County for the annual Third Crossing Sled Doug Rendezvous, held Friday and Saturday near Frazee.

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And this year, there was plenty of snow -- something that has plagued the event in years past.

The Frazee Sled Dog Club worked hard to put on the event, which essentially saw the race site transformed into a small city, with venders selling furs, food, hot drinks, souvenirs and other items of interest to racers and fans.

The event has been selected to be a Mushing USA Midwest Regional Championship race, with the winner qualifying for the 2009 International Federation of Sleddog Sports Championships for four- and eight-dog and open events.

A tip of the (fur) hat to all the volunteers, participants, spectators and businesses that donate towards the $10,000 in prize money. The event itself costs some $15,000 to put on and is a great winter draw for the area.

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Jeers to President Bush's "stimulus" proposal.

Worried about a possible recession, the president is talking about a large tax rebate plan that many believe is irresponsible.

While not being specific, the president has indicated that to be effective, the tax give-away would need to be at least 1 percent of the gross domestic product, or about $140 billion to $150 billion, according to the Bemidji Pioneer.

That's a huge number, one we wonder if the federal government can afford. Certainly there would be difficulty finding that in other programs, such as entitlements for the nation's most vulnerable or the elderly. And putting it on the national charge card only adds debt to future generations.

Using raw figures, a $150 million give-away to 300 million Americans would amount to $500 a person. A family of four could get $2,000 -- and that would be a worthy sum to spend and stimulate the economy.

But the president is also talking about tax cuts to businesses, so the per-family amount could be half that, perhaps a quarter that. We really wonder what a family would do with a couple hundred bucks that would actually turn a nation's economy around -- at a time when bridges are falling, roads are crumbling and there's an expensive war going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the Pioneer argues, a better stimulus might be in canceling the tax cut extension planned for the nation's wealthiest, the top 1 percent of Americans.

There is a need to rebalance the tax system, which now has middle Americans paying more on a percentage basis than the most wealthy.

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