DL News Staff
It seems our legislators and governor just don't get it. To shut down the government when all they have to do is the budget first, signed by the governor. Then they can go and dump the two to five thousand bills in what's left of the session. Don't tell me they need more figures, go with what you have. How simple is that? -- George W. Kohn, Audubon
The Republicans are yet again expanding a tax protection program for the rich. Republicans don't care for fair taxes even at the cost of destroying state government. I'd accept higher state taxes on my limited income. Why won't the Republicans and the rich do the same? State government is the catchall for all of those programs that no rich person or corporation will pay for. The Republicans and their camp followers lack any critical analysis on needed state tax revenue.
As a Minnesota voter I am outraged! In 2010 we sent an overwhelming majority of Republicans to the State Legislature with the mandate that they balance the state budget through spending cuts -- not through excessive spending offset by increased taxes. We opted for a climate to induce job growth and encourage entrepreneurship as the best way to strengthen the economy. The elected representatives have not let us down. They did what they said they would do -- they wrote a balanced budget and did not call for a tax increase. Now Governor Mark Dayton has overruled our representatives.
On the lane leading to our home, we discovered several small clusters and one huge cluster of Minnesota's state flower, the showy lady slipper. Our grandchildren and everyone who saw them commented on their beauty, quantity and size. Our grandchildren wanted to pick some. We told them no. We told them that 1) we wanted others to enjoy their beauty, and 2) that it is illegal to disturb them. Since 1925 this rare wildflower has been protected by state law (it is illegal to pick the flowers or to uproot or unearth the plants). Now all the flowers have been cut off.
On behalf of the Twin Cities Power Boat Association, I would like to thank all of the racers and their crews for putting on a world class event. At one point, we had seven Formula 150 boats traveling at 130 miles per hour across Big Detroit Lake. The crowd was spellbound and the racing was furious. We'd like to thank Washington Square Mall, J&K Marine, the Detroit Lake Tourism Bureau, Great Plains Claims, Fruitful Designs, and Precision Printing of Minnesota for their sponsorship of this event.
We're in training as my son Josh, his bride Mariah, and I are once again riding the Habitat 500 to help raise funds to provide affordable housing for another family in our lakes area through Habitat for Humanity! In the past three years, through this ride, together we (along with son, Dan) have raised just about $18,000 to help three local families purchase this affordable housing. Why do I do this? I do this partly because my children are pretty much grown up now and I've got the time. Partly because this is something my kids and I can do together.
I have heard through the grapevine that there are some people out there complaining about the cost of the buyout for Superintendent Deron Stender. I challenge those people to take a look at the actual cost to them for this, in my opinion, "forward step" in the Frazee-Vergas school district. According to what we are being told, the superintendent's buyout cost the district about $377,000. That is less than 38 percent of one year's operating referendum revenue. Look at your property taxes. It should have the voter-approved levy taxes separate from your other property taxes.
Everyone is asking, "Where are the jobs?" We all know where the majority of jobs have gone over the past years. The answer -- to other countries, where the labor is cheaper. The question should be, "How do we get these jobs back?" Just ask big corporations such as Ally Bank, formerly GMAC. With the Internet, all these employees that answer our phone calls can be employed anywhere. For instance, I needed to find out why my bill wasn't sent in a timely manner. I got a real person, and guess where -- at Cacao in the Philippines.
We hear the cry of the Republican legislators that "We must choose to live within our means." I believe a more urgent need is to make sure that all law-abiding citizens have the means to provide for their basic needs. The irony is that the Republicans concerned about living within our means are seeking to reduce the availability of means for the poor. The Republican budget proposals call for cuts in a host of programs helping the poor. For example, the Local Government Aid Program (LGA) will be cut.
Meet the IPAB, a constitutional outrage and de facto death panel. The 2012 election, and the existence of a free healthcare market in this country, could well depend on a little-known agency called the IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for the Independent Advisory Board, a vastly powerful but too often overlooked component of the president's health-care-reform law. IPAB has not yet come into existence, but when Obamacare goes into full effect, it will be an unelected and unaccountable bureaucratic entity with nearly limitless power over federal Medicare spending.