Budgeteer Letters to the Editor - Dec. 20, 2009

Nice to read Palmer, but... It was good to read Dick Palmer's column again in the Dec. 13 issue of the Budgeteer News. I did not realize how liberal congressional pensions and other benefits are. However, I am surprised that the conservative GOP ...

Nice to read Palmer, but...

It was good to read Dick Palmer's column again in the Dec. 13 issue of the Budgeteer News.

I did not realize how liberal congressional pensions and other benefits are. However, I am surprised that the conservative GOP congressional majority from 1995 to 2006 -- and even with GOP President George W. Bush holding office between 2001 and 2009 -- did not change or reduce those benefits.

When I became a candidate for Minnesota state representative in 1972, the salary was $4,800 per year, plus a per diem for expenses while at the Capitol.

I disagree with Palmer that elected officials should get nominal fees or pay, because when I went to St. Paul in 1973, most of the legislators were attorneys, businessmen and farmers.


Now, even if the salary has not increased with inflation, the legislature is more representative of our state's population.

I am also happy that the number of females in the legislature has increased substantially since from the 1971-1972 biennium, when only one lady served.

Now that I am retired, I am satisfied with my legislative pension, even if my federal Social Security -- which I paid into on my other jobs -- was reduced substantially. I did not get any other benefits from Minnesota: I had to pay health care insurance, which was around $1,500 per month for my wife and I.

As far as the proposed spending for the health care reform, it is unnecessary since we are already spending 50 percent of the world's health care expenditure.

If President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats had courage and independence, they would reduce the 30 percent administrative costs of our bureaucratic private, public and semi-public system by creating one simple system for everyone -- like Medicare, which costs only 3 percent to administer. They would also regulate the "medical industrial complex," which would also reduce costs, cover everyone and make it affordable.

The reason we have illegal immigrants and drugs is because there is a demand for both. I believe Congress should have adopted the Bush/Fox guest worker policy, which would allow Mexicans to come to work, mostly for farming and hospitality industries and pay taxes. If they were not needed, Homeland Security would know where they are and would have to go back home. Such programs worked well between eastern and western Europe prior to the European Union.

Mike Jaros

Both Beck and Doty entitled to their opinions


A sense that I need to stand up and be counted compels me to join those readers who oppose Ralph Doty's comments about Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

I have no argument with Doty telling us that he dislikes the commentator's use of the word "prostitute" in describing the politician's vote on a key issue. I draw a line in the sand with Doty when he says that Beck has to go because of his verbal indiscretion.

Give Doty credit. He has been consistent in his opposition to conservative talk shows (radio and TV). Having been raised in the Twin Ports, he has been marinated in the culture of his community.

Duluth citizens who are non-conservative still appreciate that speaking one's mind on critical current issues is a fundamental right. Most of us respect that basic idea.

What Doty needs to realize is that many of us conservatives living in this area turn to Fox News to keep on top of national and world news. We appreciate the Glenn Becks of the world.

This is the one place where we can get politically accurate news rather than the politically correct news broadcasts over at other networks.

Our liberal friends have their own Glenn Becks. We conservatives have no agenda to get rid of any of them. We hold that a mix of opinions is healthy for our country. Consequently, we speak up whenever anyone threatens to get rid of those voices with whom they disagree.

Ray H. Pearson


It takes two to tango

The news media has a Tiger by the tail and I wonder what good they're doing anyone. For two weeks, national television has saturated the public with damaging claims that this phenomenal world-class golfer has been cheating on his wife. One by one, these bimbos are coming out of the woodwork and blowing the whistle on Tiger Woods.

As a result of the incredible amount of airtime devoted to the issue of Tiger's possible extra-marital affairs, it's affecting millions in the golf industry and poisoned the dreams of thousands of young girls and boys wanting to chase that little white ball and yell "I am Tiger Woods" -- not to mention the hundreds of golf fans around the world lining up to buy tickets for the PGA tour and worldwide golf events.

Do you think that Tiger caused this monetary disaster all by himself? Others of notoriety in the past have survived by either reconciliation or just faded away into the sunrise. In the case of Tiger, one could also blame the jealousy and greed of others.

For the love of the game, may the world's best golfer take a mulligan and come back a wiser man. And may this pointless media frenzy be recorded for what it is: an embarrassment for any serious journalist.

Bob Watts
Three Lakes

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