The Opinion Exchange page on Tuesday offered thoughts on dealing with the misbehavior of the president by censure, impeachment and the 2020 election. When Owl asked Winnie the Pooh whether he wanted honey or sugar in his tea, Pooh Bear replied, “both, please” which I think is good advice here.
I think nothing should take place until after the Mueller report is in, but assuming that shows criminal activity such as obstruction or colluding with Russia, or if a House committee investigation concludes similarly, then it’s time to do all three. At that point it will have become imperative to limit Donald Trump’s power by any means possible. Censure is a good starting point.
Impeachment would also become mandatory as a matter of form. How could members of Congress explain not taking action under such circumstances?
In point of fact, the House most likely would file articles of impeachment, and the Senate would acquit, thus House members would have done their constitutional duty, and senators would be left to attempt to justify their actions.
Finally, assuming things unfold as described above, there’s always 2020.
David M. Perlman, New Hope
All those suffering from Trump derangement syndrome will criticize the president, but just imagine if you were the leader of a nation facing what he calls a growing crisis — “a crisis of the heart, and a crisis of the soul.” (“President makes plea for border wall money,” Jan. 9.) In the face of such a dire emergency, wouldn’t your gut instinct be to shut down your own government?
Jason McGrath, Minneapolis
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The wall has become a Trump brand but has no place along the U.S. border, except in strategically designated areas, which has been part of current border security policy. America has survived this long without a wall along the Southern border. It is 2019; countries do not protect their borders by walling themselves off from their neighbors. A wall is expensive, ugly and isolationist. Yes, we need improved border security, but not a wall. “Build the wall” is only a Trump brand, along with “MAGA,” but has no substance. Trump will continue to try and sell it, but a majority of Americans are not buying it, and should not.
I would like to see agreement to fund and reopen government agencies that are being stalled during debate over the wall and put those people back to work. Then Congress needs to get to work on addressing the problem of managing migration at the border, within the borders, and improving border security with comprehensive immigration reform. Fund the judicial system better to process asylum-seekers living in detention camps. The president and State Department need to address with diplomacy how the U.S., along with our North and Central American partners, can help stabilize the countries the migrants are fleeing.
Jennifer Nash, Minnetonka
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Stating the grossly obvious, voters take note. Remember the danger that the recklessness of Trump places upon our security.
No, it is not the children seeking asylum at the “wall.” It is Trump forcing Jim Mattis out within a week, giving the defense secretary no time to train his replacement. It is Trump pulling out of Syria, thus ceding the ground for the jihadists to regroup. These are actual threats to America.
Remember this and stay involved; remember this at voting time in 2020. Remember this when you listen to the news. Read and listen to what else is going on, not just the sensationalist Trump Show headlines.
Kerry Anderson, Plymouth
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Perhaps the Jan. 8 letter writer who stated that Congress and the president should not take their salaries during the shutdown would feel better if she were told that President Trump has not taken his salary since he was sworn in. Probably not, though.
Richard Trickel, Crosslake, Minn.
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER TAX
That complaint was rich
A physician, in a Jan. 9 letter, expressed his pleasure at allowing the so-called health care “provider tax” to expire in 2019, calling the tax wrong, unethical and discriminatory. He then went on to ask why teachers, legislators and business owners are not asked to pay something similar for their professions. But schools do not charge students for their services (at least the public schools do not). Further, teachers, on average, earn far less than physicians. Legislators — at the state level, anyway — do not earn a full-time living for their many hours of service, most needing another income stream to survive. Now, businesses — have you heard of a sales tax? Goods and most services sold and/or delivered in Minnesota are taxed at a rate nearly four times as much as the 2 percent “provider tax,” with that money used for all kinds of civic needs.
The perception by the public is that doctors, clinics and hospitals are paid a great deal of money for their services and care. Consumer medical costs are through the roof, with even decent insurance requiring a large out-of-pocket expense each year. For the state to recoup some of these dollars via a tax that is then applied to those with no or inadequate insurance seems more than reasonable when compared with other taxes we take for granted.
I agree with the doctor that adequate health insurance should be available to all, and that as a state and a society we need to find a better way to make that a reality. But taxing what is widely perceived as a very-well-compensated industry (doctors, facilities, insurance and pharma) seems highly responsible and not the least bit unethical. Arguing that such a tax is such seems a bit disingenuous to most of us.
Richard Rivett, Chaska
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I completely agree with the Jan. 9 letter writer about the provider tax. But he made one error. The medical profession is not the only group to have been burdened. The dental profession is also obligated to pay the 2 percent tax.
Dr. Stephen V. Elston, Golden Valley
The writer is a dentist.
Carbon fee and dividend can happen
I love James Lenfestey’s idea (“Plausible magic bullets for the environment in 2019?” Opinion Exchange, Jan. 8) of placing a tariff on all goods produced abroad without pollution protections similar to our own. The pollution created by the products we buy should not be offshored to less-regulated countries.
I do not agree, however, that the rest of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon-fee-and-dividend plan will not even be talked about in Congress. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which proposes just such a plan, was introduced in both the House and the Senate with bipartisan sponsors in 2018, and will be reintroduced this year. We need to let our representatives know that we want action on climate change. I am optimistic that both parties will come to recognize the benefits of carbon fee and dividend once the voting public learns about and supports it.
Cathy Ruther, St. Paul