Three old questions and three sad statements:
Wouldn’t it make sense if punishment for spousal abuse would include removal of all firearms from the guilty one and make it illegal for him/her to own or buy a gun?
Wouldn’t it make sense to remove all assault rifles from homes in America and make it illegal to own one, unless you were in formal security forces — for example, the police?
Wouldn’t it make sense to stop all selling of assault rifles to anyone other than security people and make the penalty for doing so include losing the license to sell firearms in addition to jail time?
While the Second Amendment at the time it was written was meant to help make people feel more safe and secure, the majority of people don’t feel safe anymore because there are too many guns in too many hands.
Devin Kelley, a former Air Force member, was court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his spouse and child, received a bad-conduct discharge in 2014, and still continued to own assault weapons.
On Sunday, he killed 26 worshipers in a Baptist church in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, with an assault rifle.
Betty Hartnett, Wayzata
HOUSE GOP TAX PLAN
Impact on medical expenses, seniors must be emphasized
Why is no one talking about the elimination of the deduction for medical expenses in the proposed U.S. House Republican tax bill? You can choose to have a mortgage or make charitable contributions. Most medical expenses are not by choice. The proposed tax bill also appears to eliminate the deduction of health insurance premiums paid entirely with after-tax money. If this is true, then let’s be fair and not allow employees to make pretax contributions to their employer’s plan. Let’s also eliminate MSAs and health care savings/reimbursement accounts. Oh, and by the way, corporations should not be allowed to deduct the amounts they pay for employee health insurance. To me, the issue is fairness. I would argue for not changing the way medical expenses and insurance are taxed.
Nancy Heng, Brooklyn Park
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Many seniors will be severely harmed by the changes proposed in the new tax law. The elimination of medical deductions will create a major tax increase for this group. The new increased standard deduction will be less than many seniors pay for health insurance alone. Unlike those who get employer-paid insurance, seniors must pay the insurance premiums for Medicare, Medigap supplement, drug and often long-term-care policies. Medicare has deductibles, and it does not cover dental, eyewear, hearing aids and home health care expenses.
I recalculated the tax for a widow. She lives in a rental apartment, so she does not have real estate taxes nor mortgage interest, but she has substantial medical expenses. In 2016, she paid no federal income tax. Under the proposed law, she will pay about $8,000.
How is it that the geniuses in Washington have overlooked this issue? Does Congress want to shift the tax burden to seniors, or is this an unintended consequence?
Herbert S. Schechter, Minnetonka
The writer is a certified public accountant.
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If the GOP tax plan is implemented with the provision to eliminate the state tax deduction, the sucking sound you will hear will be more wealthy Minnesotans moving to Florida and other low-tax states to establish residency while still spending just under six months in Minnesota. This will be another hit on Minnesota revenue.
Ilja Gregor, Wayzata
Yellen was effective, but she’s not a man, so she’s out
Why hasn’t there been any public outcry, or even comment, about the replacement of Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair? (“Good pick for the Fed: Powell offers experience, stability,” Other Views, Nov. 4.) Historically, several Fed chairs have served across multiple presidential administrations as long as they are deemed to be doing an effective job. By most accounts, economists have felt Yellen has done a good job steering the economy, and the economy has demonstrated steady growth and recovery during her term. She is being replaced by someone, a man, who purportedly plans to continue the course that she has mapped out. This reeks of sexism and misogyny to me. Apparently, President Donald Trump prefers a man to be in charge.
Valerie Nebel, St. Paul
We need a safe and open discussion, so please allow it
It is alarming — and revealing — that St. Cloud hearings about the Enbridge Line 3 project, scheduled for Oct. 26, were canceled due to safety concerns. Our community needs to have a safe and open discussion about this issue. Instead, extreme anti-energy “keep it in the ground” activists are disrupting community meetings and preventing information from being shared. A recent hearing in Duluth was cut short when protesters disrupted the event with loud shouts of “shut it down.” My opinion is that if anti-energy activists had strong arguments, they wouldn’t need to be loud and disruptive. Minnesota’s energy policies should be developed based on our energy needs, scientific evidence and common sense. I’m ready to hear both sides, but those opposed to Line 3 aren’t really interested in a dialogue. They just want to shout. It is shameful that public meetings are threatened by safety concerns. This isn’t the Minnesota way.
Joe Scott, Chanhassen
Editorial’s open-enrollment focus oversimplifies Roseville situation
The Star Tribune Editorial Board overstated the impact of open enrollment on Roseville Area Schools (“Homework is due on school referendums,” Nov. 4), presenting only a piece of a more complicated picture. The net impact of open enrollment on the 2016-17 District 623 student population is less than 4 percent.
• Of 7,609 students, including pre-K and special ed, 1,520 are open-enrolled, which is 19.9 percent, close to the figure reported in the editorial.
• However, 975 resident students opt to attend schools outside the district.
• Two hundred sixty students at Harambee Elementary are also an exception. This school, which has no designated neighborhood, was assigned to the district for $1 under an agreement with the Legislature that it must remain a magnet school open to students from other districts.
• The net increase due to open enrollment is 285 students across 11 schools, or less than 4 percent of the total.
Additionally, increased enrollment of 15 percent through 2026 is based entirely on projected growth from district resident students. Open enrollment is closed in the Roseville district for grades 7 through 12 in 2016-17, and will remain so for 2017-18.
It has been 25 years since Roseville district schools have sought a bond referendum. Our school facilities are in desperate need of renovation and upgrades to continue to provide exceptional service to our students and our community.
Joe Zeigler, Roseville
The writer is co-chair of a group supporting the capital request before voters in the Roseville School District.