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Funding roads and bridges pays off

April 8, 2013

To the editor: As our Minnesota winter turns into spring, we can be sure that construction season is around the corner....

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(40)

GopherState

Apr-13-13 6:46 PM

Costco is more of a success story than Walmart, in my view. Costco's employees are much better compensated, the company is doing great, and the CEO makes a much more reasonable salary. That is a man that deserves respect.

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GopherState

Apr-13-13 6:43 PM

Since when was success measured by how much money you can keep for yourselves while keeping as many people in poverty as possible?

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Integrity

Apr-13-13 11:16 AM

I wasn't referring to the people getting the recycled phones either. I'm referring to the I-phones, smart phones with data packages that people have while on assistance.

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Integrity

Apr-13-13 11:05 AM

Corporations and business owners are skeptical. Also, the stock market isn't doing "great", it's steadily growing. The more government regulation, mandates, taxes, etc. that are proposed/passed make corporations more and more hesitant to expand. Again, these aren't the bad guys. The rich folks are just like the group of people on benefits-there are some that are taking advantage of the system. For every bad story or crooked millionaire, there are hundreds that aren't told about rich people giving back to their towns, employees, etc. Just like the poor folks on benefits, there are people truly needing the benefits and then there are people taking advantage of the system. I just don't understand why a successful business person is being stereotyped by the media and certain parties as a horrible, greedy, lying, cheating person. Look up Angie's Kettle Corn story sometime, see how terrible those rich people are....

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JReader

Apr-13-13 10:33 AM

mnsotn:

To clarify - I'm talking dollars not percentages. Why should our government be concerned about percentages anyway ? As long as they are getting their "revenues" from the wealthy and give other people a free pass why should it matter if some people are "still getting richer" ?

When did being successful become a crime ?

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JReader

Apr-13-13 10:28 AM

mnsotn:

My statement wasn't screwed it was based on a study released by the Tax Policy Center. They don't allow linking in these threads so you'll just have to find it yourself.

I just didn't make it up.

I got to go - time for me to write my big check to the beloved IRS - your welcome freeloaders !!!

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mnsotn

Apr-13-13 9:37 AM

Show me how the rich are paying a higher tax rate. Your statistic is scewed jreader because the rich are so much richer now. They are in fact paying a smaller percentage of their income today. Couple that with all the loopholes and such and they pay even less.

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GopherState

Apr-13-13 3:03 AM

I find it funny how many of you keep pointing to the government providing phones. That program,known as the Lifeline benefit program was started by the FCC in 1984. Remind me, who was president then?

This program was later expanded to cell phones in 2008. Remind me, who was president then?

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GopherState

Apr-13-13 2:57 AM

Of course there are more people receiving assistance then ever before. Half the jobs out there pay minimum wage. We have people with college degrees working at McDonalds. Corporate profits are higher than they have ever been. The stock market is doing great. Where are the jobs? Corporations are eating up the high unemployment because they can squeeze more out of their workers because their workers are afraid that they will be let go. Workers are giving up more vacation days then ever before because they are afraid that their employer will find that they didn't need them after all. The top brass is loving the high unemployment. Hungry people will work for peanuts.

Who is asking for a handout? I think most of us are just asking to be able to continue to afford to live a modest lifestyle. We can afford it today, but look around, it is a race to the bottom. Companies are being swallowed up left and right and just about every time, it involves job cuts, wage concessions, benefit cuts, et

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Integrity

Apr-12-13 9:35 AM

I like how people call it a "livable wage". Needing assistance, poverty, etc. Many of these people in poverty have cell phones, cars, TV's (with cable), computers, etc. These are not necessities. A land-line telephone for work to contact you costs $20/month. There are computers for use MANY places for free-for job searching. TV-I hope that doesn't need to be covered. These people receive health care assistance, food assistance, gas assistance, etc and yet they have these privileges. If you want these things - go get them, work for them, go to school for them, etc. This is one spot where the system is broken.

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JReader

Apr-11-13 1:31 PM

EaglesFan:

The rich today are paying more in taxes than they have in over 30 years. The problem isn't the rich.

There are also more people receiving assistance (1 in 6) than we've ever had in our history.

Since Lyndon Johnson pledged to end poverty we've spent over 15 trillion dollars trying to stop it. Yet today we have more poor than ever.

The problem isn't with the rich or the poor. It's with our own government. They seem totally bent on giving a hand out rather than a hand up. All they seem to do is hand out checks (or EBT cards today) rather than assist people to get themselves out of poverty.

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deerhunt

Apr-11-13 8:42 AM

Everyone complains about the rich,they only pay 15% on their capital gains . Anyone in the 10-15% federal tax bracket pays 0% tax on their capital gains .People need to quit looking over their fence at their neighbor and whining about what he makes when they are sitting on a golden egg that they never redeem. The "rich" are just smarter because they take advantage of these oppurtunities instead of complaining about the neighbor. They are also not afraid to take risk to get ahead.You have the same oppurtunities to advance yourself if you take advantage of them.

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deerhunt

Apr-11-13 8:33 AM

Eagle - How many people are in true poverty? If you refer to the people on govrnment assistance - they are entitled to food stamps , housing assistance , energy assistance,health care free cellphone ,daycare ,schooling , the list goes on and on. This is one of the only countries in the world where you have the oppurtunity to choose what you want if you apply yourself.There are those that are not as well off(handicapped ,etc) that do not have an equal chance , but they are taken care of. What equality do you seek , we should all get paid the same? I'm for that , but than do equal amount of work. Working 40 hours a week isn't going to get you a platinum lifestyle or big retirement. Investing in yourself(additional schooling ,finacially taking a risk ) that is when you get ahead of the curve.

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GopherState

Apr-11-13 8:01 AM

Why should I start my own business when my boss isn't the problem? It is our competitors that are driving our industry to the bottom, and don't worry: I have turned them in many times as I see fit. Unfortunately, getting the State and Feds to have any teeth can sometimes be another story.

On another note: contracts are a minimum. My boss pays me more than $3.00 over contract. If an employee isn't worth the wages in his contract, we terminate him/her.

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EaglesFan

Apr-11-13 1:24 AM

You people will never be happy until 90% of the population is living in poverty. Are you completely oblivious to the growing income gap in this country over the last 30 years?

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JReader

Apr-10-13 10:11 AM

GopherState:

Anyone who breaks the law should face the consequences. That includes a boss who hires illegal workers or a union boss who takes illegal kickbacks.

If you know of roofers that did what you described how many of them did you turn in ? If you knew about it and did nothing you are just as guilty as they are.

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Integrity

Apr-10-13 8:48 AM

Oh, these horrible owners also have to pay all the government mandated (different per industry) insurance coverages, licenses. I'm sure those policies are cheap, most insurance is. Also, then, in the name of customer service (except accountants and lawyers) they many times donate their time to doing consultations, estimating that they will never get paid for (after hours or weekends too). Yeah, they really have it made!!

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Integrity

Apr-10-13 8:45 AM

Those horrible, greedy bosses/owners you speak of only keep $.65 of every dollar they make. They get to keep the $.65 to pay for expensive employee benefits (mandated by the govt) like unemployment, workman's comp, soon to be health care, half of employee's social security/medicare, etc. Plus, most of these horrible business owners also pay (with the remaining $.65/dollar) vacation/sick time and other benefits. After all of that, the money they have left is vulnerable unless they can get deductions. Gopher-you've never taken questionable tax deductions?? Or pushed a deduction a little farther?? That's the American way-who wants to pay more taxes, business owner or employee?!? NOT ME. Now you have a little idea of how horrible these owners are.

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deerhunt

Apr-10-13 7:39 AM

Gopher - why don't you become a business owner if there is so much money to be made? How do you know these workers were illegal? How do you know how much they were paid? Your making alot of assumptions , in reality they are going to be naturlalized shortly and it won't matter anyway. If there was so much money to be made you should have been out there doing it even as a part time job. The fact was there was not an abundance of workers out there willing to do the job in the timeframe that the customers wanted. That would be an oppurtunity for anyone wishing to make a dollar.The days of easy money are disappearing for everybody , the country is broke. We are all going to have to work harder and give up some things-if you think business is where all the money is at , by all means start your own .

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GopherState

Apr-09-13 8:09 PM

For the record, I have no problem with hardworking Hispanic roofers. The issue I take is when their employers use them for cheap labor, fail to provide good training, fail to verify employment eligibility, pay cash tax-free under the table. What happens if they don't have a green card and are injured on the job?

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GopherState

Apr-09-13 8:05 PM

Deer hunt, who took care of those workers' families when they went to the hospital? You, me, and every other taxpayer. Meanwhile, their boss gave a huge discount to every homeowner since his labor costs were low, right??? They told the insurance company that they only needed part of the check, right??? Of course not. Many of those roofs didn't need to be reshingled. Even the lumberyards said that, not that they minded the boost in sales. Those that did need new roofs could have spread that work among reputable contractors for up to two years.

So, back to that boss: what did he do with the money if the workers didn't get it, and the homeowner and insurance company didn't get it? He bought a new truck, wrote it off as a tax deduction and drives it around for personal use. Meanwhile, the taxpayer supports his workers' families.

The same applies to prevailing wage jobs. Companies that cheat the system still charge out the same rate, and the taxpayer picks up the public assistance.

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deerhunt

Apr-09-13 9:10 AM

Gopher , was there an abundance of the "regular " workforce lined up to do the shingling? As I recall it was hard to find people to do the work. As far as the hispanic workforce , from what I saw they worked sunup to sundown in any weather condition. I can't verify the quality of their work , but I didn't hear any complaints.My hats off to these people , willing to do a job alot of people would not want to do. Funny with the high unemployment at the time that there would be any work for these migrant workers to do.

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Integrity

Apr-09-13 8:48 AM

Gopher: one quick comment about the storm shingling. The only way these storm chasers or locals with Hispanic subsidized crews made ANY money is because people CHOSE to hire them. No govt mandate assigned these crews to houses. I think that's a bad example to use in this case.

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Integrity

Apr-09-13 8:30 AM

Generally speaking, if you reward someone for something that isn't necessarily earned by merit, or some other measurable increase of production (worked more hours, more dependable, loyal, learned new skills, improved current production/skills, etc), an employer runs the risk, over time, of ending up with expected rewards for the same level of production, or less. My point-you can't just increase their reward because you can. This will breed dependence, entitlement. Who here thinks many city workers are over-paid, under worked? They already have the stereotype. Contracts dictate raises, no goals of production for raises/benefits, job stability without proof of production(basically tenure).

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JReader

Apr-09-13 8:29 AM

What level of skill does someone who carries a green card typically have ?

It sounds to me you think someone who is white should automatically get paid more just because of the color of their skin. We've been down that road before and there is no need to go back there again.

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