To the editor, As I write, the Republican tax bill is about to pass and both Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer—both of whom are obedient to their big donors and legislative leaders—are about to vote for it. I have a few questions for them. The bill is being sold as a middle class tax cut which will save middle class people $2,000 each. I don't believe it. If I (we) don't see a $2,000 saving in my (our) personal income tax, will you take the money out of your pocket to make your word good?
To the editor, A tax plan making its way through Congress is being sold as a "middle class" tax cut. But many economists believe that a deeper look at the numbers supports the claim that most of the benefits will flow not to the middle class, but to the wealthiest among us. For example: ■ Four out of five dollars of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent of the population, thus increasing the gap between those with unimaginable wealth and power and the rest of us.
To the editor, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread omitted a few important facts in his comments to the Herald editorial board about health insurance (Oct. 7, "Graham-Cassidy still achievable"). Here are some of the things he forgot to mention: *Graham-Cassidy is wildly unpopular throughout the country, by at least a 2-1 margin. *It's estimated that 47,000 North Dakotans would lose health care under the Republican plan. *North Dakota would lose hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two decades.
By Eliot Glassheim Graham-Cassidy, the latest Republican effort to sneak through a health care bill with no input from Democrats, the public or health experts would be a disaster.
The events at Charlottesville are challenging us to take another look at traditional concepts of freedom of speech. As we think about what happened, many questions arise, such as: -Can cities set conditions for free speech rallies, such as where and when they can take place, and whether weapons can be carried?
In my column two weeks ago, I made the case that our nation was in trouble because Congress was not working properly. Though the Constitution is a magnificent achievement produced by the great political leaders of 1787, I argued that there were omissions which are partly responsible for the current dysfunction of Congress. In thinking about what was not working, I concluded that the causes were excessive partisanship and excessive concentration of money and power in a few hands.
Several weeks ago I was on Mike McNamara's radio show (mactalklive.com, 1-3 p.m. on the internet). We got to chatting about how things don't seem to be working very well in America. We speculated that money was distorting politics, that party loyalty was trumping loyalty to country. The result was that gridlock—the refusal to compromise—has held America back for the past decade while other countries have forged ahead.
The Republican health care bill being considered by the Senate is so devastating to millions of people that some Republican senators are reluctant to vote for it. Having heard from the North Dakota medical community how destructive the bill would be to Medicaid recipients and rural hospitals, even John Hoeven, who usually goes along with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is a provisional No vote. McConnell has threatened that if he can't get 50 Republican votes he may have to let Republicans work with Democrats
It may be time to reevaluate what we mean by "a healthy business climate." Some 35 years ago, economist Arthur Laffer developed the theory that cutting taxes would put more money in the hands of wealthy people who would then invest it and create jobs. The theory was that expanded economic activity would bring in more revenue than the original amount of the tax cut. The theory became known as supply side, or trickle down, economics.
Several weeks ago, the Grand Forks Herald printed remarks on higher education that Gov. Doug Burgum made to the editorial board. The essence of what he had to say was that (a) "knowledge transfer" could take place on-line on any device and (b) that most college students would be better off taking a four-week coding class and going to work for $70,000 rather than getting a four-year degree with liberal arts classes.