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IN THE MAIL: 'New' Web site mirrors many others

BISMARCK -- In a recent press release, North Dakota's current state treasurer claims that her office "created" a Web site, www.northdakota.tomorrowsmoney.org, to help North Dakotans learn to make ends meet and save money. This Web site contains a...

BISMARCK -- In a recent press release, North Dakota's current state treasurer claims that her office "created" a Web site,

www.northdakota.tomorrowsmoney.org , to help North Dakotans learn to make ends meet and save money.

This Web site contains a letter by the treasurer explaining her association with the Bond Market Foundation and links to more introductory letters signed by the treasurer.

Although the actual financial advice on the Web site may be sound, the identical information can be found at tomorrowsmoney.org, the official website of The Bond Market Foundation -- a private, non-profit organization set up ostensibly to promote financial literacy and promote bond sales. The foundation lists among its primary financial sponsors Bear Stearns, the failed Wall Street bond and financial services firm recently bailed out by the federal government. The same information can also be found on several state treasurer Web sites across the country.

I question whether the treasurer's office "created" a Web site that is apparently identical to so many others.

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Moreover, I don't believe it's the business of the treasurer or any state official to lecture North Dakotans on personal finances. If the treasurer wants to help us make ends meet, how about advocating for tax relief?

Most North Dakotans manage to make ends meet and save money in spite of low wages, high real estate taxes, soaring tuition and fees and so on. State officials who support a tax structure that drives us into the poorhouse should not offer advice on how to get out.

You can't be the arsonist and fireman.

The incumbent may not know that 14 cents of every dollar North Dakotans earn goes to fund state and local government. State officials can learn this and much more about the total price of state and local government in my report entitled The Price of Government in North Dakota at mitchvance.com.

My report provides a perfect example of information a state treasurer can provide the public and policy makers. Rather than spend the money and resources of the office "creating" Web sites for the Bond Market Foundation, the treasurer could take care of the people's business.

Vance is the Democratic-NPL Party's endorsed candidate for state treasurer.

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