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Open Forum: Oberstar's vision is lost

Chip Cravaack was living a quiet life of a medically retired Northwest Airlines Pilot, grounded at 48 with sleep apnea. At age 51, a self-described stay-at-home dad, with two boys ages 8 and 6.

His congressional responsibilities will require him to be away from home most of the time.

He credits the politically powerful Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life , (MCCL) for turning against Oberstar. Fact: The MCCL has a history of electing those ill-prepared to lead.

I received a negative ad addressed to the Uppgaard Family that was paid for by Cravaack for Congress Campaign Committee. This ad is full of lies, and reflects on Chip's value system.

Jim Oberstar's vision for economic growth in the future has been lost, along with the new bills awaiting the new Congress. We will all be the worse for that.

Cravaack believes: the health care bill was the battle ground in his race - particularly the debate over abortion. The health care bill contains many facts that fail to get media coverage.

No longer can politicians boast that the U.S. has the finest health care in the world. The book by T.R. Reid The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care is loaded with information and facts that should be on the table as we focus on curing a health care system that continues to struggle to succeed. How they did it?That's what the book is all about.

The World Health Organization (WHO) rated France the best overall health system in the world. A study by the Bank of America concluded that if Americans would cut spending down to the French level, we would save about $600 billion annually. T.R. Reid's book is a must read.

Bob Uppgaard

Pequot Lakes

Don't believe everything

Built into most bills/programs passed by Congress are automatic increases.

These increases can be based on cost of living, population growth, or just an automatic percentage increase.

For example, let's take a program with a budget of $10 million in 2010 with a 10 percent increase built in.

That means that in 2011 that budget will be $11 million.

But Congress heard our message in the recent elections and decides to only increase spending by a half million.

That still means they're going to spend $500,000 more next year.

But the news release will read: Congress cuts spending on XYZ by $500,000.

They didn't cut anything - they're spending more!

There are hundreds, probably thousands, of these programs. And all we'll hear is about cuts.

But when the dust settles, spending will be up again.

It's time to put these bills/programs under the microscope and get some real cuts.

Art Becker


We'll take the ball away

With the influx of cash from corporations and special interests, with the blessing of the Supreme Court, the Republicans gained several new seats in Congress. Now it is time for payback and they are holding the country hostage until the self-appointed royalty in our country (corporations, CEOs, bankers, investment firms, college presidents, sports figures, coaches and celebrities, etc.) get to keep their tax breaks from expiring. How are these people going to create so many new jobs when they haven't during the last decade of their reduction in taxes? They say they don't want to fund anything without cuts in spending. So where are these cuts going to be, health care, infrastructure or services to the less fortunate?

Congress acts like a kid who says, It's my ball and you have to play by my rules."Guess what Congress, it's not your ball. We lent you the ball for the current term and you better learn to live by the same rules as us or we will take the ball away from you in the next election.

Julie Pawlak