"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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The devil is in the details


Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Just when you were getting comfortable with the notion that it was the other guy that was getting screwed, ol George Bush put out his 2006 budget. And now you know its not just the poor that will be getting hammered, but people closer to home like the elderly, school kids, farmers and veterans.

Bushs $2.57 trillion budget increases spending for the military and homeland security, pays for debt service on the US deficit, and provides for basic governmental programs.

This figure doesnt include the $80 billion the president says he needs to fight his so called war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor does it include the money he wants to spend dismantling Social Security.

In Bushs budget, 150 programs would be cut, including farm supports, Medicaid - the federal health program for the poor, aid to cities, and several education programs. Included in the cuts are programs for extra policemen, training and equipment for firefighters, food stamps, early childhood education, medical benefits for veterans, and energy assistance. Some critics call Bushs budget class warfare from the top down.

Locally, farm subsidies, through commodity loan deficiency payments, constitute a sizable percentage of farm income. Between 1995 and 2003, farmers in Fillmore County received more than $120 million in commodity payments. And Fillmore County, with 1300 people, many of whom are elderly, has a high incidence of Medicaid, making it one of the more impoverished counties in Minnesota.

Saying that he needs a tight budget to trim the deficit, Bush forgets that it was his policies - ill thought out tax cuts to the wealthy and a senseless venture into Iraq - that drained the federal surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton in the first place. Speaking of which, Mr. Bush wants to make those tax breaks permanent (the ten year cost is $1.29 trillion).

Even Republican Congressman Gil Gutknecht, known as a fiscal conservative, has cast a skeptical eye on the Presidents budget.

If the President is serious about fiscal restraint, hes got to incorporate the cost of the war in Iraq and insist that Congress not spend a penny more than the budget authorizes. Gutknecht said in a prepared statement.

There is no doubt that Congress will have a final say in how the 2006 budget is crafted. But if you believe tha .....
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A bad idea whose time has come, again

Fri, Feb 4th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Its that silly season - a time before the legislature has to agree on a budget and the real partisan fighting begins - when legislators can tease their constituents with the notion that they are going to sponsor a pork barrel bill in their name. [Read the Rest]

A View from the Potting Shed

Fri, Jan 28th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

OK men, now that I have your attention here is a reminder that Valentines Day will soon be here...Buy Fresh Flowers for Your Sweetheart!

Now is not too early to think about Valentines Day flowers. A tip to the wise if you i ..... 
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Paying the price

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Commentary

George Bushs second term as President upholds the notion that people get the kind of government they deserve. A fractious America, divided on everything from morals to pre-emptive war, did the best it could with the archaic two-party election appara ..... 
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Heartland pollution the worst known to mankind

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Editors note: Loni Kemp of Canton served on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agencys Citizens Board from 1990 to 1994. This is the comment letter she sent to the Citizens Board regarding the proposed Heartland Energy & Recycling tire-burning plant ..... 
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Renewable fuels and livestock production go hand in hand

Fri, Jan 21st, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The legislative session has begun, and much attention has been focused on Governor Pawlentys Livestock Advisory Task Force. While Governor Pawlenty has not yet formally reviewed the recommendations of the task force, I expect the final report to be ..... 
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An EIS is necessary for Heartland

Fri, Jan 14th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

On Tuesday, January 11, the Winona County Board became the latest in a growing list of area governments calling on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to require an Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Heartland tire-burning plant. Word ..... 
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Lets think ahead on energy

Fri, Jan 14th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Did you know that every year $12.6 billion (yes, billion) leaves Minnesota to import coal, petroleum, natural gas and uranium in order to support our energy needs? This purchase costs each Minnesotan almost $2,500 every year. This message was deliver ..... 
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The Quality of Mercy

Fri, Jan 7th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The size and scale of the tsunami disaster in South Asia is without doubt the largest natural catastrophe of our time. The loss of life is overwhelming. To complicate matters, the damage is spread over several countries making relief efforts difficul ..... 
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