The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 19, 2013

Press 'shield law' is a bad idea


By Federal Reserve estimates, there is about $67 trillion of household wealth in the United States. According to the Congressional Research Service, 74 percent of this, or $50 trillion, is controlled by 10 percent of the population.

Some will say, “That’s my money; I paid into Social Security.” Here’s the counter to that: First, it is a gift to be fortunate enough to give back to your country.

Second, wealthy people have benefited greatly from the rise in general asset values over the decades. Third, entitlement spending on Social Security will increasingly crowd out public investments necessary to maintain a growing economy and stable society for future generations.

After Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine, Edward Murrow asked, “Who owns the vaccine?” The doctor answered, “Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” Even against the backdrop of hedge fund managers demanding that their income be taxed at capital gains rates or the carried-interest boondoggle, our leaders fail to ask for sacrifice among those who can most afford it.

— Jim Roumell, founder of Roumell Asset Management for Washington Post

Burying Tamerlan Tsarnaev

For almost a week, the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, remained at a funeral home in Massachusetts because no cemetery or community would accept it. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, D, was right when he said the search for a resting place had become a “circus” and a disservice to the victims of the April 15 bombing, which killed three people and left more than 260 wounded.

That’s why a handful of public officials and private citizens in Virginia deserve credit for ending the circus, both by providing a burial spot for Mr. Tsarnaev in a small Muslim cemetery north of Richmond and by tempering their public comments on an issue that could easily have become inflamed.

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