Sunday, December 7, 2008

And Speaking of Makeup

MN Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher (in far, far too dark of lipstick and not enough blush) spoke with other DFL leaders last week about the state of our projected $5.3 billion budget deficit. They sound like defiant children in this press conference- taking NO responsbility for their actions. (I saw the entire conference on TV, couldn't find the video). Here are highlights from what both the Democrats and Republicans said:

My favorite line from Kelliher is the opening line of the press conference.
She dramatically states:

"This crisis didn't start here, but the solutions will begin here in the legislature."

I'm sorry- how did a state budget deficit not originate in St. Paul? State spending has been out of control. The size of our biennial budget has increased by 50% in the last ten years. The Democrats proposed a 19% increase in overall spending in the last biennial budget. They got a 10% increase (Pawlenty proposed a 9% increase). Health and Human Services spending in this state is ridiculous. Cut it. Cut welfare. Quit making is so attractive for people to move here who can't afford our above-average cost of living. Cut the maximum amount of time that people can collect welfare in this state from 60 months to 12 months. Give parents tax credits to pull their kids out of the public schools to eliminate some of the burden on the schools to be "all things to all people". Cut funding to the "U" until they can come up with a plan that gets tuition under $7,500 a year. Force the "U" and "MNSCU" to eliminate duplication of services and enforce "Cost Containment" on higher Ed. Cut taxes on corporations if you want to create jobs. I mean- my goodness- we border states that have NO corporate taxes. We are one of the most overtaxed states in the nation. And- news flash: It's really, really cold here.

Let the nation know- we have a highly educated workforce here with a work ethic that is second-to-none and we want your business here. Let small business owners know that you will make all efforts to cut regulations and over-taxation so that there is less fear and risk in starting a new company.

Pass legislation so that Minnesota is a "Right to Work" state in order to drive down our high cost of labor in this state.

Re-think everything. As Pawlenty said last week: "This is a great opportunity". (Don't get me started on the fact that he should have been saying this last year at this time.)

Democrats talked last week about wanting to put more government money into research projects and "green jobs" (this was in the full length of the press conference) to spur job growth.

"This is a time when people need to run towards the Capitol and bring their best ideas of how to make these investments"

What investments? There's no money. Hello!

There will be no room for the faint of heart in this upcoming session. This is a debate about the future of our state. Will we continue to be one of the welfare capitols of the country (a la California) and go broke? Or will be work to be the very best Minnesota with less limitations and more opportunities so that we can afford to take care of the poorest among us?


Goose said...

As someone told me before, "this is nuckin' futs!"

Spending simply needs to be reigned in. It's not that difficult to do, it really isn't. And no ridiculous talk about "creating" jobs for the green revolution/etc. will do anything to affect that. Don't give your bright ideas to the government where they will be killed and changed and made worthless.

Companies create jobs and have the ability to grow the economy. The government can create government jobs that are funded and paid for by the taxpayers. These should be for essential services only. They are needed and I am not ragging on civil servant workers. BUT, the government is not creative and does not move industry or technological advancement. Stay the hell out of the way. Provide incentives for companies to invest and grow in Minnesota with reduced taxes (personal and corporate) and things will happen.

I read recently that Obama is planning the mother of all public works programs for roads, bridges, sewers, schools, etc. He says it will create jobs. I'm curious to see how that works since the only way the government can create jobs is to raise taxes or fund it with debt offerings to China.

Jim said...

Beautifully said, Sheila!

They should be thinking about entire programs to cut, not just 10% reductions (which are a good start, but won't "cut it").

And for some conjecture...

However, I have a creeping suspicion that on or around Jan. 20th there will be state bailouts as part of BO's "New Raw Deal" trillion dollar stimulus handout, so when we reassess our MN state budget in Feb., they can just think of ways to spend spend spend (or at least make only minimal "cuts" in growth instead of the true cuts in spending that are needed). Let the welfare state grow beyond its means (following the federal model) and then get a bailout. Sounds like a plan. Banks and automakers (wait a couple days for that news) get it, so states will, too.

Everything you mentioned is a solution, but the reality will be far from that ideal, I fear. They don't intend to solve anything, they just want to patch symptoms and kick the can down the road. Our economy is no longer based on sound fundamentals, but rather "confidence" in the house of cards, so I expect some psychological warfare from the new BO White House saying how things are turning around and how his plans will work. Hopefully the media will do a better job questioning those press releases than they did with "we will, without a doubt, find WMDs in Iraq," but I doubt it. FDR's New Deal didn't work and was a failed mind game. Obama will try the same thing, and I'm sure the media will play along. Old ideas masked as "change" to get the great unwashed to elect him.