Column: 2009 session ends with thudThe 2009 legislative session has ended, and our $6.4 billion budget deficit has not been eliminated, thanks to House and Senate Democrats’ failure to lead.
By: Steve Drazkowski ,Wabasha, The Republican Eagle
The 2009 legislative session has ended, and our $6.4 billion budget deficit has not been eliminated, thanks to House and Senate Democrats’ failure to lead. But that problem will be handled shortly by the leader willing to make tough choices: Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Democrats showed once again that they were not disciplined enough to live within their means. They increased spending by billions and wanted taxpayers to make up the difference. They had five months to reform government and make Minnesota a more job-friendly state.
Instead, they played political games with this budget deficit, trying to back Pawlenty into a corner and force him to accept tax increases.
Pawlenty was in no mood for games, and their plan backfired. In the end, the governor signed all of the Democrats’ budget bills and will use his line-item veto and will “unallot” in order to make the budget balance.
Democratic leaders’ insistence to raise taxes on the people of Minnesota was met with bipartisan opposition. This means the DFL tax increase bills were so bad that even Democrats joined with House Republicans in opposing them.
House Republicans had many ideas on how to solve our budget problems without raising taxes. This year we proposed $8 billion worth of reforms, efficiencies, and overall savings. Few of them received a committee hearing; most were ignored. Offering them as amendments on the House floor resulted in party-line opposition.
With an overwhelming majority, the Democrats chose not to reform government but to tax and spend, pushing an agenda that would have raised taxes on nearly everything including sales taxes, your income, cigarettes, and beer.
And despite the governor’s warnings that he would not sign tax-increase proposals, the Democrats approved these initiatives three separate times.
The Democrats failed leadership did not solve the deficit, will prolong the recession, and will not lead this state to economic recovery.
Now the governor must whittle the deficit away on his own.
This is not the ideal solution, but when the majority in the
House and Senate places its feet in cement and refuses to compromise on a budget solution, someone needed to step up to the plate and lead.
Pawlenty did just that.
Democratic leaders have egg all over their faces because they underestimated the resolve of Pawlenty, House Republicans, and millions of hard-working Minnesotans.
An attempt to override the governor’s veto failed because some Democrats joined House Republicans in upholding his decision to protect taxpayers during this time of economic crisis.
Irresponsible spending would have bankrupt Minnesota and killed jobs with massive tax increases and hurt Minnesota’s attempt at economic recovery.
From start to finish, their fingerprints were all over this financial mess; it stands to reason the Democrats would run away from it as fast as they could and continue blaming the governor for their ineffective leadership. Minnesotans can be thankful Governor Pawlenty has the courage to lead and acted on behalf of our working families and business owners.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Wabasha, can be reached at (651) 296-2273 or email@example.com.