Unallotment marks DFL failure“Devastating.” “Irresponsible.” “Drastic.”
By: Steve Drazkowski, Wabasha, The Republican Eagle
“Devastating.” “Irresponsible.” “Drastic.”
The only thing more laughable than Sen. Steve Murphy’s latest rant about Governor Pawlenty’s unallotment plans — a move forced on the governor by Murphy and his DFL cohorts — is his comment that the Legislature passed a “responsible and balanced budget.”
Then why, after five months, did the Democrat-controlled Legislature wait until one minute remained in the 2009 session to approve a $1 billion tax increase bill — talk about devastating, irresponsible and drastic — to put their lousy budget into balance?
Basically, so they could tour the state to once again blame the governor for their failed leadership and attempt to convince you that their budget was “fiscally responsible.”
And what a budget plan it was: blocked efforts to bring cost-saving reforms to health care. No permanent job creation policies. Significant funding increases for welfare.
Instead of prioritizing the $31 billion Minnesota expected to collect over the next two years, the Democrats approved spending $34 billion.
And because of this, Pawlenty must trim the budget on his own. Doing so allows Minnesota to avoid a special session and save the taxpayers roughly $40,000 per day.
It’s painfully obvious that the Democrats had every intention of dragging our state through a costly, lengthy special session in hopes of forcing the governor to consent to tax increases. We can all be thankful the governor is showing leadership and will do the dirty work that legislative leadership refused to do.
But the governor’s action means we’ll all have to endure months and months of grandiosity from disappointed DFLers — much like the last time a lawmaker told us it was a matter of time before another bridge fell down.
Instead of giving us their spin, maybe they could answer a few common-sense questions.
We continue to hear how the Legislature cut more government spending than the governor proposed. That’s wonderful, but why then is the governor now forced to cut $3 billion to balance the budget Democrats approved? And why did Democrats need to raise taxes if their spending reduction efforts were so great?
The numbers, and the political rhetoric, simply do not add up.
We continue to hear about “devastating” budget reductions that will occur through unallotment. If these cuts concerned Democrats so much, then why didn’t they work harder to compromise and prevent this process from happening?
Pawlenty announced his unallotment thoughts four days prior to the end of session. How did the Democrats respond? By making only one official counter-offer in that time span.
Actions speak louder than words. If Democrats were truly concerned about our hospitals, our elderly, and our poor, then why didn’t they do more? Why didn’t they say, “Our citizens are more important than our tax-and-spend principles, let’s end this political game”?
It never happened. The goal of Democrats this session was to make the governor take the fall for our economic problems, despite the fact that the DFL-controlled Legislature put us in this mess through their state spending policies over the past three years.
Democrats can spin this however they want, but the facts are clear. If they truly wanted to prevent these cuts, they could have spent day and night negotiating with the governor over the final weekend of session to ensure that every hospital would receive needed funding and that every resident would maintain their health insurance.
Make no mistake, folks, your Democrat-led Legislature let you down.
They thought it was more important to give Pawlenty a black eye than to fight for your interests.
As unallotment begins, ask yourself, “Did the Democrat-led Legislature truly do all it could to stop this from happening?” Clearly, the answer is no.
It’s easy to blame Pawlenty because he’s making the cuts. Let’s not forget which party put its feet in cement and forced him to go there.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Wabasha, can be reached at (651) 296-2273 or email@example.com.