Don’t spend more money than state hasRemember those hypothetical quizzes you used to take in grade school to determine your level of intelligence in mathematics?
By: Steve Drazkowski, Wabasha, The Republican Eagle
Remember those hypothetical quizzes you used to take in grade school to determine your level of intelligence in mathematics? How would you answer the following questions?
Jenny’s TV no longer works and she has to buy a new one. Assuming Jenny doesn’t have a credit card and only has $300 in her purse, can she purchase A) the 24-inch television for $275 or B) the 52-inch model for $1,795?
Billy has a nickel burning a hole in his pocket. Will he be able to buy a $1 candy bar from the vending machine?
The answers to these questions are obvious. Common sense tells you that if you don’t have the money necessary to buy what you want, you can’t buy it.
Sadly, Minnesota’s state government refuses to follow this common-sense spending practice.
Not long ago, state economists told lawmakers that Minnesota will again face a $1.2 billion budget deficit this year. We faced a $6 billion shortfall last year, and nearly a $1 billion deficit the year before that.
The reason: State government continues to spend more on government programs than it has.
At some point, the out-of-control spending has to stop.
Two weeks ago, a group of lawmakers held a rally at the Capitol in support of legislation that would bring some much-needed balance to state government spending habits. This proposed “spending accountability” constitutional amendment would cap the state general fund budget at the level of revenue actually received during the previous budget period.
Voter approval of the plan would limit state government spending, ensure balanced budgets, and force lawmakers to prioritize limited resources.
Thousands of Minnesotans have voiced their approval of the plan, which isn’t surprising since most people understand that government should set its budget the way your family decides how to spend your income each month.
Not surprisingly, the liberals in the Legislature don’t care for it because they’d prefer to have government continue shelling out money to every niche constituency in the state - at your expense.
As one of my colleagues said at the rally, if the Legislature refuses to accept that government can’t spend more money than is available, then we have to appeal to a higher political power: Minnesota voters.
Most Minnesotans understand that if you make $40,000 this year, you don’t set a larger budget for next year based on the possibility that you will make more money.
Most Minnesotans understand that you can’t storm into your boss’s office during a recession and demand a 20 percent raise to meet your lofty spending visions.
Most Minnesotans understand that when you’re out of money, you stop spending.
Your DFL-led Legislature refuses to grasp this concept, as it will likely take a voter approved constitutional amendment before they begin practicing fiscal responsibility.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Wabasha, can be reached at (651) 296-2273 or rep.steve.