Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Little Cut Here, And A Little Snip There

MN has a budget deficit of about 5.2 billion. 

Our state constitution requires the budget to be balanced at the beginning of the fiscal year. MN has a Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, who is in the image of the Bush administration on taxation. In other words, the state does not need to tax those in the upper percentile of earning. 

MN had a history of excellence in education, arts and services. We used to be considered one of the most livable states in the union, despite our climate. We used to be a recession proof state. And we were one of the higher taxed states.  Business liked to do business here; we had a highly educated population with a good work ethic. Now we are best known for the collapse of the 35W bridge.

The good people of the state saw fit to reelect the governor in 2006, so we have continued down the road of mediocrity. His Honor says new taxes are not on the table to help alleviate the deficit, but rather there must be more cuts in spending. Mind you, under Pawlenty budget deficits have been commonplace, so there has been an ever-recurring series of cuts over the years. Property taxes continue to rise as local municipalities struggle to maintain their budgets without help from the state. Our towns and cities don't have enough money to function and social services have been cut to the bone. But these are the things that will be parred with our governor's happy scissor.

Two years ago many of the states wealthy took a full-page ad in the Mpls. Star-Tribune, saying please tax us. But there are always the few, and in this state, under this governor, that group has the control. The other religious right: the fanatics of the "no-new-taxes" dogma. So, we sink further into disrepair and disinterest in the unfortunate and needy. We are told to do otherwise is class warfare..........you know that thing that isn't worth mentioning where the poor are concerned.

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