Commentary: Insanity? Of course it is, but who cares?
The frustration in politics today may seem like black and white issues to most, but it really isn't by anyone's imagination. The truth is, most citizens are being duped by political party operatives who continue to avoid responsible fiscal decisi...
The frustration in politics today may seem like black and white issues to most, but it really isn't by anyone's imagination. The truth is, most citizens are being duped by political party operatives who continue to avoid responsible fiscal decisions simply because such logic would only upset their tight reign on the political process. Crazy? Of course, it is. It reflects insanity at it's worst.
Just looking at California should demonstrate how pointed our political imaging is getting to be. California is currently wrestling with a $38 billion state budget shortfall. A petition to initiate a recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis seems to be a reality, and so the games of "he said, she said" and "they will, they won't" will dominate the process from now until an election settles the issue, probably sometime this fall.
The Los Angeles Times reflected on the California issue by stating, "Republicans say they won't balance the budget by forcing businesses and consumers to pay more taxes. Democrats say they won't balance the budget by slashing aid to the aged, blind and disabled."
And so the choice is pretty well spelled out, it appears Republicans want to protect the rich and the Democrats are cheerleaders for the poor. The Times continued by stating, "The disturbing political potential here is that there are those who would wreak havoc with the state's budget to make a political point."
Here in Minnesota we are facing a $4.2 billion shortfall. In spite of legislative efforts this year that increased the state budget by $1 billion, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and a Republican House majority are taking a beating from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party for heartless efforts to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.
And so here in Minnesota the die is cast right now to develop a strategy for the 2004 elections. The questions really are: What is the truth? Who is to blame for our current fiscal challenge? Is there a solution? Unfortunately, who will control the Minnesota House following the 2004 elections is the dominating factor. Presently the DFL has the majority in the Senate, the House has a Republican majority with the executive leadership held by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty's and the Senate's terms expire in 2006.
No one will dispute that after Sept. 11, 2001, following the tragedy in New York City, Washington, D.C., and a farmland in Pennsylvania, our national and state economy took a nosedive. The truth is, our national economy had leveled off prior to 9/11 and was starting in a negative direction during the last half of 2000, prior to President Bush's inauguration. That's another story.
Here in Minnesota, the state budget has doubled in the past 10 years, reported Pawlenty. Hmm. With that significant increase, obviously our overhead increased accordingly, and now, with a budget shortfall, some major surgery seems to be in order.
One thing is obvious, solving our fiscal problems are more complicated than orchestrating political gain by the shameful criticism of opposing political views. Government today is out of control at all levels. We have much waste starting with the purchase of too many paper clips to job placements that actually serve little benefit at all, except for those who are getting the checks and other perks.
My point is that waste in government is easily hidden in budget formulas that are seldom challenged by political leaders and department executives who really don't want to rock the boat. It has been too easy in the past to simply go along with the flow, don't ask, don't tell when waste is the obvious recipient of our hard-earned tax dollars. This has to change, and Pawlenty and others are taking a serious look.
If Congress did the same, without all the political bickering, our economy would be a lot better off. No, it won't be easy, but if something isn't done, expect a continuing increase in state fees. Local municipalities will do the same, and county government will raise the market values on our homes, hiking real estate taxes considerably. Is that really the answer to this dilemma?