Posted at 3:10 PM on June 18, 2009
by Tom Scheck
As the Legislative Advisory Commission begins a hearing on Gov. Pawlenty's unallotment plan, I thought I'd put up a statement Pawlenty made when he used his unallotment authority in 2003. Here's what he said when asked why he cut ethanol subsidies $21 million:
"I can't stand here as the governor of Minnesota and justify reductions in programs for very needy people while at the same time providing cash subsidies to an industry for the most part is very profitable..."
Pawlenty didn't propose any cuts to ethanol subsidies this year. Here's a list of what he did cut.
But wouldn't you agree we are in a much different place than we were in 2003? Frankly, I'm thrilled about his cuts. It's about time. I'm sick of paying for others' mistakes, misfortunes and poor decision making. Accountability and fewer funds need to start somewhere. I'm not a heartless person and I'm saddened by the job losses and effects of these cuts on Minnesotans and Americans, however, if we don't start to really investigate and take inventory of the stock in trade (so to speak) across social, economic, federal, state and other programs, what will it take? The other difficult thing for me is... where was all of my social aid or safer school, better education growing up? I'm sorry, but big government and government run programs should have less. It will make them work harder to provide better solutions. Somewhat of a loaded comment, but I'd like someone to purport better solutions in their stories instead of just criticizing.
Are you a secret time traveler from 1994? Your talking points from that era are spot-on.
Here in 2009, we're all about pragmaticism. Obama's all big government all the time because we need to get out of recession. Because his economic guys are all moderate-conservatives, it'll be back to "what works" -- small government where possible -- in no time.
Besides the merits about whether Obamacism is really a good thing, I'll have you think of something. Really dwell on it for a moment. Why do those states that have smaller governments have lower quality of life? And, the same for Scandinavian countries and other western Europe countries? Is it because of their generous social welfare programs?
Sure, they might have fewer billionaires and a smaller gap between the rich and poor, but I think that's a small price to pay for enormous quality of life increases. You may think otherwise, and that's why there's places where you can go -- Mississippi and Alabama -- to continue trying to get your failed ideology working. Meanwhile, places like Minnesota and Massachusetts and New York will continue to dominate all measures of what constitutes a good place to live (education, health care, etc).