GOP include social engineering and denial of rights in budget demands


From Minnesota Independent, the Republicans took seemingly every noxious bill in the past session, and included them in their demands in the budget negotiations.

Here’s the offer on Scribd if you want to see the whole thing. If you want examples of demands, the GOP is demanding Dayton sign off on abortion restrictions, criminalization of stem cell research, collective bargaining “reform” in education (abolition of teachers unions), photo ID (to stop the crime of voting while poor, disabled, elderly, or a student), the GOP redistricting plan, tort reform (restriction of the right to petition for redress of grievances to the court system)… you get the idea.

What do they offer in exchange? According to Tom Bakk on this morning’s Midmorning, they’ll agree to borrow enough money to cover part of the difference between them and the governor. $750 million makes up part of the distance, but nowhere nearly all, and that leaves until somewhere other than now figuring out how to pay it back, while borrowing costs increase the state’s total cost.

Meanwhile, in a sign that Republican fiscal disingenuousness is hardly limited to congressional Republicans driving the nation to default in the name of fiscal responsibility (and at least one powerful congressman’s personal investment in default) Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers actually had the nerve to say he wants to drive the state into debt because otherwise the state will be driven into debt:

“We will not saddle our children and grandchildren with mounds of debts, with promises for funding levels that will not be there in the future,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. “This is debt that they can’t afford. It’s debt that we can’t afford right now.”

“Our children and grandchildren” wouldn’t be facing such saddling if he would just raise taxes a bit on the people who benefit most from government services, but no, rich people must not have taxes raised even a tiny amount. Would this be an inappropriate time to mention that had Gov. Ventura and the GOP legislators with, sad to say, some shortsighted DFLers too, not cut taxes when the state’s coffers were flush purely because of the great economy, our fiscal problems would be about zero? All the wrangling over the last decade could have been avoided if us stupid honest-money stealing libtards had just been listened to when we said don’t cut taxes when times are great, because recessions happen and we’ll be in a fiscal hole.

But maybe listen to us now. Judging from the list of demands, Republicans are doing the usual thing of creating a disaster, and then using the disaster to force everyone else to go along with actions that would normally be intolerable. Classic Shock Doctrine. As conservatives learn to their dismay about just how much state government does for them, the force to cave in to their demands is going to lessen. They think this will be hard just on us. They will find it will be hard on everyone. Then reason might yet prevail, and we can find some compromise that balances the budget without criminalizing science and stripping rights from people Republicans don’t like.

On today’s Midday on MPR, House Speaker Kurt Zellers accused Minority Leader Paul Thissen of lying when he said earlier in the program that the Republicans submitted list of demands. Yes, that’s the same document that’s the subject of this post. Maybe Zellers doesn’t believe it exists. Maybe that claim came from the same part of his brain that thinks anyone will believe he’s trying to prevent the buildup of debt by taking on more debt instead of raising taxes a wee bit on millionaires. Zellers comes in 27 minutes into the podcast or archive. More interesting is if you keep listening after Zellers is gone, the host and other guests weer pretty amazed to hear a speaker throwing around accusations of lying so freely.

UPDATE: Speaker Kurt Zellers accuses Paul Thissen of lying on MPR