Minnesota has a serious budget deficit. We also have a disturbing leadership problem.
The Republican Congressional leadership has not simply rejected the Governor’s budget, they have hijacked the conversation, the process, and the definition of the role of the legislator. Throughout his eight year tenure as governor, Tim Pawlenty used the same tactics to subvert any authentic dialogue with his unwavering commitment to the ‘no new taxes’ pledge.
That single line has kept the state of Minnesota spinning its wheels for the last eight years. Rather than honestly wrestling with the business of the state including tax reform and long term economic plans that will sustain the state’s future, all dialogue was reduced to the narrow parameters set by the ‘no new taxes’ ideology.
Every community in Minnesota is paying the cost of obstructing the vital business of the state. Local property taxes increased by $2.6 billion increase and the state has a $5 billion budget deficit. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Long term plans? The Republican leadership answers this question the same way it responds to every other question.”No new taxes.”.
No legitimate business would adopt this approach. They could not survive, let alone thrive while refusing to engage in honest dialogue and ignore facts. And Minnesota is no different.
For eight years the state has been held hostage by elected leaders who are more committed to a pledge than to their resonsibility to honestly engage in the work of the people.
Minnesota cannot afford another day of this economically disastrous leadership.