Way long ago, in a land called Reality, a horrible condition existed called ‘Budget Surplus’. Actually, the surplus was a good thing until…the DFL decided that surpluses were evil. They believed that until they realized that surpluses could be spent. That’s when it dawned on the DFL that surpluses were good. Everything went well until they realized that they’d spent all of the surplus before they’d paid off all of their special interest friends.

Then as now, they had to find a way to pay off the rest of their special interest friends. How did the DFL accomplish that way long ago? Who knows but it wouldn’t surprise me if they took the same approach as today’s DFL is doing. Speaking of which, here’s some tasty tidbits on what today’s DFL is doing:

Amid a struggle to decide exactly who should foot the bill, Senate leaders on Thursday outlined hundreds of million of dollars in new school spending predicated on a higher income tax.

All schools would receive $100 more per student next year and $102 on top of that the year after, colleges would get more money in exchange for promises to hold tuition increases down and more parents would qualify for grants to help pay for early childhood programs. The three items would cost $444 million over the next two years.

Senate Democrats are discussing an income tax hike, maybe across the board and maybe just on the wealthy, to offset the new spending. The combined education/tax bill is headed for a Saturday vote.

While the “education/tax bill is headed for a Saturday vote”, the legislation is headed for the trash can the minute Gov. Pawlenty vetoes it. Let’s face facts: The DFL is utterly predictable. They still worship at Education Minnesota’s altar. That’s sad by itself but it gets worse. A Republican could probably live with that if the DFL only worshiped at Education Minnesota’s altar but that’s just one stop on their worship tour. After stopping at Education Minnesota’s altar, they still have to stop at MnDOT’s altar & at the health care altar.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said Pawlenty will need to compromise to get a state budget passed. “If his only strategy is to be telling us `No, no, no,’ that’s not a form of negotiations,” Clark said.

Sen. Clark complains that Gov. Pawlenty’s negotiating tactic is to just say “no, no, no” but she isn’t complaining that the DFL’s negotiating tactic is repeatedly saying “MORE, MORE, MORE.” The DFL had better learn how to say no more often to Education Minnesota & MnDOT. They’d better learn how to say yes to less. (Saying yes to less taxes & less spending would be a good start.)

“They want to increase spending in this state that is two and three times faster than people’s paychecks are going up, faster than the economy is growing,” Pawlenty said. “You have to have government finally live within its means and not just always run to the taxpayers for another whack at their wallets.”

When Gov. Pawlenty was first elected, he inherited a $4.5 billion deficit, which was the result of runaway spending increases. Bill Clinton’s definition of insanity in the 1992 debates was doing the same thing over & over again but expecting different results. Fast forward to today. The DFL wants to return to its free-spending ways. It’s just hoping another record deficit follows. Are there any sane people out there who think that the DFL can return to their spendaholic ways without returning to record deficits?

I don’t believe that. I’m betting that most taxpayers would side with me once they’re given that information.

Speaking of getting that information out, it’s time that the readers & writers of the right blogosphere realized that we need to write letters to the editor (LTE’s) to reach the people who don’t read our blogs. We’re perfectly equipped in terms of putting together the information in a coherent, understandable way. We’re far more informed on the issues than the average voter. We’re in position to influence voters both with our blogs & through the newspapers.

We shouldn’t take an either/or approach to getting this information out. We should take an ‘all of the above’ approach instead. Let’s make the most of it so we can retake the majority in 2008.

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