For people looking for, or badly in need of, a good laugh, John van Hecke’s op-ed is a fine place to start, starting with his opening paragraph:
Minnesotans voted for compromise and common sense. They rejected divisive conservative policies and focused on Minnesota’s future.
Actually, what people did last Tuesday was they bought into ABM’s smear campaign and outright lies. They also voted for higher taxes, more wasteful government spending (think more LGA), more power for public employee unions and less prosperity for Main Street small businesses.
Rest assured of this: fewer jobs will be created over the next 2 years under the DFL’s leadership than were created while there was a GOP majority. There’s another thing that’s certain: billions more will be spent on the state budget, possibly as much as an additional $5,000,000,000 this biennium. That will necessitate a major tax increase, possibly the biggest in Minnesota’s history.
Conservatives lost their policymaking seats because they supported an extreme right-wing agenda that shut down state government, dumped bigger property tax burdens on local communities, forced severe cuts to critical Minnesota services, threatened to strip many worker protections and divided the state over a discriminatory social issue.
Conservatives lost their seats because of the marriage amendment increased DFL turnout and because Alida Messinger, ABM and the DFL lied about who shut the government down in 2011. If Mr. van Hecke can’t be honest about that, then the rest of his op-ed is questionable, if not outright BS.
We still need to pair progressive revenue increases with cuts to close the budget gap and pay back the education shifts. Restoring fiscal fairness and reversing more than a decade of property tax increases will require an honest and open dialogue with Minnesotans and among legislators.
The DFL insists on a progressive tax system in op-eds like this. What’s insulting is that the last DFL legislature voted for the biggest regressive tax increase in Minnesota’s history. What’s insulting is that Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted for the biggest regressive tax increase in U.S. history when they voted for the ACA.
Tax fairness isn’t important to progressives. Raising taxes, whether they’re progressive or regressive, is what’s important with the DFL.
Notice, too, that nowhere in Mr. van Hecke’s op-ed does he talk about prosperity. As with Gov. Dayton and President Obama, van Hecke’s motivation, possibly inspiration, is fairness. Nowhere are prosperity and rising incomes mentioned.
Another thing that’s clearly troubling van Hecke is his view that conservatism equates with extremism, especially on social issues. That’s getting pretty far afield from this description:
John Van Hecke is Minnesota 2020′s Executive Director and MN2020 Fellow. He grew up on hog, cattle, corn and soybean farm south of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. He graduated from Macalester College, served as a Minnesota 4-H Foundation Fellow at the National 4-H Center, worked for the late Congressman Bruce F. Vento and presently serves on the Saint Paul Charter Commission. He and his family live in Saint Paul.
How is traditional marriage an extremist position? Fifty+ centuries of civilization defined marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. Only in the last 30 years has anyone sought to expand that definition. Case closed.
Next, van Hecke thinks spending the taxpayers’ money responsibly is an extremist position. When a big city mayor terminates firefighters, then mentions that they had enough money to retain the city’s bike path coordinator. In R.T. Rybak’s statements, though, evil Republicans are the fault, not his foolish spending decisions.
There are other ways in which DFL legislators and mayors spend money foolishly. Why didn’t van Hecke specifically state where the spending cuts would come from? I suspect it’s because he didn’t want to be on record as opposing one of his special interest allies.
Rest assured that extending light rail far and wide will be part of the DFL’s spending package. They’ll argue that it’s part of the solution to our transportation problems. It isn’t. It’s insane to think that’s the future of transportation in Minnesota when it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually between rail maintenance and ridership subsidies?
I wrote frequently about the waste in MNSCU. Will the DFL spend money on trimming their administrative budget? Of course they won’t. I’m betting that they’ll increase the Higher Ed budget by $350,000,000 this biennium. Minimum. They won’t question whether the money’s being spent on a Social Responsibility Masters Degree program with a 2011 pricetag of $1,218,000 in teachers salaries, or a certificate in Ecotourism from Central Lakes Community College or whether it’s being spent on hard sciences.
That’s because they don’t care how the money is spent.
That isn’t the definition of extremism. That’s the definition of irresponsibility. That’s the definition of a mindless progressive.
Tags: MN2020, John van Hecke, Higher Ed, Light Rail, Tax Increases, Subsidies, Bonding, Fairness, Progressive Taxation, Income Taxes, Regressive Taxation, Taxes, Spending Irresponsibility, Mark Dayton, R.T. Rybak, Unemployment, Deficits, DFL