The St. Cloud Times published House DFL Leader Paul Thissen’s op-ed this weekend. Suffice it to say that it would’ve been about 22 words if you omitted the DFL’s dishonest chanting points. Let’s debunk the most disgusting of Thissen’s dishonesties, starting with this:

Students at the St. Cloud State University recently learned they will receive a tuition hike next year. Raising tuition is essentially a tax increase because you’re taking money out of the pockets of students, many who simply can’t afford it. Now, thanks to these misplaced priorities, the cost of tuition, room and board for 2015-16 in St. Cloud will be almost $17,000.

This tuition hike wasn’t caused by the GOP legislature. It’s been caused by 5 years of mismanagement by President Potter. He insisted that enrollment was fine while it was dropping by 20+ % in a 5 year period. He insisted that we needed to build an upscale apartment complex even though there wasn’t a demand for it. That project has cost SCSU $7.7 million in 5 years. He paid EMG $417,000 to rebrand SCSU. Potter spent another $50,000 to find out that the professors think he plays office politics and that he doesn’t mean what he says.

SCSU’s scholastic reputation has taken a significant hit. SCSU’s financial standing has taken a significant hit, too, because FY2015’s deficit was more than $9,500,000. That’s before the news that there’s a good chance SCSU’s deficit for FY2016 will be in the millions of dollars, too.

Rep. Thissen wants to blame the GOP legislature for the SCSU tuition increase when President Potter is the one to blame. Rep. Thissen’s never let important things like facts get in the way of a dishonest diatribe, though.

Making college affordable should be a higher priority for our Legislature, as it was over the past two years. In 2013, Gov. Dayton and our DFL-led Legislature froze tuition for all Minnesota students for two years, despite a $627 million deficit.

It’s disgusting that Rep. Thissen thinks that the tuition problem is caused by the legislature not spending enough. Why hasn’t Rep. Thissen looked at the possibility that DFL legislators have let the MnSCU Central Office and university presidents spend like drunken sailors?

Chancellor Rosenstone paid McKinsey & Co. $2,000,000 for a couple months of work that college professors could’ve done. Why isn’t Rep. Thissen complaining about wasting money on Charting the Future? Is it because he doesn’t care about how much gets spent as long as he gets to play Santa Claus with the taxpayers’ money?

If Rep. Thissen’s attitude is that he isn’t interested in spending money wisely, then he’s part of the problem. He definitely isn’t part of the solution.

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7 Responses to “Thissen’s mini-rant”

  • Terry Stone says:

    Thissen is drinking too much of the liberal Kool Aid. A tuition increase is an increase of price on a product. A tax increase has no reasonable expectation of a good or service in return; just a vague hope of improved common good.

    The electricity increase on my home power bill for which Mr. Thissen voted would be a good example of a tax increase. I’m paying an increase for which I will get nothing in return.

  • Patrick says:

    Meanwhile, east of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, higher education enrollment has been increasing or at the very least stopped declining. Amazing that President Potter would say enrollments are down all over the region – we really need to ask him what region he is referring to.

  • walter hanson says:

    Silly question:

    Gary can you make a graph where the spending on the U of M is plotted on the graph with one line and the tution paid for the U of M is plotted on the graph with a second line. I the U of M tution has jumped far more than the increase of money spent. Assuming I’m right how will Thissen react to a reporter asking why did tution jump faster than the growth of spending for the U?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • walter hanson says:

    I wonder what Thissen will think of this billboard that has been put in Minneapolis by Better Ed. Obviously meant to try to show that Minneapolis schools are great.

    Minneapolis spends $525,000 per classroom of 25 on education.

    A couple of things if Minneapolis is spending so much money how come the schools are performing so badly.

    Based on the math that the Minneapolis school district gave me the city is spending something $21,000 plus per student per year. If all that money is being spent how come Minneapolis is performing so badly?

    I guess money doesn’t create results.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    Walter, the best place to look for that type of statistic would likely be through the Center for the American Experiment.

    If they don’t have such a graph, they’d likely tell you where to look.

  • eric z. says:

    Less a comment to this post than a suggestion. Three GOP legislators are declining to run again. One, Branden Paulsen, SD 35, is in the GOP-safe district in which I live. Likely so for the other two. It might be worth a post, if you can find whether there is a common thread in the decision making or whether each has separate reasons.

  • eric z. says:

    Sorry. Dumb mistake. Branden Petersen.

    I had Paulsen, CD3, in mind when I typed. Petersen has noted per reporting quotes that family and career were impacted by the time demand and stress of legislating, and he is taking time off, at least, and may reenter public service in time.

    It leaves SD 35 “up for grabs,” and I can envision a grabber possibility, but that’s real local politics.

    At least one GOP person has put a toe in to test the water.

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