I’ve criticized the DFL for the absence of spending priorities. In this statement, Rep. Steve Gottwalt has questioned the DFL’s budget priorities:

The DFL is quick to criticize, but despite their overwhelming majorities in both houses, they have not provided one shred of leadership in solving our state budget deficit! Where is their plan? They have the benefit of the same information the Governor’s Office has, and have had more than ample time to consider the same challenges. So where is their solution, their ideas, their vision forward? There isn’t one, and Minnesotans will be subjected to weeks of bashing and wailing over the tough decisions contained in the governor’s budget proposal before we see any inkling of a DFL solution (i.e., “revenue enhancers”, better known as tax increases). Minnesotans did not elect us to ponder and criticize; they elected us to address the challenges facing our state, and they cannot take more tax burden. They are struggling to live within their means, and government should do no less! So far, it’s only Governor Pawlenty and the GOP providing leadership on how not only to address the current budget shortfall, but reform systems of government, and position our business climate to attract and grow jobs.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt
House District 15A

I’d be surprised if the DFL didn’t take the next month on the road criticizing Gov. Pawlenty’s budget. Remember that this is the bunch that didn’t pass budget targets in 2007 even though it’s mandated. If they’re truly the majority party, what’s the leadership’s solutions to today’s problems? We know that Assistant Senate DFL Leader Tarryl Clark thinks that “maybe we could figure out how to save about $500 million.”

Since the deficit is $4.8 billion and growing, possibly to $7 billion, it’s a safe bet that the rest will either come from Obama’s stimulus package or tax increases. That isn’t a plan. That’s patching things together and hoping people accept it.

Thus far, Gov. Pawlenty, along with the House and Senate GOP Caucuses, have been the people who’ve thought outside the box. They’ve been the innovators. By pinning their hopes on Pelosi’s spending bill and by voting against the GOP’s costcutting proposals that would have had politicmoral ground’ on the status quo. That’s if such a mythical place exists.

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