Dane Smith, of the Growth and Justice liberal special interest group, has an op-ed in this morning’s St. Cloud Times that’s just perfect for fisking. Let’s have at it, starting here:

Minnesotans have been told frequently by Gov. Tim Pawlenty that it would be wrong and unusual, if not just plain crazy, to raise tax revenues in the midst of a recession, even on those high-income households that are most able to afford it.

I’ll agree with Mr. Smith that Gov. Pawlenty has said that raising taxes during the biggest recession of the last half century is “just pain crazy.” I’ll heatedly argue that Gov. Pawlenty has said that it’s unusual to raise taxes when states are confronted with a deficit. Anyone beyond the age of toddler knows that Democrats gleefully and frequently attempt raising taxes. In fact, the DFL will raise taxes, whether we’re experiencing times of prosperity or whether we in a deep recession.

What the DFL won’t do is think about reforming government or setting intelligent priorities that help state government live within its means.

This past winter, the DFL’s cherrypicked testimony tour visited St. Cloud. After listening to approximately an hour of people like Kirsty Smith exhort the legislators to “have the courage to raise taxes”, I turned to Luke Yurczyk, the chairman of the SD-14 Republicans, and asked whether he’d heard the DFL’s activist allies call for reform. He confirmed what I’d suspected, that the DFL activists hadn’t called for rethinking how we did things.

The fatal flaw in the DFL’s, and Dane Smith’s, thinking is that it doesn’t include setting priorities or rethinking the way government delivers services or whether it’s important that government should be delivering services.

Why shouldn’t Minnesota’s taxpayers demand that our legislators and governor determine first whether they’re spending money efficiently and whether they’re spending money on essential things before proposing raising taxes? Why shouldn’t Minnesota’s taxpayers demand that the legislature first examine whether there aren’t better ways of delivering essential services before raising taxes?

After all, don’t they work for us, not vice versa? Doesn’t the Declaration of Independence say early in its text that governments get their power by the consent of the governed? Here’s a little refresher course on that principle:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

According to the first of our Founding Documents, government is limited to those things that We The People give it permission to do. The U.S. model is the direct opposite of the European model.

As of now, of those 20 states with the worst budget problems, only Louisiana, Georgia and Minnesota have failed to raise revenues to meet their budget-balancing obligation. (Louisiana, in particular, is hardly a role model for good governance, and it also happens to be the home of Gov. Bobby Jindal, another anti-tax conservative who may be seeking the White House.)

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING REWRITE: As of now, of those 20 states with the worst budget problems, only Louisiana, Georgia and Minnesota have refused to raise taxes until their legislatures have enacted serious reforms that would protect their state’s taxpayers’ wallets. Louisiana isn’t hospitable to free-spending liberal Democrats because Gov. Bobby Jindal is intent on reforming how Louisiana provides services to its citizens.

Gov. Pawlenty tried pushing a series of reforms, all of which were either ignored or defeated by the DFL. That’s unforgivable at a time when Minnesota taxpayers’ wallets are stretched thin and can’t afford another tax increase.

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3 Responses to “Dane Smith Cranks Up The DFL’s PR Machine”

  • J. Ewing says:

    If I recall correctly, the budget battle two years ago proceeded with a big tax increase first, a smaller tax increase second, and THEN all the spending bills. The DFL concerns itself first with grabbing all the money it can, then doling it out as rapidly as possible. It’s the worst of the four possible ways to spend money and it’s not reasonable to expect anything different.

  • Fisking: “a point-by-point criticism that highlights perceived errors, or disputes the analysis in a statement, article, or essay.”

    You wandered a bit off track there.

    For those who actually care about what Growth & Justice actually thinks about setting priorities or rethinking the way government delivers services, they can try this:

    http://growthandjustice.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/01/accountability-is-essential-to-a-government-that-works.html

  • Walter Hanson says:

    I got an idea for any person who isn’t happy with the amount of state spending and tax rates. The state of California has higher taxes, much better weather, and higher government spending. If you don’t like Minnesota’s policies move to California.

    By the way doesn’t California have an unemployment rate of about 12% and a budget deficit of something like $15 billion?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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