Two weeks ago, Sen. Pogemiller and Speaker Kelliher convened a Leadership Summit involving past governors, House Speakers and finance commissioners to talk about the budgetary difficulties that Minnesota is facing. That’s the wrong approach. Getting people together to discuss whether budget deficits should be eliminated by cutting spending by three percent or by raising taxes by five percent or a combination of spending cuts and tax increases is missing it. BADLY!!!

The right approach would’ve been to call a series of meetings, starting with business leaders. The right approach would’ve meant talking with these leaders to get their opinions on regulatory reform, tax reform and health care reform. Another hearing should’ve been held with mayors, city councils and county commissioners to hear what specific unfunded mandates needed to be eliminated.

The reason these meetings would’ve been important to Minnesota’s future success is because business leaders know what things should be given high priority in creating a business-friendly climate, which would lead to sustained economic growth and sustained prosperity.

Another meeting with county commissioners should be convened to talk about how Green Acres reform is a necessity if we want farmers to succeed. It’s that simple.

The DFL’s summit is the backwards approach because it doesn’t address anything other than government’s needs. It doesn’t address how we move forward in rebuilding Minnesota’s economy. More than anything else, we’re facing an economic problem. That and the fact that past legislatures haven’t consistently set the right priorities.

Alot of the budget’s structural problems are solved by simply reorienting the economy to be growth oriented rather than make-the-rich-pay-their-fair-share oriented. Frankly, I don’t care whether “the rich” are “paying their fair share” as long as they’re investing their money and creating and sustaining jobs.

The biggest difference between the DFL and the GOP is this: the DFL is worried about making sure government gets what it ‘needs’ whereas the GOP is worried that Minnesota’s families get what they need. What the DFL fails to comprehend is that the needs of the government are frequently at odds with the needs of the people.

There’s another thing that’s apparent from their approaches. The GOP is frequently interested in what’s important for the future whereas the DFL is interested in reliving the supposed glory days of the past. Why else would the DFL invite a bunch of former somebodies to this summit?

Phil Krinkie put together a sarcasm-laced list of recommendations from these leaders from the past. Here’s that list:

In the end, the list of revelations was mind numbing. Here is a sampling of some of the keen observations that were brought forth:

  • Minnesota is in a really bad recession.
  • Economic recovery is going to be slower than previous recessions.
  • Minnesota is facing significant long term budget problems.
  • Minnesota has an aging population and aging workforce.
  • The legislature has used all the short term budget solutions.
  • Fundamental changes are necessary.
  • Revenue growth will be slow.
  • Spending pressures for health care and education will continue.
  • Health care costs more as the population ages.

How useful is it to hear this bunch of has beens put together this list? From my perspective, if that’s the snarky version of the list, then it’s worthless. Sen. Pogemiller and Speaker Kelliher need to know that they’ll be harshly scrutinized until they work with people to make Minnesota prosperous.

If they don’t do that this session, then they’lljust have to suffer the electoral consequences for their arrogance.

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One Response to “Entirely the Wrong Approach, Minnesota Style”

  • J. Ewing says:

    One of the telltale signs that a government official is incompetent and/or corrupt is that they refer to their expenditures as “costs.” They spend all their time trying to raise revenues, which they do not control, and none trying to control spending, which they are supposed to control. The State government does not have a revenue problem, they have a SPENDING problem, and there is a very, very simple solution. STOP IT!

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