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During tonight’s Hannity show, Caroline Heldman trotted out the Democrats’ line that “it took eight years to screw this country up. It won’t be fixed overnight.” It bothers me that Republicans don’t challenge the Democrats on that premise.

After the 9/11 recession, the economy grew by 8 percent when Bush’s policies were implemented. Rapid, sustained growth happened once Reaganomics took hold, growth that helped create 20,000,000 jobs in 8 years.

The reality is that the economy can recover quickly if the right policies are put in place.

The economy will struggle if the Obama and Dayton tax increases go into effect. There isn’t a sane economist who’d argue with that. The reality is that heaping huge additional tax burdens onto America’s and Minnesota’s job creators isn’t the way to get the economy humming again.

Based on Mayor Rick Wolff’s op-ed, it isn’t just the taxes that are holding Minnesota back. It’s the spending, too:

Emmer has stated that when it comes to LGA, government should restrain itself and only provide for what he deems “core” needs, including public safety and drivable roads. Those are undeniable core city services, but as the mayor of a small town, I know my residents would say that list falls short. Minnesotans want to live in an educated community where the public library attracts both young and old. They want recreation centers where youth can find positive and safe ways to occupy their time. They want senior centers so our elderly can socialize instead of feeling abandoned. For decades, Minnesotans have viewed government as a partner, not an enemy, in achieving a quality of life that other states envy, and this has only been possible through LGA.

With all due respect to Mayor Wolf, LGA shouldn’t be paying for libraries and rec centers. If a city wants those things, then a local levy should be voted on to see if the citizens want their property taxes raised to pay for these things.

If the city decides to raise property taxes on themselves to pay for those things, then the city has made a decision to raise their own taxes. Tom Emmer and Tim Pawlenty shouldn’t be blamed for their vote to spend money on quality of life items. That’s that city’s fault and their’s alone.

This is a trend that Emmer’s $1.1 billion cut to property tax relief programs would continue, and while he is politically astute enough to say that his plan would not eliminate LGA, because he knows the program is the lifeblood for the communities in which most voters live, his rationalization for deep LGA cuts is more self-serving to his small government ideology than to the families and small business who see their property tax bills climb and city services disappear. In the case of LGA, government has improved the quality of life for Minnesotans across the state, and that’s a hard reality to digest if your vision for the future relies on casting government as the villain.

Mayor Wolff should re-examine his city’s spending priorities before criticizing Rep. Emmer. LGA shouldn’t be used for quality of life expenditures like parks, recreation departments and libraries.

QUESTION: Has Mayor Wolff considered the fact that it’s just a matter of time before libraries are extinct because entire collegiate libraries are being digitized and put on the internet?

Has Mayor Wolff tried leading on the issue of spending money on needs first before spending taxpayers’ money on quality of life projects? If he hasn’t, why hasn’t he?

Just because that’s been the cities’ habit seemingly forever doesn’t mean that the cities didn’t pick up some bad budgeting habits. Taxpayers are sending the unmistakingly clear message that they’re tired of spendaholic, business-as-usual governance. They want responsive government, not governments that tell the people what’s demanded.

Mayor Wolff needs to understand that he doesn’t have the right to demand tons of money from me just because he’s gotten addicted to spending LGA money on niceties.

The bottom line is this: If mayors didn’t spend money they don’t have on niceties, we wouldn’t need the Obama and Dayton tax increases. If employers knew that their tax burden and their regulatory burden weren’t increasing, the American economy would start growing at a much livelier pace.

Simply put, we can’t afford spendaholic politicians like President Obama, Sen. Dayton and Mayor Wolff. If we want a real economy, we need to cut spending, reduce regulations and make permanent the Bush tax cuts.

If we did those three things, the economy would’ve rebounded quickly.

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3 Responses to “Democrats’ False Premises”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    Lets not forget earlier during Hannity we had a Florida focus group and Obama’s supporters were blaming Bush and Obama had to clean up Bush’s mess.

    Really what bought the economy down was the housing finance crisis. What caused that? Lack of reform of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae because the Democrats blocked it!

    Have we had real reform on that yet. No!

    Oh that recession he inherrited ended June 2009 so everything since June 2009 is Obama’s fault and not Bush’s.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Aaron Brown says:

    In keeping with my devil’s advocacy theme today, consider this. If LGA is to be cut, and I acknowledge the argument behind this idea, how do we rectify the massive property value differences between Mayor’ Wolff’s city of Hibbing and the TC suburbs? The sustaining of a basic library becomes very difficult when you literally can’t levy much more than bare bones out of your population. Do we allow the culture and amenities of Range and rural towns to diminish, shifting all prosperity toward high property value cities? That’s what will happen. Is that good for the state? I don’t think so. It’s a pretty cold argument to say so.

    If there is a better way than LGA I’d like to know. A little investment from the state in places like Hibbing, Willmar and International Falls and those towns will produce educated professionals who work hard and pay back into the system, often directly into the suburbs.

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