When I learned of King’s vote on HF130, I figured it a fait accompli that lefties like Dave Mindeman and Doug Grow wouldn’t grasp the principle behind King’s vote. I was right that they don’t. The best commentary on Grow’s post was written by Mitch. Check his post out on that. Meanwhile, I’ll gladly respond to Mr. Mindeman’s post. Check out this commentary from Mr. Mindeman:

Banaian works at St. Cloud State as an economics professor and represents St. Cloud and the surrounding area. The kicker here is that he won his legislative race by a 10 vote margin. Which means that, unlike Senator Newman and his selective constituent recognition, Mr. Banaian is probably wise to consider all comers.

Except I had assumed that Banaian was one of those true believer, first principle guys. He generally talks of government spending with utter disdain and one would think that this particular bill would certainly meet those first principle ideals.

After all, it hits that unnecessary Local Government Aid and outrageously out of control Higher Ed spending…as well as all of the Commission offices in the executive branch. Would have assumed that to be a no-brainer for Banaian.

The best thing I can say about Mr. Mindeman’s post is that he spelled King’s last name right all the time. After that, it gets pretty dicey.

I’ll now attempt to explain why King’s vote was the right vote, not just for his district, which I’m privileged to be a resident of, but for the state.

1) Back in the last century, a goal was made that there should be a technical school, junior college, community college or university within 30 miles of every Minnesotan. The goal was questionable then. It’s foolish now, especially with the growing popularity of online schools that don’t need a campus, just a server and some teachers.

Why are we funding schools whose impact is minimal or questionable? Furthermore, why would the chief author of the priority-based budgeting bill vote for legislation that funds questionable priorities?

I’d argue that that’s a far more compelling priority than all others combined.

2) Let’s remember that SCSU has already taken a number of budget hits, which has forced SCSU to close some departments. Let’s remember that SCSU has contributed mightily to the economic expansion to the Greater St. Cloud area.

Why on God’s green earth would King vote to kill an engine of economic growth at a time when Minnesota needs all the engines of economic growth it can find while funding schools that have had minimal economic impact? I’d argue that that’d be the definition of foolish.

3) King’s vote against this legislation doesn’t mean he’s any less of a budget hawk. Without speaking for him, I wouldn’t be surprised if King votes for the conference report if this bill’s priorities get straightened out in conference.

4) King’s vote is a vote for reforming the MnSCU system. God bless him for that. King isn’t there to be a reliable vote. He’s there to have an impact. He’s there to make the case for setting the smartest priorities possible.

King’s vote was a principled vote as were the votes cast by other Republicans. They were voting to reduce spending, which is absolutely needed. The question isn’t whether we need to live within our means; it’s a question of what cuts make the most sense, both in terms of balancing the budget while still ensuring economic growth.

Hopefully this helps the Mindemans of the world make sense of the world of setting intelligent spending priorities. If it doesn’t, however, that’s his problem.

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