It's time for the Minnesota legislature and the Governor to put together their big coffer spending bills.In hard economic times spending is supposed to be done with a little humility and a lot of responsibility. Minnesotans should be guaranteed that state government know its financial state both in the short term and the long term. Obviously Minnesotans know for themselves what their own personal financial picture is like and expects state government to be just as responsible.
What is the responsible and humble spending state government should take? Obviously its covering the basics and not frills. Governor Tim Pawlenty has already made his proposals for the state legislature to look at. Yet the democrats in the state legislature are demand to spend more, saying Pawlenty's proposal is too small.The State of Minnesota could be facing a budget shortfall of $4.85 billion dollars.That's a pretty good sized shortfall that Minnesota taxpayers will ultimately be responsible for.
Governor Pawlenty's proposal included money for the replacement of old bridges, higher education and increasing the size of a state sex offender facility. The Democrats at the legislature want to spend over and above that amount on a new baseball park, expansion of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and other projects like the Planetarium who was told in 2005 they had to come up with $19 Million to get state aid.
The Democrats at the legislature also want to spend money on local projects like fire halls for local communities. They are claiming that their projects will create jobs. Government jobs no less. But there is no proof that these kinds of projects create jobs and more likely don't create sustained employment, putting even greater questioning on when enough is enough?
The economy is not going to recover for quite some time and the budget shortfall is expected to get even larger as time goes on. What should the State of Minnesota spend its general fund on to make dollars count? Where is it going to count the most? When Minnesota has almost 1000 bridges it needs to replace and highway and roads need repair it is not a difficult question. The baseball park has to wait, the planetarium has to come up with their part, the Mayo Clinic is a private business and if it can't fund its own then it has to wait too.
As for government creating jobs it is just not logical. Private business creates jobs, sustainable jobs. Government needs to get out of the way and let the people of this state make this economy turn around. Government can assist with fixing roads and rebuilding bridges as well as cutting taxes and reducing spending.That contribution on behalf of the state government will go further than any ballpark or planetarium.
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