In 2012 elections, we must vote to stop the insanity
The budget battles in St. Paul and Washington have shown at least one very similar characteristic: an intransigent head of state. Both scenarios also exhibit legislative bodies in opposition, possessing if not mandates, then strong backing gained from last fall's elections, especially among first-term representatives.
Some elder brethren, longer-term members of their respective political bodies, are as culpable as the executives displaying one-track minds bent on punitive "revenue" sources, albeit for different reasons.
Thankfully, Minnesota's constitution requires a balanced budget, sparing us a debt-laden future. However, the Republicans are not blameless, primarily for agreeing to a Rube Goldbergesque settlement relying on borrowing from schools and expected tobacco settlement money to obtain
an ostensibly fiscally sound product. Opaque agreements like this increase cynicism and exacerbate voter angst on both sides of the aisle.
Washington is another story. The current fiasco is the result of decades of disastrous overspending, not for lack of "revenue." The demon rich already pay the vast majority of taxes; almost half of Americans pay no federal income tax. Our stubbornly doctrinaire president, ever-wedded to his ideological attractions, obtuse to the fragile economy and ignoring the glaring fact that we are essentially bankrupt, was forced to relent in the face of political reality and, more importantly, his
2012 reelection campaign.
This fiscal insanity must stop now, but this convoluted mess of a deal does little to halt our impending financial doom. If Obama does win next year, insanity will be back in season unless the Senate falls into saner hands.
Both parties are guilty, because many current Republican legislators gleefully supported many of Bush's terrible endeavors: the Iraq War, No Child Left Behind, Medicare prescription benefits. A conservative friend wrote in The Detroit News some 15 years ago that, on balance, Republicans are much less truthful than Democrats. While Democrats promise to raise taxes and corrupt morals and mean it, Republicans vow not to but do so anyway.
Chicanery aside, Minnesota's budgetary woes will likely continue as too many are unable or unwilling to contribute to our continued economic development.
That includes Zygi Wilf.