Archived Story

Let the dust settle after elections

Published 9:12am Monday, November 12, 2012 Updated 11:13am Monday, November 12, 2012

It’s only been a few days since the election was over, and I’m already seeing the writing on the wall from St. Paul.

There are legislative members from the DFL who want the Republicans to pay for what they’ve done.

Two early pieces of evidence:

• Sen. John Marty — who is the Michelle Bachmann of the DFL in the Minnesota Legislature, for those who aren’t familiar — has already said he’ll put forth a bill to legalize gay marriage on day 1 of the next legislative session.

• The DFL majority has selected Paul Thiessen (House) and Tom Bakk (Senate) as its leaders, two guys who are hardly in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to issues.

Seriously, someone has to put the reins on some of these guys.

If anyone believes that the reason,

don’t get me wrong — I’m all for legalizing gay marriage in Minnesota, and have stated that fact in my column many times.

But come on, we just had an election in which 1.4 million state residents believe gay marriage is wrong. How about we give it, say, a couple years to let the issue settle down.

More importantly, I also think that Minnesota voters sent a clear message in this election: Stop messing around with your political ideologies and get your priorities straight. From what I’m hearing, the deficit is the top priority.

We are facing a $6.2 billion deficit in the upcoming biennium (next two years). It is believed that there is a structural deficit of $2 to $3 billion per year. There are no more accounting shifts or federal stimulus funds, and residents want the school shift repaid.

State residents also were not stupid when it comes to the Republicans’ claim that they avoided tax increases. Cutting state aid to cities homestead credits, as expected, resulted in property tax increases statewide. Passing the buck does not count does not count.

I believe Minnesota voters gave the majority to the DFL for three reasons: 1.) The Republicans failed to fix the problem, 2.) The Republicans were unreasonable on their unwillingness to compromise on tax increases to the point of shutting down the government, and 3.)

At a time when we need serious deficit solutions, Republicans were concerned about issues such as Voter ID and marriage amendments, both of which seemed to be more for the benefit of the Republican party than in the interest of Minnesota residents.

Please, DFL leaders, do as Minnesota residents want. Are some reasonable tax increases acceptable? With a $3 billion annual budget deficit, they probably need to be. I’m not sure it’s possible to completely cut our way out of the deficit.

But those tax increases, no matter who they are given to, ought to be temporary.

Once the state recovers, the new taxes should be the first to go. It’s only fair. Some surveys consider Minnesota to have the seventh-highest overall tax burden in the country. For the most part, I think we get what we’re paying for — good schools, good health care, good roads.

But we simply can’t tax our way out of this one. DFL leaders need to bite the bullet and make spending cuts, across the board. It’s going to hurt.

There will be plenty of stories that will come out as the cuts come up about how this group of people or that will suffer from a proposed cut in state funding. (Think federal funding for Big Bird times 100.)

But we have no choice. During World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt managed to convey the message that all citizens needed to sacrifice.

These days, politicians seem unwilling to do that. But we do. If you’re in debt as an individual, money that you may use for a new car or vacation has to be used to pay off credit cards.

You may need a new car, and for your mental health, you may need a vacation. But you can’t afford it.

Maybe it makes sense that the people who are accused of creating the most spending are the ones who will have to cut it.

After all, only Nixon could go to China.

 

Joel Myhre is The Journal’s Publisher. Email him at joel.myhre@fergusfallsjournal.com

 

  • benny

    While I applaud you for your make-sense opinion on the legalization of gay marriage, I disagree that we need to wait a few years to let it settle down.

    First off, the people who need to settle down on the issue never will. We’re talking about non-thinking yahoos for whom there never will be any sort of calming down, these people are still angry about decisions made 40 or more years ago. You have read their arguments, no doubt, on the Journal’s opinion page and they’re all laughably pathetic. They don’t consider the issue with any sort of logical thought process. Holding off on progress so their sour grapes don’t turn into really sour grapes isn’t appeasement we need.

    Second, if Minnesota does go ahead and legalize gay marriage right quick, as it should, it could mean an influx of the gay population moving to Minnesota for that benefit. There are national and international companies in the metro region for whom such legislation would be of great offering to their employees – current and prospective. That may increase the tax base, and bring in more money. The statistics on the cost of the average gay wedding may be premature but if it ever approaches anything close to the insane price tag of most straight weddings, this could be the organic economic boost Minnesota needs.

    It’ll also force the yahoos to see that gay marriage doesn’t affect their well being in the slightest. Perhaps then the knot in their shorts will loosen.

  • Richard Olson

    We don’t need to win elections if all we are going to do afterwards is circle the wagons and wait for another attack by the loony right.

    The people who voted yes aren’t going to change their mind while we let the dust settle. The yes voter by their very nature are incapable of change unless some invisible man says it’s OK or they get a mind meld from Rome.

    Strike while the iron is hot…..they will!

    • camobabe

      Moe and Curly, keep up the hate, it’s a great way to win supporters for your destruction of the family crusade.

      I read your Marxist propaganda rag, the Red Star Tribune, and there are numerous letters to the editors to the effect that they voted against the protection of marriage amendment because they were opposed to altering the constitution for social matters, but oppose the Reverend John Marty’s move to obliterate marriage. Suggest you take your second favorite tactic; put away the hate and anger and just lie instead. There are probably enough gullible youth to pull it off that way.

      Joel is trying to warn his fellow DFLers to go slow and not reveal your truly vicious attitudes toward Christians, but the two of you are so addicted to hate, lies and anger to promote your cause that you might actually send away some of your one time supporters you gained in your attacks on families and marriage.

      • Richard Olson

        Well Camillabill, I’ll consider your advise. I’d feel better about it if you could provide the names of three references who have followed your advise recently. How’ed that work for them?

        Seriously, it’s nice to see that you’ve learned nothing. Which is all I could hope for, I think you tea baggers should keep on keeping on with exactly what you were doing before. I think Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove and the gang at Fox have it exactly right. If I were you I wouldn’t change one iota.

        There is just one thing you might consider. Everyone knows how stubborn you baggers are. We all know many of you still believe the sun revolves around the flat earth, talking snakes and all. Did you ever stop to think that Joel Myhre is using reverse physiology because he knows that in your stubbornness you will by your very nature, rebel and thus continue your path to a useless, pointless existence as a political force?

        Or it is entirely possible that me telling you about Myhre’s use of reverse physiology will scramble your brain to such an extent that you get a job as a news reader at Fox News. Now won’t that be fun? Just think you might end up as the “Big Bird” of Fox News.

      • benny

        Sham-illa,

        Forgive me, I don’t follow… Was there a message intended with that incoherent mess or were you just trying hard to use some buzzwords you heard on the Rush Limbaugh program?

        I wonder if any fellow readers would like to go in with me on a Christmas gift for Camilla this year? I’d like to buy her a dictionary so she may (hopefully, but doubtfully) understand the words she uses before she embarrasses herself and misuses them.

        Specifically: Marxist, destruction, crusade, propaganda, obliterate, hate, reveal, lies, and anger.

        Camilla, I’m going to try and help you out here, but until Dec. 25 comes, please refrain from using words you don’t understand.

      • benny

        Sham-illa,

        Forgive me, I don’t follow. Was there an actual message in that incoherent mess or were you just eager to misuse some buzzwords you heard on the Rush Limbaugh program?

        Everyone else,

        The holidays are coming up… would any fellow readers like to join me in extending some charity to Camilla? I’d like to buy her a dictionary for Christmas so she can (hopefully, but doubtfully) stop embarrassing herself by using words she clearly doesn’t understand.

        In that post alone I see she should have double checked the meanings to: hate, destruction, family, crusade, marxist, propaganda, protection, obliterate, hate (again), lie, truly, addicted, anger, and promote.

  • Phaedrus

    “But those tax increases, no matter who they are given to, ought to be temporary.”

    Why? Isn’t that just saying that “after awhile” we should reinstitute a structural deficit? Let’s say they resolve the structural deficit with 1/2 cuts and 1/2 revenues. You suggest they do away with the 1/2 that’s revenue in a few years, but then you’ve just recreated a “structural deficit”.

    I realize you probably feel pressure to pander in Ottertail county, but you can’t fix a structural problem with temporary measures.

    As for the marriage issue (if there is one), I think the phrase from 2 years ago captures it best, “Elections have consequences”.

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