Hidden on this November’s ballot is an amendment to the state constitution to raise a 3/8 percent sales tax to fund various environmental initiatives, as well as the “arts.” A personal aside: I have hunted and fished in Minnesota all my life and continue to do so; I don’t think there is a spot on a road in Winona County that you could lead me to blindfolded, where I wouldn’t immediately know where I was. On most of these roads I could point out the various spots where and when woodlots, wetlands, swales, and the odd piece of cover have disappeared, rudely gouging the eye of the rural landscape, leaving ever fewer bits of mystery and romance to cover the naked dirt.
So I would be glad to hold my nose and vote for a tax increase to fund environmental initiatives to reverse the trend. But Minnesotans will not be allowed to vote for them unless DFL liberals in the Twin Cities are bribed with 20% of the funds raised, for the “arts.” And you know what government funding of the arts buys – $250,000 on a feasibility study for an unneeded, imaginary Shakespeare theater here in Winona, but nothing for the festival itself. From there it degenerates down to crucifixes in beakers of urine. It can be said with perfect conviction that government money spent on the arts has an overall degenerative, corrupting influence, funding largely the no-talent cronies of parasite bureaucrats.
These are the liberals who bleed for the far-off caribou and polar bear; for whom they are avid to raise countless billions to fend off the chimerical global warming, while you spend upwards of $4.00 per gallon on gas. But let the real environmentalists who actually spend time in the outdoors try to fund initiatives to solve real environmental problems in our own state, and they demand a 20% payoff for a brand-new slush fund.
It is probable, (although there is no guarantee that this tax will do more than buy new trucks for the DNR), that large scale environmental problems demand government intervention and solutions. Any genuine sort of art, however, will only be debased and debauched by government involvement, in the not very long run.
It is therefore with a heavy heart that I counsel a no vote on this proposed sales tax.