GOP Governor Tim Pawlenty, vetoing a last minute tax increase from the DFL Legislature, revived a grand old political term originating in our state’s proud agricultural heritage: “Hogwash,” he exclaimed, referring to the claims of local officials that they can’t afford any more cuts in state aid. “They need to get their head into the reality of these times...and instead of whining and complaining...figure out how to reduce their spending by a few percent.”
The notion that government and its minions should have to deal with the recession, as the private sector has, by tightening its belt, does not sit well with Twin Cities pundits. For having the criminal audacity to refuse to raise taxes, and actually demand sacrifices from the political classes, it has been suggested that Pawlenty should be subjected to the impeachment process. Even if he managed to survive, holds one opinion, the governor’s chances for reelection, or more probably, higher office, would suffer a devastating blow.
Nevertheless, an article in last Friday’s Star Tribune reported that Pawlenty now holds a lead over no less than nine potential DFL challengers in next year’s gubernatorial race.
Meanwhile out in California, the news is that voters, by an impressive 65-35% margin, have scornfully rejected special propositions to raise $21 billion in fresh taxes to cover that state’s deficit. (California has enough superfluous government and noxious public employees and their unions to make Minnesota resemble Somalia by comparison.)
I hereby renounce – for now – my often stated resolution that the U.S. would be far better off if, after a prodigious earthquake, California were to slide into the Pacific Ocean roughly along the Arizona/Nevada/Oregon border, but no matter what, enough of it to douse LA and San Francisco.
In the meantime, I would suggest that residents of the Golden State appeal to Hollywood to assemble a blue ribbon think tank of its most distinguished actors and actresses who, for many years now, have been very free with their advice and opinions as to how the country should be run, and political matters in general. By suspending, just for a day or two, the business as usual of churning out smutty entertainment for thirteen-year-olds – (boys, at that) – they could easily spare the creative juice necessary to solve California’s budgetary inconvenience, with plenty of time left over to do a long lunch.