The region’s DFL, media (pardon the redundancy) and the leftyblogs that fill in the very, very few gaps between them have been spending the past few weeks grousing impotently about the Legislature’s GOP majorities’ “piecemeal” approach to tackling the budget, including the $6.2 billion deficit that is not.
The chanting point campaign reached its peak last week, with Governor Dayton demanding in his State of the State that the GOP majority send him a unified budget proposal.
The DFL/media/leftyblog (ptr) chanting has coalesced been commissioned along three lines:
- Let’s just tackle the budget in one fell swoop!
- The GOP needs to get their budget in front of the governor now (in the aforementioned fell swoop)
- Governor Pawlenty didn’t let the DFL submit a piecemeal budget!
All three lines are, of course, absurd – the sort of thing you expect from a group fighting a rear-guard battle against logic itself.
Let’s break it down:
The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step: If you hear a rattling under your car’s hood, what do you do? Hoist the engine out of the frame and start whacking it with a sledgehammer? Or start taking it apart, piece by piece, until you find what’s broken?
If you’re a DFLer, apparently, “A”.
The “one big budget” approach is of a piece with the Democrat strategy from DC all the way down to your local city council; submit spending bills that are so unimaginably huge that, to closely paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, “you have to pass them to know what’s in them”.
We don’t have to do that. The MNGOP caucuses could do it, but they do not have to. There is no legal, ethical, moral or traditional requirement that the GOP submit a budget in one big, ready-to-veto blob.
Indeed, since the GOP was sent to Saint Paul to kick ass and take names, it makes perfect sense for them to tear the budget, and its reforms, down into its component parts. We’ve discussed this, and we will no doubt discuss it again.
Long story short; it makes zero difference if the GOP puts forth a bill with a $34 billion budget, or (hypothetically) 34 billion $1 bills. Or something in between.
And if your co-workers or relatives say that there is, please ask them why. And watch them melt down.
Patience: The DFL is trying to pull the same infantile trick on the GOP majority (and, more germane, on The People) that they tried to pull on the Emmer campaign (and The People); trying to browbeat the GOP into putting its budget proposal (in the form of one and only one bill, thankewverymuch) in front of the governor now.
There is no statutory reason for this. There is no reason at all – save a political one. The DFL knows that they are over a barrel. They are facing an energized majority operating with a crystal clear mandate; cut taxes and spending. And that majority has come out of the gate this past five weeks like the Green Bay Packers’ pass rush, and focused on the goal – balancing the budget through cuts and revenue growth.
Against that, what do they have? Browbeating and playing the spin game via their friends (and, often as not, future employees) in the media.
The only requirement? That the budget be in place this summer.
And, caterwauling aside, the GOP was tackling budget issues the moment the first gavel dropped; King Banaian’s HF2 – the second bill on the agenda – will be, if not a revolutionary change in the way our government works, at least a walloping kick in the evolutionary pants. It will set the status quo on its ear. More on that in a separate post.
The DFL’s bellyaching about the GOP’s timing is nothing but a diversion for the not-very-well-informed – and they already vote DFL.
Get The Waaaaaahmbulance: “Governor Pawlenty didn’t allow a piecemeal budget – why should Governor Dayton?” is the other line of “reasoning”.
The situations could hardly be different, of course.
The DFL majorities in the last two sessions didn’t really try to submit “piecemeal” plans, as such; there were really two pieces. The first, the DFL’s budgetary wish list. They wanted to get that wish list passed first, to get it written into law bright and early.
Then, later in the session, they wanted to actually come up with the money to pay for it all.
Sort of like trying to buy a house first, and submitting your income documentation later. We tried that in this country. Notice how well it worked? Governor Pawlenty sure did. That’s why he sent the DFL majority back to the woodshed.
The GOP is doing the exact opposite. The majority is figuring out the money first, and winnowing down the “wish list” to fit inside it – trying to start, indeed, with money from the current budget that hasn’t even been spent yet (a proposal that the Governor vetoed last week, citing his disdain for “piecemeal” budgeting, and showing his fundamental unseriousness when it comes to really controlling the deficit as opposed to trying to buy time for the DFL).
The rhetoric of the governor and the DFL minority is not the rhetoric of people who are interested in getting serious about this state’s economy. Your job, and your childrens’ economic future in this state, comes in well behind making sure government wants for not the slightest thing.