Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Even Editorial Boards Laud Pawlenty's Spending Restraint

If the editorial boards around the state are singing Governor Pawlenty's praises for being fiscally responsible, and pulling back the reigns on government spending, he must have really done something remarkable when he line-item vetoed a bunch of pork out of the legislature's bonding bill earlier this week.

We’re probably starting to sound like a broken record, but thank goodness for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Someone in state government has to be an adult and that responsibility has been taken up by the second-term Republican. This week, the governor vetoed about $200 million in borrowing projects lawmakers had approved. This still left more than $700 million in the state bonding bill, but the weeping and wailing among legislators began before the veto ink had even dried. (emphasis mine)

. . .

The most important fact in all of this is that it isn’t just political gamesmanship. There are real consequences to the state overextending itself, especially in times of economic difficulty. Prolonging that difficulty is one reality. Creating a state that is a burden to taxpayers, instead of their ally, is even worse. (excerpts from editorial, click here to read entire piece) (Fairmont Sentinel: "Pawlenty puts limits on spending")

Thank goodness for Governor Pawlenty! There are real consequences to the state overextending itself. Creating a state that is a burden to taxpayers instead of their ally, is even worse.

Well written.

That's why we can't help but agree with the spirit, if not the manner, of Pawlenty's action. Among many legislators, there seems to be an attitude that the bonding bill doesn't involve real money, that even in a time when belt-tightening is happening everywhere, this statewide "jobs program" should be as big as possible. "Share the wealth!" and "We want our fair share!" seem to be the rallying cries, as city and state officials keep score of who received how much and fight to be first in line for the next round of handouts.

Does the bonding bill fund important projects? Absolutely. Would we favor nixing the whole concept? Absolutely not.

But we're more convinced than ever that when things get tight, Minnesota shouldn't keep charging things on its credit card as if unemployment were low, the stock market was soaring and homes were selling in six days, not six months. (excerpted from editorial, click here to read entire piece). (Rochester Post-Bulletin: "Pawlenty's message 'Show restraint, or I'll do it for you'")

Saying 'enough is enough,' drawing a line in the sand, blocking and tackling, or whatever visual one wants to put forward to describe the kind of restraint and fiscal discipline we have seen from Governor Pawlenty, he is THE leader (not just in MN, but around the country) in pushing a fiscally conservative agenda that respects the taxpayer.

How novel.

Thanks Gov!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Great Job Governor Pawlenty

Thank heavens for Governor Pawlenty. Once again, he has provided fiscal discipline when the DFL legislature was totally out of control. His actions to trim the bill from $925 million to $717 million show once again that he has his hand firmly on the reins of government. Great job Governor Pawlenty!

Click here to send an email to Governor Tim Pawlenty to thank him for his line-item vetoes.

Fiscal Sanity in St. Paul

We've witnessed, in Minnesota, some of the most dramatic and remarkable legislative overreach in a generation this 2008 legislative session.

Today, Minnesotans are paying over $3.00/gal. for gas, and part because of the largest tax increase in Minnesota History.

Yesterday, Governor Pawlenty once again stepped up to the plate, wielding his veto pen, and brought a little fiscal restraint and financial responsibility to St. Paul by line-item vetoing $208 million from a bonding bill that exceeded what the governor said was acceptable in this economic climate.

ST. PAUL -- A sizable chunk of the Legislature's borrow-to-build plan fell victim to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's line-item veto Monday, including high-profile mass transit, zoo and museum projects.

Pawlenty shaved $208 million from a bill authorizing $925 million in general debt for construction projects around the state. He had warned lawmakers not to give him a bill that big, but he cut individual projects rather than blocking the whole bill.

"Somebody has to be fiscally responsible. That job falls to me," Pawlenty said. (excerpt from article)

I suppose the argument will be made that Minnesota will be a lesser state without the funding that was vetoed for the brass sheet music lending library in Chatfield, or gorilla cages at the Como Zoo, but I think we'll survive.

At least the rhetoric after the line-item vetoes has remained respectful, professional and rational. (sarcasm)

"I want to know why the governor hates the people of St. Paul," said Senator Ellen Anderson.

Of course, it was this sort of rhetoric that lead to a pork-laden bonding bill far exceeding what the governor told legislators (such as Senator Anderson) before they put the bill on his desk in the first place.

Rep. Paul Kohls put it as succinctly and respectfully as it has been stated when he said, "The governor makes a compelling case that we can't bust the credit-card limit."

(NOTE: Significant difference between this statement and saying the governor HATES all the citizens of an entire city)

The truth is, we are entering a time of economic uncertainty. The time for exercising fiscal restraint and keeping a lid on taxes is now. (It is always actually)

There is a strong argument to be made that the Government should always forgo the convenient because it has no role in anything but the essential (and often times not even there).

Certainly it is responsible to forgo the convenient in a time of economic uncertainty.

Can we wait a year or so before we add a music lending library to the State's credit card?

Will the state survive if we don't wait until 2009 or later to put put gorilla cage on Minnesota's credit card?

The taxpayers are lucky that Governor Pawlenty has taken such a bold leadership role this session.

His opponents in the legislature seem to believe money grows on trees (possibly the trees growing in the gorilla cages they want to fund).

But Governor Pawlenty has stood steadfast and strong for the taxpayer. (a sentence I could cut and paste into everything we write about him).