Monday, May 23, 2011

Budgetary Leadership? - Not from Mark Dayton

This is what a rational budget debate with leadership looks like.

The Washington Post offered a rare (i.e. they don't do it often) reasonable analysis of the budget debate in its Fact Checker
Paul Ryan’s attention-getting figure adds up and appears credible, so Ryan earns the rare Geppetto Checkmark.
Meanwhile, we are going award one Pinocchio to President Obama for claiming that the wealthy would pay “a little more.” That phrase is relative, but the hidden 7.5 percentage points identified by Ryan strikes us as more than pocket change.

Paul Ryan spoke at the Economic Club of Chicago: Shared Scarcity vs Renewed Prosperity

In the 2010 election, the voters sent a message: This isn't working. Washington needs to try something else.

We know what that something else must be, because we know what has always made growth possible in America. We need to answer that call for new economic leadership by getting back to the four foundations of economic growth:

First, we have to stop spending money we don’t have, and ultimately that means getting health care costs under control.

Second, we have to restore common sense to the regulatory environment, so that regulations are fair, transparent, and do not inflict undue uncertainty on America’s employers.

Third, we have to keep taxes low and end the year-by-year approach to tax rates, so that job creators have incentives to invest in America; and

Fourth, we have to refocus the Federal Reserve on price stability, instead of using monetary stimulus to bail out Washington’s failures, because businesses and families need sound money.
Mounting debt also threatens our poorest and most vulnerable citizens, because those who depend most on government would be hit hardest by a fiscal crisis. We have to repair our safety net programs so that they are there for those who need them most. This starts by building on the successful, bipartisan welfare reforms of the mid-1990s.

Now contrast that against what we get from Mark Dayton, who incidentally only won 43%  of the vote in the 2010 election.  Not sure how he figures that is a mandate for his policy, its more that the opposition foolishly (insanity) split the vote again between two candidates.

When Dayton met with Legislators he started out with demeaning statements

“The crux of our current impasse is no longer policy, or ideology, or even budget,” Dayton told the legislators. “It’s your unwillingness to assume the responsibilities of leadership.”
When asked if Dayton’s comments seemed more conciliatory,  House Majority Leader Matt Dean said, “No.” House Speaker Kurt Zellers said, “Not really.”

“If we were just politicians, it would be easy to get this done,” Zellers said. “We are all very principled.”

The current legislative budget, done on time (unlike the previous legislatures) and within revenue, already increases the budget from last year by $3 billion.  So it clearly has no cuts, much to the dismay of many of us who feel government has simply gotten too big and intrusive. All this make's it painfully clear that Mark Dayton doesn't understand leadership.  That can be seen from his decision to close his Senate office to his mistaken view on the budgetary process.

Governor Dayton’s view is to penalize the job creators and investors, deriding them for not paying their “fair share” to support Minnesota’s bloated spending, which under current law will balloon by 27.5% over the next two years. Spending under Dayton’s proposal will continue to grow and provides little in the way of reform or restructuring of government service delivery.  In short, his proposed budget is just more of the same, business as usual.

Tough talk from Dayton, GOP as final budget bills pass
Rookie Rep. Dave Hancock, R-Bemidji, said Dayton does not understand that Republicans already have compromised. Hancock said that Republicans would prefer to spend the same as in the current budget, about $31 billion, but increased that $3 billion earlier this year.

“We are meeting him half way,” Hancock said. “There is a general feeling on our part that $34 billion is a compromise.”

Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, said there is no need to talk about how much to spend because Republicans have set their upper limit.

“Let’s talk about where we are going to spend it,” Kelly said.

Kiel said she was disappointed in the Dayton appearance and his unwillingness to negotiate.

 Is it leadership to:
 A) propose to permanently and currently maintain a budget that limits your spending to your current income.  And if you don't already understand it, Rep. King Banion explains why in,
 B) to increase your profligate spending and tell your employers (that's us folks in this case) that you demand more money to cover your spending habit.  I think I know what my employer would say, how about yours?  It doesn't count if you are SEIU, we already know that most you buy into the extortion collective bargaining plan.  If you are the rare SEIU conscripted member (we don't have right to work here) that understands this issue, then please understand I know you exist and I am not impugning you.

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