Posted by: Dan Bergeson | April 30, 2011

It’s Loony Tunes in the State House!

My last post offered commentary on what I perceive to be irrational legislative ideas in our nation’s capitol. Never fear: our state’s politicians are equally as misguided!

So . . . there’s a $5 billion deficit to make up in the 2-yr budget for 2012-14. And what do our fine legislators propose to do about it?

One way to deal with a wayward budget is by cutting the Meals on Wheels program by $2.7 million. You remember that one, it’s designed to bring meals to senior citizens and other folks who basically can’t leave their domiciles due to infirm conditions or illness and can’t afford to have food delivered by others. That seems extravagant to me, don’t you agree?

Black Walnut canopy

Then there’s the visionary idea of harvesting timber from our state parks. Apparently, someone figured out that the black walnut trees found in a couple of southeastern Minnesota state parks would be ripe for the pickin’ and bring a windfall to the state coffers. The figure I heard was $100,000 maybe. No one knows for sure because this hasn’t been done before. And since it would decimate the existing trees, it’s really a one-shot option. That’s surely a sustainable plan.

Of course, letting internet retailers like amazon.com ignore the legal obligation to collect  sales tax on online purchases instead of receiving the hundreds of millions of dollars that are involved is prudent financial stewardship of state resources in my opinion. How about you?

There’s a bill that seeks to remove the poor from Minnesota’s UCare health care safety net because it’s more respectful to let them purchase their own health insurance, even though the high deductible is more than their ANNUAL income! Once again, trying to balance the budget on our most vulnerable citizens.

Some want to cancel collective bargaining rights for public employees; does anyone really think that the anti-union attack will stop there? Just because Wisconsin is doing it doesn’t mean Minnesota should.

I appreciated the candor and sincerity of a clergyman from Chaska in a StarTribune opinion piece earlier this week. Gordon Stewart wonders why some folks define themselves only as taxpayers and not also as tax benficiaries. All the tax dodging that’s going on is eviscerating our standard of living.

My list is getting kind of long. There’s obviously a lot of creative juices flowing in St. Paul these days, but I can’t forget to mention my favorite issue in this issue-oriented political environment: pro-choice for light bulbs! Yep, there are some who feel that mandating the move to compact flourescent light bulbs is a conspiracy destined to undermine the Republic. Thanks to Michelle Bachmann, H.R. 5616 is back in play in 2011.

Long live incandescence!

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