Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vetoing the Future

By Christopher Truscott

With just days to go before the legislative session is scheduled to end, the ball is in Tim Pawlenty’s court.

The DFL-majority in the Legislature has sent to the governor bills that would provide for property tax relief, education funding and investment in our state’s dilapidated transportation system.

The income tax increase on the wealthiest half-percent of Minnesotans to fund education and property tax relief is popular according to recent polls. The nickel-a-gallon gas tax hike is less desirable, but responsible governance means making tough choices.

Pawlenty, of course, rejected tax relief, education funding and money for highways. “No New Taxes” pledge or not, he’s still clinging to the reckless philosophy that got us into this mess. He was wrong in his first term and he’s still way off track.

Sloganeering is not a substitute for policy. Sound bytes are not a substitute for action. Governing by veto is not a substitute for leadership. Generating real results requires more than aiming to win each daily news cycle.

What is Pawlenty’s vision?

The DFL has been clear since the Legislature convened in January. The governor has been elusive.

The DFL is offering what we need. The governor is promising something for nothing.

The DFL is making tough choices. The governor is engaged, once again, in choosing the most politically expedient course without regard to the long-term consequences.

We deserve much better. When Pawlenty took office he touted Minnesota as an “awesome” state and he was right. But that didn’t happen by accident. Legislators and governors from both political parties made the tough decisions required to move Minnesota forward.

Pawlenty is taking a different course and is content to leave the problems of today to the leaders of tomorrow. This marks a sad new era in Minnesota politics – a depressing and dangerous departure from the proud legacy of past leaders.

Essentially the governor is vetoing the future for the sake of winning a political fight. Minnesota is too good for that and we deserve much more.

Christopher Truscott can be reached at chris.truscott@gmail.com. He wonders whether Marty Seifert is gearing up for a 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

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At 1:35 PM, Blogger Prendergast said...

So--he's going to veto property tax relief.

And the DFL won't stand up to him and the GOP minority on that? They got to make a big deal out of this--the GOP and the Gov, supporting high property taxes for working people so the rich kids don't have to pay more. This is a chance for the DFL to win hearts and minds.

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's done it. Wonder what happens next?

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Prendergast said...

Who knows--but if they're smart, the DFL will crucify him and the GOP--him for vetoing it, and the GOP for not overriding.

Of course, the phrase "if the DFL is smart" is always good for a laugh. But they should ride the veto and the failure to overide all the way into the next elections--pin the blame for rising property taxes where it belongs, and make it stick. "We proposed reforms that would have stopped hikes to your fees and local property taxes--but Pawlenty and the GOP killed them."

They should be singing that from now to the next election cycle, if they can't override that veto. People care about their damn property taxes. Why don't they wake up to this?


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