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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World


Category: Economy
Posted: 07/27/11 18:08

by Dave Mindeman

Lost in all the political talk for these turbulent times is one very simple truth.

Government would not be in its current stat of chaos if Democrats were still in control.

I suppose I had better explain that because after all we just had an election in which people threw a lot of Democrats out because the electorate was so dissatisfied with the current state of things.

But, looking back, even though the economy has been tough to get on track and the deficits difficult to control, government at least still functioned.

Right now, Washington has a fabricated crisis. Completely fabricated. There is no reason that all of this budget cutting and potential revenue needs to be tacked on to the debt ceiling bill. This issue could end in the next few hours if the Senate and House would vote on simply raising the debt ceiling figure alone. A one paragraph bill. End of stalemate.

Republicans in the House are holding the entire government and even the entire US economy hostage over spending they can argue about anytime, anywhere -- and with similar results I might add.

This dysfunction lies at the feet of Republicans. An intentional mess that was intentionally designed. And the economic damage could be enormous.

In Minnesota, our budget is also a mess. We are borrowing money from our kids even though Republican leadership said that it is wrong and that we should never do it. The state has caused budget crises at every level of government...state, county, municipal and school board. All are affected or infected if you will.

And over what?

The GOP says that we have a spending problem. But then, in this budget, the Republicans spent money anyway; they just didn't pay for it. They say that government doesn't work....well, that is true when the word compromise is classified as unacceptable.

Progressives breathed a sigh of relief when Governor Dayton finally took the oath of office. With a Republican legislature we thought how much worse it would have been if we had Emmer as governor.

But, conversely, we should be considering how much better and easier and quieter things would be if Governor Dayton had a Democratic legislature to work with.

That tax increase on the rich would have eliminated some of those draconian cuts and very few Minnesotans would even be affected by the new revenue. School boards wouldn't be looking to borrow for this year's budget. Road construction would be in full swing. Health and human services wouldn't be scrambling to work on changing eligibility and loss of coverage.

It would all be functioning. That's the key word, functioning....functioning as it is designed to be. And when the economy cycles back, things would function even better.

But we don't have that do we.

Word for today? Dysfunction
comments (1) permalink
07/28/11 22:34
Dave, it's been a while. I've been busy.

The is the perfect non-crisis-end-of-the-world-crisis. A few years ago, the tables were turned and it was the Dems crying for ceiling limits. Yawn...

This is a great debate. It needs to happen. When would it happen with a $20T ceiling?

The population needs to learn that this is not an ever-expanding economy like the last 60 years. Things are different today. Business cannot function as usual. Government needs to change too.

Calling it dysfunction is appropriate. It's a bit like that family with the drunk that shows up at dinner time. You don't get to talk about it when they are sober. So it turns into a bloodbath with the problem carrying around a 0.25% blood alchohol. But the conversation still needs to happen. You usually don't see results until you find the guilty party on the front steps covered in their own puke.

So to end the metaphor of the day. We are about to find Boehner on the front steps of the capitol covered in hate mail, and Obama hiding in the basement of the White House after raining ugly but false rhetoric on 50 million elderly people he pretends to represent.

In 30 days it will be business as usual. Gridlock! Only some other issue will dominate the front pages.



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