Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jeff Johnson would change business as usual in Hennepin County

The headline writer in me couldn't resist using The Platitude of the Year ("Change"), but it points out how Jeff Johnson would represent more than "same chairs, different names" on the Hennepin County Board.

Johnson outlined the top three reforms he would pursue if elected Hennepin County Commissioner:

1. Zero-based budgeting. "Every spending program should be coupled with criteria by which its success will be measured," said Johnson. "If, after a year, the program is shown to be unsuccessful, it shouldn't be funded again." Hmmm. If we had this at the Legislature, maybe Hennepin County businesses like Target or UHC would be Minnesota's top employer — rather than the State of Minnesota. What a different place this was when we had more people actually producing something, rather than figuring out new ways to tax major employers like Northwest Airlines right out of Hennepin County and the state!

2. Seriously consider privatization, in part or in whole, of HCMC. Johnson believes, as do most conservatives, that the market is generally better able to provide health care (and just about everything else except redistribution of wealth and social engineering) than government. What a great way to put the health care debate front and center, and perhaps even lead the nation toward a market-based solution.

3. Require welfare recipients in Hennepin County to show they are in the United States legally in order to receive benefits. "Hennepin County residents have a long history of generosity to those in need," says Johnson, "but that generosity must not be abused by political correctness run amok." Common sense tells us: we don't have to deport millions of illegals, just enforce existing laws and they'll leave on their own.

Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." By bringing change to Hennepin County, Jeff Johnson would at the very least make the problem smaller. That's why I will be supporting him at the Hennepin County endorsing convention on Saturday.

No comments: