Friday, January 23, 2009

DFL: cutting costs fine for thee, but not for me

Already last Monday, only the fifth day of session, the DFL majority in the Legislature has demonstrated its unwillingness to take even a small leadership role in reducing the state's projected multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Like duck hunters, they wait for Republican ideas to shoot down, without making any serious proposals of their own (other than raise taxes, invent new taxes, and grow government to the detriment of the private sector).

During the debate over temporary Joint Rules of the House and Senate, in a time when e-mail and social networking are playing an increasingly significant role in constituent communication, Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) moved to reduce by 15% the postage allotted to House and Senate members. Instead of allowing the House to vote on the plan, House Majority Leader Rep. Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm) moved the idea to the House Rules Committee. Sertich said that he believed the Anderson proposal would save no money.

Cutting the Legislative budget, even though it will not plug the budget deficit by itself (no single cut can), would send a message to state taxpayers that the Legislature is serious about working with Governor Pawlenty to balance the budget as required by state law. A salary and per diem freeze for all members, a reduction in expense accounts, typical measures in the private sector, would demonstrate equal measures of common sense and leadership from Saint Paul.

Listen to Sarah Anderson discuss her proposal and the DFL reaction to it, on this podcast provided by the House GOP caucus.

No comments: