Governor Pawlenty, our very own broken record

I don’t know if someone has given the state Republican leaders the same tape (or CD) to listen to as they sleep, but I am sick and tired of hearing the whole “live within your means” mantra to justify their resistance to tax increases. It has been going on for a couple of years, and I think Governor Pawlenty said it more than 5 times in his Almanac interview tonight. Rep. Marty Seifert is the other Republican that gets the most air time repeating this tired refrain.

First of all, a bonding bill is borrowing, and borrowing is not living within your means. So if you put your money where your mouth is, then veto the entire bill because it is living beyond your means.

But really, the whole concept that Republicans are pushing is that spending is out of control, and when revenue dips, that the solution is to cut spending, not raise taxes. This is living within your means, and it plays on kitchen table economics. In fact, these Republicans equate the government budget with the home budget to promote this frame of the budget issue.

What they ignore is the fact that many families will add a second job, adding revenue to the family budget to meet their financial obligations. What would be the natural government equivalent you ask? Raising taxes!

Remember also, that there are things that the government must do, that we can’t just cut away at everything. Of course we don’t cut everything, we often start cuts with social programs that support those with low incomes and/or are on the margins of society. That is why I welcome efforts from clergy like Peter Rogness, advocating to maintain social supports.

If you run into a Republican telling you we must live within our means tell them you want the government to get a second job to raise revenue!

-Josh

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