Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

The Minnesota Terminator

Despite a recent and inexcusable veto of a compassionate use medical marijuana law, Tim Pawlenty is getting on my good side.  Minnesota, like most states, was facing a huge budget shortfall.  Minnesota, like most states, is run by Democrats who think ordering a diet coke with your triple cheeseburger is a diet.  So what does he do when they send him a tax-and-spend budget?

As the clock wound down (the session ended at midnight this past Monday), the legislature sent Mr. Pawlenty one large spending bill after another. The assumption was he’d veto them, be forced to call a special session, and then be negotiated into tax hikes. That’s when the governor got Minnesota nice.

Upon receiving the last spending bill, he announced that he would exercise the power of “unallotment,” which has been on the books since 1939 and which has been used four times. Under it, the governor is allowed to “unallot” (take away) any state spending for which there is no money to pay. Panicked, the DFL passed tax legislation to cover its blowout spending bills, 10 minutes before the session’s end. Too late. The governor said he’d veto the bill and would not be calling back the legislature to do any more mischief.

Mr. Pawlenty is now free to strip $2.7 billion from state spending to balance the budget. Tax hikes are dead. He tells me this will be one of the first times in modern Minnesota history that the state will reduce the size of government in real terms, not just slow its rate of growth.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that other states have similar laws on their books.  But this is going to turn out very interesting.  According to Democrats, unalloting those spending bill should destroy Minnesota’s economy, pollute her waters, impoverish her children and cause plagues of locusts.  If that doesn’t happen—if, as I predict, Minnesota leads whatever meager economic recovery we can squeeze out under Obama—it will be a massive blow to the Keynsian worldview.

Actually, you know something? I’m being too generous in describing the Democrats as Keynsians.  Say what you will about the tenets of Keynsianism, at least it’s an ethos.  There’s at least an undercurrent of thought involved.

The same can not be said of the Democrats, who just like to throw money at politically-powerful entities.  They’re not Keynsians, they’re Spendians.  Their economic theory comes down to “Spending good; more spending even better.”

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/27/09 at 11:20 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by Sean Galbraith on 05/28/09 at 07:30 AM from Canada

The same can not be said of the Democrats, who just like to throw money at politically-powerful entities.  They’re not Keynsians, they’re Spendians.  Their economic theory comes down to “Spending good; more spending even better.”

Democrats are Tax&Spendians;. Republicans are Borrow&Spendians;. (generally) And both spend that money on politically powerful entities. These days your choice is how do you want to pay for the spending, not how much spending do you want.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 07:38 AM from United States

The same can not be said of the Democrats, who just like to throw money at politically-powerful entities. 

In this light, Hal (and I apologize for hijackign the thread for a minute) Michelle Malkin has a VERY interesting story about how Chrysler cmae up with it’s list of which dealerships should close.  It appears almost all of them were heavy republican donors.

And yes, it is a shame that more states don’t have “unallotment” laws, but if the governor is an idiot (see Corzine, Jon) it wouldn’t matter anyway.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 07:46 AM from United States

Republicans are Borrow&Spendians;

Really?

Has Obamma raised taxes yet? I think the new boss is exactly the same as the old boss....just on a MUCH larger scale. (Borrow&Spendian;x 4+)

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 07:51 AM from United States

Sean:

With the current and projected Obamessiah deficits, you surely can’t be serious about calling REPUBLICANS “borrow and spendians” or similar, can you?

Posted by salinger on 05/28/09 at 08:02 AM from United States

Minnesota, like most states, is run by Democrats who think ordering a diet coke with your triple cheeseburger is a diet.

Actually - it’s red states that have a higher percentage of obese citizens.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 08:17 AM from United States

Actually - it’s red states that have a higher percentage of obese citizens.

Do you have reading comprehension skills? That wasn’t the point he was trying to make at all.

Posted by Sean Galbraith on 05/28/09 at 08:17 AM from Canada

NotNeoConMan: I was conscious of the current situation, which is why I said “generally”. Clearly, that doesn’t hold true currently. But putting aside Obama, would you agree that generally speaking Republicans are less inclined to offset their deficit spending with tax increases than Democrats are?

Posted by salinger on 05/28/09 at 08:21 AM from United States

Do you have reading comprehension skills?

Why yes I do - and I also have a sense of humor. Thanks for asking.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 08:39 AM from United States

I can haz unallotment pen?

For all the things T-Paw has done that get under my skin (the $0.75/pack “health fee” on cigarettes comes immediately to mind), holding the line on tax increases has been a consistent strong point of his, although this is the first time he’s gone the unallotment route.  If you thought that Congress was marked by bitter partisan infighting, the Minnesota Legislature makes them look like amateurs.  Good to see Pawlenty sticking it to them.

Posted by Sean Galbraith on 05/28/09 at 08:54 AM from Canada

T-Paw

HA! nice
Posted by on 05/28/09 at 09:29 AM from United States

That’s a little pet name we’ve given him here in Minny.

Posted by JimK on 05/28/09 at 10:32 AM from United States

I also have a sense of humor.

I also think I have a sense of humor.

Fixed it for you.

Posted by salinger on 05/28/09 at 10:52 AM from United States

I appreciate it considering the handicap you conservatives are working under ;)

Posted by JimK on 05/28/09 at 11:00 AM from United States

And there you go proving my point.  Leave the jokes to the funny people, dude. Of which you are not one.

I guess now you’re gonna have to trot out how your students tell you endlessly that you are funny as you sacrifice so much in your life to work with them, or something to that effect. It’s been at least a day since you claimed expertise on something based on your Jesus-like levels of sacrifice for the children.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 04:35 PM from United States

A diet coke with your triple cheeseburger is a diet - particularly when soft drinks these days come with “free refills”.  You could easily eliminate 500 or more calories from your daily intake by switching to a diet soft drink when you go out to lunch.

And don’t you dare dis a triple cheeseburger....

Posted by HARLEY on 05/28/09 at 05:15 PM from United States

I appreciate it considering the handicap you conservatives are working under ;)

Like a poor marksmen you keep missing your target.
Sally, most of us here are LIBERTARIANS, get that thought your brain.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 08:19 PM from United States

Despite a recent and inexcusable veto of a compassionate use medical marijuana law, Tim Pawlenty is getting on my good side

Maybe, but to paraphrase Winston Wolf, let’s not start sucking Republican dicks just yet.

This is not even really a “step in the right direction” so much as it is a “slowing down a bit from the breakneck sprint in the wrong direction we’ve been running for the last 3 decades”, and it’s not even at the national (federal) level.

Granted, it’s better than nothing, but stuff like this needs to happen so regularly that it’s barely news anymore before we can pretend that Republicans have (re-)discovered some sort of true limited-government philosophical principles.

Posted by on 05/28/09 at 11:33 PM from United States

NotNeoConMan: I was conscious of the current situation, which is why I said “generally”. Clearly, that doesn’t hold true currently. But putting aside Obama, would you agree that generally speaking Republicans are less inclined to offset their deficit spending with tax increases than Democrats are?

I’d say that Republicans like to offset their deficit spending with tax cuts leading to enhanced revenue, but most leftist deniers would dispute this nonzero-sum scenario.  Also, TRUE Republicans would not be spending so much on domestic largesse, IMO.

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