Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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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 in Politics • Permalink

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