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Saturday, September 01, 2007

With this Thinking, No Wonder We are in Trouble

Melissa Hortman (DFL, 47B), an assistant majority leader in the Minnesota House, wrote the following:

The tax questions we ought to ask

Of course Minnesotans would opt to pay less in the broadest sense. That might change if their leaders spelled out the consequences.

A poll taken shortly after the bridge collapse shows that most Minnesotans still do not want their gas tax increased. That should surprise no one. Any poll asking Minnesotans whether they would like to pay a higher or a lower price for a key commodity would produce the same result. People prefer lower prices.

Read the rest of her commentary here.


Hortman draws an analogy between the increasing need to maintain bridges and consequently the need to increase the gas tax with the need to eat and the need to pay higher food prices. She used this analogy because she thinks Minnesotans are too dumb to realize we need to be willing to pay more gas taxes.

Being willing to pay higher food costs does not translate into a willingness to accept legislator-imposed gas tax hikes. The one is our personal choice within our budget; the other is foisted upon us without respect to our budget.

Hortman fails to recognize that a different conclusion can be drawn from her analogy. Since we need to eat within our budget, if some foods cost more, we have choices to switch brands, shop another store, eat less of the higher priced food and more of something less costly.

Government has those same choices regarding roads and bridges. But Hortman limits the options to one–increase the gas tax. Families cannot by fiat increase the budget like government can. And when government increases its budget by fiat, it simultaneously decreases what is available in the budget for the family to buy food. Government must live within its means, which is the collective means of all taxpayers. Government too has choices within its budget.

In other words, whether buying groceries or maintaining bridges, we should prioritize. Hortman knows nothing of prioritizing buying groceries or infrastructure. Throwing money at it is a typical Democrat response. Whether at the local, state or federal level, far too many politicians, who live within their own personal budgets, lose their heads when they get to spend our tax dollars. Priorities fly the coop; just levy more taxes. And then suddenly when a bridge collapse reveals their prior lapses, they put it on top priority where it should have been all along.

The thinking (or lack thereof) Hortman reveals in her piece should scare all Minnesotans because we all will be affected by her legislative ventures. This is the same unthinking person who speculated, "Did the heat put extra strain on the steel?" and said, "You wonder if this bridge was built to withstand the massive heat we have had this summer." She forgot about the summer of '88.

Showing more ignorance, she wrote,

“In the United States, we have a republican democracy. Why is that? Elected officials are supposed to lead as well as listen. Lately, it seems we have been seeing a lot of listening, but now we need to exercise leadership.”

What is a republican democracy? Never heard of it and our founding fathers were terrified of democracy.

She concludes it is time to quit listening and exercise leadership. Apparently the listening is the republican part and exercising leadership is the democracy part. Well, she hasn’t done enough listen’ cuz she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

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