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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Solving the State Budget Problem Kalin/Olseen Style

In the February 25, 2009 issue of the ECM Post Review (page 5) Representative Jeremy Kalin, by default, outlined brilliantly why the Minnesota State budget dilemma will NEVER be resolved by liberal DFLers.

Mr. Kalin, citing "nonpartisan House Research of the Minnesota Legislature" brought forth these stunning and pertinent facts: (Quote) " . . . . if the Minnesota legislature:

  • Cut all children's health care ($139 million) and
  • Shut down 20 percent of nursing homes in the state ($191 million) and
  • Released all the prisoners ($950 million) and
  • Let all the sex offenders go ($127 million) and
  • Close(d) all the state parks ($52 million) and
  • Eliminate(d) Meals on Wheels for seniors ($7.1 million) and
  • Shut down 10 state college campuses ($146 million) and
  • Shut down the Departments of Health, Public Safety, Transportation and the rest of state government ($3.45 billion) that would add up to $5 billion"

Mr. Kalin then continued by saying: "But all those devastating cuts still wouldn't be enough to balance the budget because the deficit is growing every day."

Mr. Kalin, you might also consider, in your brilliant analysis, the savings that could be effected if government did away with all the police departments, fire departments and the schools too. After all we don't need any of them until emergencies arise or fires get started or children need to get an education!

And, while you are at it, you might also include in your further research an investigation into how much could be saved for the taxpayers if bloated full-time salaries and massive perdiems for part-time legislators would be eliminated. The citizen legislature concept is that legislators ought to have gainful outside employment and not be full-time bureaucrats as many of you are and have become.

In summary, since all the budget eliminations outlined by you in your Capitol Commentary still do not balance the budget as required by the state constitution might we not suggest that you and Senator Olseen start to get the picture that state government is way too big and you ought to be reducing it instead of increasing it. If you cannot understand that concept and act on it, clearly you are not representing the people and are only serving yourself.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Memorandum to Senator Olseen and Representative Kalin

Honorable Legislators:

Please do not further waste our time commiserating in print or in person about the fact that balancing the Minnesota budget is a problem! That fact is in plain and obvious sight.

And please do not further waste our time by telling us that you disagree with the Governor's proposals to balance the Minnesota budget. Trying to make political points with that fact does not balance the budget. Your Democrat party disagreement with the Governor's proposals are legendary and traditional and they are obvious from media releases by you and other DFL legislators around the state.

Here is what we, as your constituents, expect from you based on the fact that the task of balancing the Minnesota budget is a constitutional requirement. As legislators it is you who own the budget balancing responsibility. Senator Olseen and Representative Kalin, you rang thousands of doorbells and wore out many pairs of shoes (by your own statements) running for the offices to which you were elected. Over and over you committed in word and printed page and public meetings that you had better answers and good solutions to state government challenges. You assured that you were head and shoulders beyond and above your predecessors and all that needed to be done was for us to elect you. With smiling faces, happy handshakes and enthusiastic voices you assured us you were up to the challenges. You alleged that your predecessors had fallen down on the job of representing us in the legislature and you committed to the public that in exchange for our votes you would provide the answers to our problems and needs. So far the responses we have from you are largely happy talk while avoiding the relevant issues. Now we need responsible actions based on the commitments you made.

Our firm advisory to you on the Minnesota budget issue is that raising our taxes at the state level is absolutely not a viable option for you to use in balancing the budget nor is it fiscally reasonable to further burden your constituents who are already taxed to the hilt at local, county, state and national levels and with known steep and further increases coming at us from the Obama Administration at the federal level.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Oh, how fortunate we are to have Jeremy Kalin serving us as our State Representative!

Get yourself a copy of the Isanti-Chisago County STAR, Thursday, March 12, 2009 and read for yourself how eloquently, thoroughly and scholarly he summarizes the dire straits we are in and note how carefully he analyzes the actions that will lead the way out to a better day. That ability must be a spin-off of his school teaching days! Why, he's Reaganesque you'll exclaim!

With the skill of a deep-thinking socio-political philospher the Venerable Kalin informs us in the opening comment of his extensive House Notes (and notice, even those words are a clever, eye catching title for his tome) that he has "always believed that the best social program in this country (his thinking in not narrowly limited to Chisago County - he thinks big!) is a job."

Further, as he continues to wax eloquently, he strokes his philospher's beard and tells us that "(a)s Minnesotans we pride ourselves on our work ethic and providing for our families by the sweat of our brow! Wow, Mr. Kalin that's almost biblical is it not! (both exclamation points added for emphasis).

But something has gone wrong! Here Representative Kalin lays out the problem. "Every week, more than 1,300 Minnesotans are losing their jobs." (Multiply that by 52 weeks and that's a lot of job losses - if it keeps up at that rate it could become a real problem!)

And here Rep. Kalin further points up the scope of the problem. He tells us that as a consequence of the "global economic recession" it is "harder and harder to hang on to the jobs we already have."

You have to hand it to Rep. Kalin, he's a thorough analyst in defining the problem. You probably were not aware until he told you that this has become a world-wide recession. You see, he "thinks globally" while insignificant little you think only locally!

A few statistics will be helpful to you to follow where he is going with all this. He informs us that "Central Minnesota is ground zero (that has kind of an ominous ring to it does it not!) in the tide of joblessness and home foreclosures - "ground zero" right in Representative Kalin's District no less! But fortunately, to move this along, "(h)elp is on the way (drum roll!) in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The signature achievement (his words with italics added for emphasis) of the 110th Congress and President Obama, the federal recovery funds will help save 45,000 jobs in Minnesota this year - if . . . . " IF and what a big if that is!

And on top of everything else our esteemed Representative had opportunity to demonstrate his humanitarian instincts for "(d)uring the late-February blizzard, I stopped on my way home (was that his Minneapolis house or his Chisago county rent house?) to push a car spinning its wheels in a snowdrift, and I saw dozens of others do the same."

This must have been the other members of the DFL caucus for they are well-known for "spinning their wheels and getting nowhere" while pretending they are accomplishing things!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Kalin and Olseen - Both are Failing as Legislators

By this time in the legislative Session Representative Kalin and Senator Olseen have introduced many bills and have voted probably hundreds of times in Committees and on the floor on bunches of bills but Kalin and Olseen have reported back to the constituency virtually nothing about their activities or votes on most or any of these bills.
By their silence you would think that nothing important is going on down in the legislature. Do not be fooled by their silence! Nothing that goes on in the legislature is unimportant - legislation restricts your freedom, it reaches into your pocketbook, it tells us what we must do and cannot do. Legislation costs you money, it impacts your future in many ways and for years to come.

Olseen and Kalin are very well-paid in salaries, per diems and are well supplied with public services for their time at the Capitol and they are absolutely derelict in their duties by not giving us constituents routine reports of their votes and actions. Olseen and Kalin have at their command public resources that give them an opportunity to be reporting back routinely to the people with an on-going summary of their legislative activity.
Kalin has rightly been faulted, for example, for voting against picture identification as part of the protection of the voting process. Kalin's vote against that matter would not have been known by us constituents had it not been revealed by a public source other than Kalin. Then Representative Kalin weakly "defends" his opposition to it by citing "the cost" that he said it would entail. Of course that defense ignores the tremendous cost of the legal activity, for example, that is going on right now in the Senatorial court case between Franken and Coleman and the fact that Minnesota has gone at least three months with only Senator Amy Klobuchar having to carry the workload of two Senators.
We don't need to hear that you - Olseen and Kalin - disagree with the Governor's proposals. That's a foregone conclusion and a cheap-shot way of failing to divulge what you intend to do about the State budget and priorities. The schools are hurting, the counties, the cities and towns of your district are claiming financial hardship. The typical taxpayer is certainly saying loud and clear that they do not want you to raise their taxes. Yet you, Olseen and Kalin, sit silent on what you will be doing to rectify the situation. Do not come back to us with the cry that it is going to be hard to resolve the fiscal problems. We already know that. Tells us with frequency and with regularity what you have done and what you are doing for your constituents to solve the problems facing the state.

Withdrawal From Serving in the Obama Administration - A Developing Pattern?

In view of the numerous appointees, nominees, aspirants and prospects who have "withdrawn" for varieties of reasons from serving in the Obama Administration wouldn't it be an interesting turn of events if the Head Push himself would do the nation a favor and "withdraw" from serving as President! He certainly is laden with as many negative reasons as any of the others as indicators why he should not have the privilege of serving in the highest office - not the least of which is the unresolved question whether he is even Constitutionally eligible to serve as President. The proof positive of his eligibility in the circumstances of his birth has not been made public and a number of negative reasons have been adduced.