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BLOG: Fire the Police!

Will we fall for the Chicken Little story from our political leaders?

The standard tactic of every mayor who wants to raise city taxes is to threaten to fire the most important city employees.  The mayor asks—will you give me the extra money I want, or do I need to fire the police and firefighters?

Americans have usually been smarter than that. Every city has some fat in its budget. Every city spends money on things that may be important, but are not essential. It is the job of the mayor to make those hard choices. Keep the meat.  Trim the fat. To govern is to choose.

Unfortunately, that's not the script.

At every level, from the federal government to the state of Minnesota, to the local school districts, every budget shortfall brings a cry for higher taxes. Cuts in spending will result in armageddon. The sky will fall. It will be the end of life as we know it.

At the federal level, a sequester is coming March 1st, which will trim $85 billion out of an anticipated $3,700 Billion of federal outlays this year. That's about 2 percent of yearly outlays. It's about 8 percent of the deficit for just this year.

Note that I don't use the word budget. The federal government has been operating without a budget for over 3 years. As a step toward a balanced budget, the sequester barely makes a dent, but at least it's a start.

Take a peek at just one list of federal waste (and here). Can anyone tell you with a straight face that it's not possible to trim 2 percent from federal spending? (We just spent $60 billion "extra" on hurricane Sandy relief!)

Hard-headed reporters might be expected to reveal the Chicken Little routine as a clever tactic, but this Patch article is more typical of the media's stance.  It parrots the position of the president, and helps him play Chicken Little.

Governor Dayton is following a similar script, and doing well if the public opinion polls are any guide.  After doing a $1 billion Vikings stadium deal, and starting this session with a nod toward the $500 million request from Mayo, he still has the guts to demand an "essential" tax increase of a net $2.2 billion.  To me, the worst part of his plan is that after condemning the school shift in the 2011 session, he isn't even planning to use this extra tax money to pay it back!

President Obama and Governor Dayton need to lead. To govern is to choose.  They should not reach for my wallet every time they want to grow government.

As I recall the story, Chicken Little was wrong. It's time to say no.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Donald Lee February 27, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Phil Gramm on the same subject: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323384604578327792209356054.html
Ken in MN February 28, 2013 at 01:30 PM
You know it's a good day when Republican'ts complain about scare tactics and whine that Democrats aren't fixing their messes fast enough...
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 08:09 PM
fixing whos mess?....you own it....
ABSG February 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM
It's been over four miserable years - this is NOW OBAMA's MESS ... get it right!! Good Luck ... and remember 50% of us Told Ya This Would Happen. Some people just never learn and are truely just sheep following the light! How Sad.
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 12:40 PM
^ Last I checked REPUBLICAN'TS control the House and, via the filibuster, control the Senate. All tax and spending bills MUST ORIGINATE IN THE HOUSE. It's in the Constitution. Try not skipping over all of those relevant details on your way to drooling over the Second Amendment. You might actually learn something. (Of course, you no doubt learned to read in a public school, paid for by taxpayers...)
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Oh, and then there's this: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/02/eric-cantor-the-sequester-and-the-death-of-the-grand-bargain.html#ixzz2MF8d6tY1
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 01:01 PM
And this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-sequester/2013/02/28/6e670260-804a-11e2-a350-49866afab584_story.html
Donald Lee March 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Thank you for your comments. The position of Obama on spending and debt is crystal clear to anyone who is willing to open his eyes to see it. He wants to spend more - a lot more - on his priorities. He also wants to "protect" the entitlements. The entitlements make up some 70% of the budget. As I point out in my previous post, we could ZERO OUT non-entitlement/non-fixed spending, and STILL not get a balanced budget. This is all still true: http://mendotaheights.patch.com/blog_posts/entitlements-promises-and-debt Any way you slice it, we have a serious spending problem, because we are not willing to make the choices required to actually live within any fiscal discipline. The tussle over who first proposed the sequester is utter nonsense. It is $85 billion of a $1 trillion deficit THIS year. It is well past time to face the reality that we have to pay our bills, and that means FIRST to stop the fiscal bleeding. The insistence of the left on continuing the bloodletting in hopes that it will cure the patient defies common sense. The cuts are going to be big, whether we want them or not. They will arrive honestly by legislation, or dishonestly by inflation, or some form of economic decline. The honest option won't be available forever.
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 04:22 PM
As usual, Donald is completely wrong. The UK, Spain, Greece, Italy and Ireland all jumped on the Austerity Bandwagon. The results are in: The UK is headed for its third recession since 2008, Greece and Spain are on the cusp of massive social unrest as their economies crumble under the weight of unemployment in excess of 30%, and the new Italian government just might be headed by a comedian (which is not any different than the current government, which is headed by a bad joke.) Even Ben Bernanke, in his recent semiannual testimony to Congress, admitted that the US government is not spending enough in the face of collapsing private sector demand, and that cutting spending now, at a time when the whole rest of the world is falling all over itself to give us money at a negative rate of return, will actually make the debt to GDP ratio worse. It's really pretty basis macroeconomics, Donald, as any first-year student would learn. But you like to confuse macro with micro. As they sing on Sesame Street, "One of these things is not like the other..."
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 04:23 PM
More here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/the-us-does-not-have-a-spending-problem-we-have-a-distribution-problem/265408/
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 04:24 PM
More here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/24/the-gops-worst-cliff-myth/
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 04:27 PM
And finally, on entitlements (so named because the people who collect them worked and paid their whole lives in order to receive them when they retired or became disabled; thus, they are "entitled" to them, as opposed to the plutocrats who feel entitled to take the whole pie and let the rest of us fight over the crumbs because they are frankly just feel they are better than the rest of us): http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/the-myth-that-entitlements-ruin-countries-busted-in-1-little-graph/259056/
Ken in MN March 01, 2013 at 06:10 PM
A coda: http://www.offthechartsblog.org/recession-past-policies-continue-to-drive-deficits/
Eric Pseudonym March 07, 2013 at 11:21 PM
The Republicans took the US into 2 wars that were unfunded (Afghanistan, Iraq). We're stuck paying that back plus interest while at the same time dealing with a mortgage/banking collapse and global recession. I think folks in the US might need to to give the record-breaking filibustered Democrats a bit more latitude to deal with our debt crisis. After all, when the Republicans ran this country, they took us from an all-time high to this low. ABSG- What 50% are you talking about? I believe that Obama carried 51% of the popular vote as well as a near landslide in electorate votes.
MJ March 18, 2013 at 02:24 PM
You can't count that 1% of his majority vote because they were stolen fraudulent votes. Without cheating he would NOT have been re-eleted.
MJ March 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM
AND Electorate Votes or the Electoral College is a huge problem with this election system. We need to go to Popular Vote and count each and every vote. You can tell by looking at the election map that the election was won for Obama by the urban areas with a high population of TAKERS. IF we had counted vote for vote, he would have LOST by a landslide!
Jim Boone March 27, 2013 at 04:45 PM
How did you you find out about that godless, homosexual, gun grabbing cabal that stole the election? Shhh! That was supposed to be kept secret. (snark)
Jim Boone March 27, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Huh?

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