eUpdate - 1/26/07
Taxpayers League of Minnesota eUpdate
1. Taxpayers League Live! with David Strom.
2. Why I would have supported Donald Trump for President (in 2000).
3. How can a 40 minute speech end up costing more than $12 billion?
4. The first installment of the Minnesota personal liberty watch.
5. The power of private enterprise and its ability to eliminate poverty.
1. Taxpayers League Live! with David Strom.
Tune in this Saturday to AM 1280 The Patriot from 9 – 11am when David will be joined by Paul Jensen and Tom Emmer. Jensen, a rancher from western South Dakota whose property is being threatened by the use of eminent domain, will provide a perspective on the proposed DM&E track expansion that hasn’t really been addressed in Minnesota. Emmer, a second-term Republican from Delano and Deputy Minority Leader, was recently accused by a local talk radio host of not being a good enough conservative. We’ll give Representative Emmer a chance to defend himself (sans any host hysterics) and to make the case why we shouldn’t be throwing the baby (the handful of House Republicans who care about the responsible fiscal stewardship of Minnesota’s economy) out with the bathwater (the rest of the bums who can’t wait to whip up some new spending and tax the bejesus out of the rest of us).
2. Sure he’s a fool, but he has to be a good negotiator, right?
Maybe he’s available for some consultancy work, because that’s exactly what Governor Pawlenty is going to need as this legislative session gets down to the nitty-gritty. Why? Because the budget the Governor introduced this week will most likely start negotiations with an assumed 9.3% increase in state spending over the next two years. That’s right, start. Despite all of our huffing and puffing when it comes to ideology and conservative principles, we here at the Taxpayers League understand politics. We understand the majorities the Governor is facing are going to need much stroking and soothing. But signaling to the DFL that the state is ready to go after Ventura-like budget increases isn’t the way to go. Hey, we appreciate the “no new taxes” end of the budget, but as House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said, “the surplus could have yielded $1 billion in tax relief for Minnesotans rather than the $281 million proposed by the Governor.”
3. Just ask the National Taxpayers Union Foundation – they know.
“More bountiful defense budget increases and scarcer spending cuts pushed the yearly price tag of President Bush's State of the Union proposals past $12 billion, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's (NTUF's) popular and annually updated analysis. NTUF's 2007 study, the eighth such examination of the Presidential addresses, found that Bush's agenda is far more expensive than the one he proposed in 2006 -- but fairly close to the average over the past four years. ‘The President may have staked out a bold health care reform plan [this week], but several other items in his speech should look familiar to taxpayers,’ said NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady. Brady also noted that several of the ‘cost unknown’ items could add significantly to the net total spending increase Bush proposed last night. The President's pleas to ‘save Social Security’ and ‘fix Medicare and Medicaid’ could lead to huge additional taxpayer liabilities depending upon how the White House and Congress hammer out a specific package of reforms.”
For a complete rundown of the proposed costs with nifty charts and graphs explaining it all, visit NTUFs website.
4. Three weeks into the session and the new majority begins to take over.
Not content with simply deciding how much (more) of our income they intend to confiscate, House and Senate committee chairs are now aiming their guns at areas once protected by folks who believed in personal responsibility. To wit, a statewide smoking ban and the primary enforcement of seatbelt laws.
A nearly zero tolerance statewide smoking ban, introduced on Thursday and perennially high on the to-do list of nanny-state pseudomaniacs, unfortunately seems almost assured at this point. That, combined with a bill that would allow law enforcement officers to pull you over for not wearing aseatbelt, should tell you pretty quickly what direction the DFL intends to lead us.
First they came for the smokers, but I did not speak up because I am not a smoker.
Then they came for those that don’t wear their seatbelts, but I did not speak up because I wear my seatbelt.
Then they came for those that drink pop, eat fast food, enjoy alcohol, like to hunt, watch TV, use hairspray and don’t recycle every scrap of junk, but I didn’t speak up because I don’t do those things very often.
Then they came for me, but by that time there was no one left to speak up.
5. Why did Muhammad Yunus win the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize?
To find out, come to the Microfinance Alliance kick-off and watch the critically acclaimed Microfinance documentary, Awakenings, by Dominic Howes and listen to insights from Jim Klobuchar and Susan Cornell Wilkes, co-authors of The Miracles of Barefoot Capitalism.The event takes place on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the U of Ms Coffman Memorial Union Theatre, 300 Washington Ave. S.E in Minneapolis. For more information or directions to the event visit www.microfinancealliance.com.
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota's E Update is written by Mark Giga