Monday, May 11, 2009

Consent of the Governed: Citizens Rule

Returning from Southern Minnesota last weekend I found that there had been a "Bubble" of sausage made by a KAXE political commentator from the Brainerd Lakes Area. Conservative Chuck Marohn had suggested on the Morning Show that growth in government overall had reached a level in Minnesota and in America that is becoming unsustainable. He labels this a "government bubble." Like "Dot-Com" and "Housing" bubbles, it eventually will burst. Future generations will experience "agony."

I was away and did not hear the DFL commentator disagree with his bubble vision. When I finally logged on to the KAXE Internet News, there it was. Described with 874 words! Longer than David Brooks or Paul Krugman at their best.

We have heard Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich speak to the theme of Government getting large and larger. Telling farmers what to plant. Telling businesses who they must hire. Telling airlines when and where they can fly. Telling utilities what to charge and where to place their wires and towers. Too much government. Too much spending. Government has become "the" problem, they say, not source of solutions to the people's problems.

My brief response to this? A silly comparison. The voters will choose the measures needed for our governance. As this recession deepens, unemployment is now heading for ten percent. Last November I voted for change, and I support the economic stimulus. I think there are signs this month, in my county, that something positive has been started by government action.

When Governor Pawlenty vetoed the transportation bill last year because it contained a gasolene tax increase, I cheered the override that my legislator supported. We are doing better with broken bridges and rough pavements in Minnesota now, because of this tax increase.

Let's continue our debate with less ideology and fewer slogans. Let's concentrate on solving real-life problems. Like healthcare, climate and energy, education, proliferation of nuclear weapons. These are the areas I choose to think about.

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