Friday, February 18, 2011


Yesterday in the news two Midwestern politicians declared emphatically, "We're broke!" Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, both argued their case for drastic measures to cut state government expenditures. In this angry political winter, apparently "any lie will do" as loud voices shout their talking points. Cut spending! Keep yuour money! Low taxes mean more jobs!

We are a prosperous nation. Wealthy beyond anything previously known on earth. But we also are becoming selfish and insensitive to anyone in need. Unwilling to suggest any shared sacrifice or fairness, when it comes to recognizing human obligations. We are far from broke.

From municipality to township to county, state, and nation - all across America - there is enough wealth within our borders to provide decent support for the most vulnerable among us. Shame on the hypocrites who try to persuade us otherwise!

Governor Dayton has addressed Minnesota's deficit with a balanced and fair budget - with spending reductions and revenue increases. Republicans dogmatically reject any revenue increase from the individual income tax and insist that only spending cuts to education, health and human services must cover the billions of dollars in deficits and overdue deficiency payments, that have accumulated over years to reach a crisis.

Governor Walker across the border in Wisconsin has declared war on the bargaining rights of his public employees - in the name of eliminating a budget deficit about half the size of Minnesota's. With conservatives in control of the executive and legislative branches of Wisconsin government, Walker hopes to roll back the legacy of progressive labor rights and achieve a balanced budget by cutting the take-home pay and pensions of state workers.

Time was when we aspired to be a "Great Society." The threat in our state capitols today is the drift toward a "Selfish Society."

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