Pawlenty’s budget too stingy

Sean Simonson

Facing a Minnesota budget deficit of almost $1.2 billion, Governor Tim Pawlenty’s first reaction is to cut, cut, and cut some more. While on the surface a cut-spending-and-taxes tactic might appear to be beneficial, those who are hardest hit by the recession are also receiving the brunt of the program cuts.

To Benilde-St. Margaret students, these cuts may only have a subtle effect. A drastic cut in local programs might result in library closures, fewer police officers, or even a raise in college tuition.

However, Pawlenty’s “No New Taxes” policies will still affect all Minnesotans. A decrease in the budget means less spending on construction and other government funded projects and fewer jobs. His avoidance of taxes means a lower growth in Minnesota’s economy. With less growth, the state will receive less tax money, leading Pawlenty to cut more programs, continuing the cycle of unemployment.

For someone who has aspirations for the presidency, he shows a remarkably high disregard for doing his job. His choice not to raise taxes may garner some public support in the short run, but when we finally start feeling the full effects, his presidential potential might start to fall.

Cuts include $250 million in local government aid, $347 million in health and human services, and $47 million in higher education. Those in need of government support will lose out on local support programs, receive much less in health-care subsidies and assistance, and be subject to increased college tuition.

Reductions will also take place in government jobs, further raising Minnesota’s unemployment rate, currently at 7.3 percent. These job cuts would make up for $181 million in the budget deficit. How could we elect a president who would only cut the jobs recession-ravaged Americans need?

The devastated economy is a national crisis, and our entire government should be working in unison to create a balanced budget. Pawlenty took the whole matter into his own hands, using his emergency authority to force his ideas upon Minnesotans. Rather than work with Minnesota’s senate, Pawleny prefers to show how he can (abuse) use his power.

Pawlenty did, however, exclude K-12 education, veteran services, and “core” saftey programs from the budget cuts. These sectors are often the first to go when the budget needs balancing, but Pawlenty instead opted for a shift in funds. But this “shift” will result in local governments raising property taxes in order to make ends meet.